What to Expect at Your First Visit with an Occupational Therapist

Life can be stressful with so many things to think about, work, education, family, and social activities.  

There is always so much to do, and the last thing you need is to be hit by an illness or injury that can impair your abilities, add to your worries, and diminish your quality of life. It can happen to any of us at any point in life regardless of who we are, how young or old, or what we do. This can add to daily stress and inevitably lead to burnout. Yet [“practising”] self-care and building resilience through occupational therapy can help prevent burnout1.

When should you consider occupational therapy? 

The long-lasting impact of injuries or sickness can affect our everyday lives, adding a toll  to cognitive and emotional health which can delay recovery times. For example, if you’ve had an accident that has made it difficult for you to perform at work, you may be increasingly worried about paying the bills, providing for your family etc. The combination of these physical and mental factors (which are not often discussed) can adversely affect how we perform at work or school, as well as how we interact with others in our professional and personal relationships sometimes leaving you feeling lost. You may find yourself struggling to carry out simple everyday tasks and this getting worse with time.

The good news is that there is help out there! A trained clinician from Infinity Health, providing services in Vancouver and the surrounding communities, can help to create a unique plan for you, specialized to aid you with your recovery. Speaking to a specialist can help you identify your strengths and the areas of your life where you are facing difficulties. They will work with you to determine how you can overcome challenges and hone in on your strengths, backed by research and valuable experience. You do not have to struggle alone.

Does occupational therapy really work? 

Yes, occupational therapy can help people of all ages, with all aspects of life from daily activities in the home, workplace, or in. Whether it’s living with a disability, recovering from an illness, accident or operation, mental health issues or coping with the effects of aging. The World Health Organisation recognizes the importance of occupational therapy within primary care, a top priority2

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Research shows using an occupational therapist can help to increase recovery time, and the time it takes to return to work, or school3. Occupational therapists work to help you find other ways of doing things that you may find difficult so that you can maintain your daily activities with less stress. They may think of ways to improve your life that you may not have thought of yourself or be aware of, and that’s why their expert advice can be so helpful. There is also evidence to support occupational therapy having an overall positive impact on general wellbeing and social participation4.

What does occupational therapy involve? 

Occupational therapy covers a wide range of rehabilitation assessments and processes which can be used in combination depending on your needs. This could involve back to work planning, driver rehabilitation, paediatrics, hospital discharge preparation, pain or disability management, safety in the home, spinal cord injury rehabilitation, work conditioning or a plan on how to get integrated back into the community after your experience.

In addition to physical healing, it’s important not to neglect your mental health, as both the physical and mental are related, and poor physical health often has a negative impact on your mental state. An occupational therapist can help you with your mindset and improve your ability to become more independent by providing mental health services5.

What to expect on your first occupational therapy visit 

Expect to be greeted by a trained person-centred professional who is there to help you recover faster. Your visit will begin with a discussion about you and what you like to do, and then of your injuries or illness and the quality of life before it happened to determine how your function has been affected.

There will then be a detailed assessment of your ability to carry out everyday functions. Occupational therapists take a holistic approach and consider your physical, mental, cognitive and emotional health. They will also consider the environment, available technology and use of devices, social supports, and other means to help you.

Your occupational therapist will then work with you in collaboration to develop a plan that is right for you which will help you to reach your recovery targets and future goals step by step. Collaboration is the key word, as they are here to help you, and your input is the most important in your road to recovery. They will also write a detailed report for your health care and insurance providers, if needed.

The best thing about choosing Infinity Health is that these occupational assessments can be done from the comfort of your own home. This is especially beneficial if your mobility has been affected, but also ensures that your assessment is done in an environment in which you are comfortable, and one that you will spend a lot of your time in. If your preference is meeting them in a gym or virtually, that is an option too. The choice is yours.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you 

Occupational therapists are friendly professionals with a variety of health care knowledge and experience to direct you towards the right path of recovery and make your life easier. They can help to turn ongoing therapy from a dreaded chore into a more enjoyable process and give you the encouragement and reassurance that you may need. If you are unsure if it is right for you, get in touch. You don’t have to face the path of recovery alone, contact Infinity Health to book your appointment today and help get the support you need to get back on the move, and start enjoying life again.


1 OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research. Exploring Well-Being: Resilience, Stress, and Self-Care in Occupational Therapy Practitioners and Students. Evguenia S. Popova, Bridget J. Hahn, and Abigail Peters.

2 Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2019; 20: e27. Occupational therapy and primary care, Marije Bolt,1 Tiska Ikking,2 Rosa Baaijen,3 and Stephanie Saenger4

3 BMC Public Health. 2011; 11: 615. Occupational therapy and return to work: a systematic literature review, Huguette AM Désiron, Angelique de Rijk, Elke Van Hoof, and Peter Donceel.

4 The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2020, Vol. 74. Occupational Therapy in the Promotion of Health and Well-Being. Hocking, 2019; Meyer, 1922.

5 Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2016 Jun; 18(2): 145–154. Functional assessment in mental health: lessons from occupational therapy. Joan C. Rogers


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