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ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners is thrilled to welcome you to OT Blogs, part of the Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our new blogs offer posts covering timely questions, advice and opinions about the occupational therapy field. Please take a moment to read our bloggers' bios to learn more about each of them. We have provided tags to assist in locating topics of interest. And feel free to use the comment area after each blog entry to interact with our bloggers. We look forward to hearing more about the occupational therapy field from your Point of View (POV).
June 25, 2015 4:12 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

One of the toughest but most important pills to swallow is the fact that everything we see in the external world is a direct reflection of what's happening internally. This is precisely why the same situation (e.g. a "difficult" person) can trigger so many varying degrees of responses.

Part of our human nature is to project our feelings onto things in the external world.


The reason is because, ...

June 23, 2015 12:43 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

We treated Dad to lunch at one of his favorite casual dining restaurants on Father's Day. Before entering the building, the restaurant host promptly greeted us as with a smile and was extremely helpful opening the doors for us. He quickly seated us at a table and provided us menus.

We were hungry and ready to eat, but to our dismay, it took much longer than it should have for any waiter to come to our table. We ...

June 16, 2015 10:00 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

When I started college in the early 1970s, I developed a passion for classical music. Lucky for those of us at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, we have the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, a relatively new concert hall when I was a college freshman, and other venues for enjoying live classical and other excellent quality music. In the past couple decades I have been able to get to Krannert ...

June 12, 2015 1:03 PM by Dillon Stickle of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

A couple weeks back, I visited the Occupational Therapy department at MossRehab to talk to Steve Whittaker, an OT who also is certified in low vision rehabilitation, and learn about what they're doing in the field for an article coming out in this month's issue.

While learning about the rehab program, I got to speak with one of Steve's patients, Deborah, and learn about her journey with low vision since she was ...

June 9, 2015 5:25 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

My student who started this week witnessed quite an amazing transformation with one of our clients. Just to give you a little background on the client - she's been married for 43 years and never once said no to her husband until last week. She came into our program looking meek and helpless, and left feeling and looking empowered.

I explained to my student that it wasn't what we did that had such a powerful ...

May 28, 2015 12:26 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

Before we begin, let me share a little bit of my personal history.

If I had to name my personality prior to starting this journey of personal growth, I would have called myself "Emotional Wreck Dan." Even though I was quite functional, the truth is that I was a wreck on the inside, plagued with anxiety and fear on an almost constant basis. I looked OK to the outside world but, internally, I was suffering.

Once ...

May 26, 2015 3:48 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a nasty disease that occupational therapists often work with in their patients. People don't realize the many symptoms that come with this disease until it robs a loved one of any sort of reasonable quality of life, and ultimately leads to a long slow death. One only has to view the numerous television commercials for products to alleviate COPD symptoms to realize that ...

May 19, 2015 11:38 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

I stepped into a special education functional life skills classroom at the high school last week. From the doorway, it appeared to be a big free-for-all, with loud music and students, and their special education teachers and aides moving around in all directions to the pulsating beat. But when I actually looked closer and saw how the students were spending this week's Fun Friday, I was rather impressed. Typically ...

May 15, 2015 10:23 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

Do you ever feel pressured to just know all the answers in any given moment?

I'm feeling a bit of that right now as I'm writing this blog. I feel like I should know exactly what I am supposed to write about, but the truth is I am quite lost at the moment.

However, I'm grateful for remembering one of the most impressive things Eckhart Tolle heard the Dali Llama say when asked a number of "serious" questions. ...


This past week was a rough one. I was working long hours each day, and A. was having a crisis at her school. One of her good friends, E., stopped having anything to do with her. I'm still not sure what happened. As much as I can gather, other students have started a rumor that A. is, in fact, NOT autistic, and it seems like E. might believe these rumors, and is upset and stressed about the idea that A. may have lied ...


Recently, A. was a guest for my friend Elle's podcast: Into It. True to the overall theme, this episode focused on one of A.'s very favorite subjects: Pokemon.

April 30, 2015 3:23 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT


NASHVILLE -- During her Presidential Address at the American Occupational Therapy Association's 95th Annual Conference & Expo, held April 16-18 in Nashville, AOTA President Virginia "Ginny" Stoffel, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA, took stock of the current state of the profession and set a course for the decades ahead.

Stoffel is associate professor in the department of occupational science and ...

April 29, 2015 10:10 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

No words can describe the events in Baltimore Monday night, but at the very least, this will be yet another wakeup call causing us to take a closer look at the collective insanity of our culture.

People all over the world are tuned into Baltimore, watching the events unfold on live TV.


The fact is we are addicted to drama. We love to watch and judge the behavior of others because it's ...


You know how they always say that, when your children grow up into teenagers, they will be just like you? I must confess, when it comes to A., this is absolutely true.

I'm blessed in a way, because I happened to be a very well-behaved teenager. I minded my mom, my grandparents, and my teachers, and I worked hard to be a good student. However, I also hated the bureaucracy of the school system, the idea of authority ...


A couple of weeks ago, A. started arriving home from school with various affirmations written all over her body. These affirmations proclaimed such positive thoughts as, "You are beautiful just the way you are!" and "You ...

April 20, 2015 11:09 AM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Members of the AOTA Board of Directors held a roundtable discussion at the AOTA Conference April 18 to hear comments and concerns pertaining to the possible transition to a doctorate of occupational therapy (OTD) as the entry-level degree for clinical practice.

In April 2014, the AOTA Board of Directors adopted the following position statement:

"In ...

April 17, 2015 3:29 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

My former colleague Mark likes to say, "We should never be working harder than the people we are serving." It took me a really long time to learn this valuable lesson, and I am still deepening my understanding of it.

I know I'm not the only one who's guilty of trying harder when working with someone who isn't doing their own work. It's emotionally draining and ineffective, and even if the client participates, ...

April 17, 2015 7:51 AM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

The American Occupational Therapy Association's 95th Annual Conference & Exposition kicked off southern-style Thursday night April 16 with a rollicking mini-concert from Sixwire, a Nashville-based country music band that had the packed ballroom clapping, dancing and forming conga lines in the aisles.

AOTA President "Ginny" Stoffel, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA, then announced to applause that the Nashville ...

April 15, 2015 12:02 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

April is always a busy month for OTs. On April 16-19, the American Occupational Therapy Association's Annual Conference & Expo will be held at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. This year's keynote speaker, Rosalind Wiseman, whose book Queen Bees and Masterminds was the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls, will educate OTs on how they can help their young patients negotiate the many social challenges ...

April 10, 2015 2:05 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

It reveals many truths about health and how and why our healthcare system fails on so many levels.

Our current system very rarely addresses the CAUSE of disease, which, in most cases, boils down to poor lifestyle choices.

The reasons we ignore the cause run deep, but it comes down to the urge for immediate gratification. We want the "quick fix;" the pill that's going to take our pain away, and billing ...

April 9, 2015 12:30 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

Raised in the 1950s, like many children, I spent hours in front of the television, an innovation in home entertainment back then as well as a large piece of furniture. There were only a few channels. TV was not on 24/7 as it is today.

I confess that one of my very favorite shows was the animated "Mr. Magoo". The voice of Quincy Magoo was played by actor Jim Backus; watch old reruns of "Gilligan's Island" and ...


Yesterday, April 2, was World Autism Awareness Day. Many people all over the globe lit things up in blue, shared blog posts, and donated money to various organizations in order to promote autism awareness and increase visibility for the condition. I personally know some individuals who participated in this autism awareness campaign, and I can tell you that, without a doubt, these individuals are doing what they believe ...

April 2, 2015 2:22 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

I believe meditation is one of the most misunderstood ideas in the world. We tend to think of "meditation" as some "out there" practice that's just for existential people who aren't in the "real world," but nothing could be further from the truth.

Meditation is not what you think, and it has much less to do with sitting with your eyes closed than most people realize. Formal meditation typically involves sitting ...

March 27, 2015 12:22 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

We've all had the experience of having an "Angel" on one shoulder and the "Devil" on the other, but have you ever considered "who" is it that knows they exist?

At a deeper level, we know it's who we really are (i.e. consciousness/awareness) that knows "they" exist, but we tend get trapped in the duality of the "Angel" and "Devil" who are always jockeying for position.

As much as we like to say we'd ...


Whenever A. has a holiday from school, she always asks what we're going to do -- what we have planned. Generally, it's not much -- maybe dinner and a movie, or a stop at our favorite pizza restaurant. For this year's spring break, however, I took a couple days off from work and built an entire itinerary of mother-daughter activities to help A. know just how much I value the time I spend with her.

These ...



The ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners editorial staff will discuss issues in the occupational therapy profession, current events in healthcare and offer their personal views and tips for your enjoyment.

The Pediatric Perspective blog is a place to come to learn of new and existing strategies for anyone working in Pediatrics or anyone who has a young loved one with occupational therapy needs.  Join Wendy as she shares these strategies along with the struggles and triumphs of being a mom and therapist navigating the Special Education world with her son.

The mother of an autistic girl shares her story about her daughter's sensory issues, the various treatments she has received, and how "living on the spectrum" affects everyday life for her family.

Tim Banish, Sr., COTA, Retired will share his thoughts on important issues such as COTA salaries, productivity requirements, and the current changes in healthcare. My main focus will be issues older Americans are facing and long term care.

Dan Eisner is a psychiatric OT in the department of psychiatry at the University of MD Medical Center and a private certified coach at http://www.keyinsightcoaching.com/ with over 15 years experience. Dan has been inspiring thousands of people with his unique blend of services which includes a basic understanding of mind-body science, emotional intelligence, and practical spirituality.

Iris Kimberg MS PT, OTR,  CEO of NYTherapyGuide, will keep therapists current on issues, trends and opportunities in the private sector.

Occupational therapy has changed a lot over the past four decades, and it continues to evolve. Follow Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L as she shares the wisdom that comes with being a seasoned occupational therapist.