Good self-help-type book(s) on occupational therapy?
November 30, 2007 9:09 AM   Subscribe

Good self-help-type book(s) on occupational therapy?

I'm not positive it's occupational therapy I'm looking for, so maybe you can help me with that as well. I'm looking for:

1) A book that can help an individual learn about some occupational therapy techniques to apply to his or her own life (so, not a textbook for those studying to be therapists)

2) The subject matter I'm looking for is related to this (from wikipedia's entry on occupational therapy):

"Occupational therapy refers to the use of meaningful occupation to assist people who have difficulty in achieving healthy and balanced life; and to enable an inclusive society so that all people can participate to their potential in daily occupations of life.... (S)ome of the basic assumptions of occupational therapy ... include:
Occupation has an effect on health and well being.
Occupation creates structure and organizes time.
Occupation brings meaning to life, culturally and personally.
Occupations are individual. People value different occupations."

But I'm not personally looking for problems associated with (also from wikipedia):

"work-related injuries; physical, cognitive or psychological limitations following a stroke, brain injury or heart attack; rheumatoid and age-related conditions such as arthritis; neurodegenerative movement disorders such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Parkinson's disease; birth injuries, learning difficulties, or developmental disabilities; Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, ADHD and post-traumatic stress; ETC."

Though limitations stemming from depression or anxiety, and/or substance abuse / eating disorders *are* of interest to me.

So I'm basically looking for info on occupational therapy techniques (or some other self helpy type book) that a basically "normal" person (uninjured, not damaged, or diagnosed with anything serious, completely un-medicated and apparently functioning normally in work/society) might find useful, as related to the first quote in #2 above.

posted by iguanapolitico to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think you are not looking for occupational therapy.

As I understand it, occupational therapy is typically to do with physically rehabbing after injury or helping problems that come from a specific impairment. It is not about finding a job, or helping an unimpaired person to organize their time more productively. If you want the latter, you have a lot more books to choose from!

Getting Things Done by David Allen is the most-recommended one here.

Here are some previous questions that might get you started. You might search the archives for "get organized" or similar phrases, as well.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:28 AM on November 30, 2007

Response by poster: Aha. OK, that's not really what I'm looking for, either. The problem isn't organization, or prioritization, or anything like that.

Perhaps my description erred on the side of, er, accentuating the want of a self-help book. I think what I'm looking for is more along the lines of information on underlying psychological reasons for problems people have with living day to day, "occupying" themselves. The kind of stuff that everyone doesn't already know ("exercise; clean your desk; anything that can be done in under 2 minutes should be done right away"). I'm not looking for how-to's (which, I guess, is what self help books tend to be about) as much as discussion of the psychology involved, and introspective steps that a person can take to understand their behavior. Maybe this discipline doesn't exist. :)

For example, there are diet books that are very how-to. And then there are books like "The Zen of Eating" and "The Art of the Inner Meal" which don't tell you how to count carbs or calories or whatever, but help explain why you behave the way you do and how you can let it go.

Is there something in between "how to organize your life" (the life in question is hyper-organized) and, "the path to maintaining useful function in society through occupation?" As you know, I'm not talking about physical rehab, but more of a mental rehab. Isn't there a branch of mental occupational therapy? :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 1:38 PM on November 30, 2007

I don't know the answer you are looking for, but I wanted to reiterate that occupational therapy is not it. My friend is an occupational therapist and she has no 'mental therapy' credentials at all - her course was much closer to that taken by a physiotherapist.
posted by jacalata at 1:50 AM on December 1, 2007

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