This weeks OTalk will be hosted by Tori Wolfendale, MSc, BSc (Hons) Research Director for the VdT Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK) and Lead Occupational Therapist in the Secure Division at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. Tori’s role within the foundation involves supporting the engagement in research activities on the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA).
What is the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability?
The VdTMoCA is an Occupational Therapy practice model originating from South Africa. The model as presented by de Witt (2005, 2014), is founded upon the theory of creative ability developed by Vona du Toit (Occupational Therapist) in the 1960s and early 1970s. The term ‘creative’ does not refer to artistic flair but to one’s ability to bring into existence something that did not exist before – one’s ability to bring about change within oneself and in one’s world.
The model has a developmental frame of reference combined with existentialism, phenomenology and motivation theory. The central belief is that volition and motivation govern action and action is the manifestation or expression of motivation. Volition, motivation and action are inextricably linked, and therefore one can identify an individual’s motivation by observing the person’s action.
The model describes stages or levels of creative ability – that is, levels of volition, motivation and corresponding action (behaviours and skills – occupational performance). These levels are sequential and there can be progression and regression through the levels. Vona du Toit believed that human beings progress through developmental levels of behaviour and skill development and are motivated to develop these in a sequential sequence. That is, we are motivated to develop a variety of skills as environmental/social/relationship/occupational demands change and influence us throughout the lifespan. In the event of illness, trauma, injury or in response to changing life demands, we can regress to a lower level of ability. This is recognisable in clients that prior to developing a mental illness were ‘high functioning’ or living effective daily lives. However, with the onset of a psychotic or other illness, appear to be functioning at a lower level than previously. For people with dementia, a continuing regression through the levels is evident. Creative ability develops in relation to four occupational performance areas: social ability, personal management, work ability and use of free time.
What service user population can the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability be used with?
The model can be used with any diagnosis and severity of illness or trauma. The model is recovery and ability focused – therefore, it seeks to identify and develop existing ability rather than identify dysfunction or deficit. In the UK, the model is used in mental health and learning disabilities services, with a significant rise in forensic mental health and learning disabilities during the last four years (VdTMoCAFoundation UK, 2013, 2016).
How can the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability inform practice?
The model provides a means of performing an assessment to identify the level of creative ability and the phase of the level. In addition, the model uniquely provides a detailed guide to treatment/intervention for the selection and use of activity, the environment and the therapeutic use of self in order to provide the ‘just right challenge’ for growth through effort in activity participation. This guide brings together the core occupational therapy skills and enables therapists to use activity as a powerful therapeutic tool i.e. provide occupational therapy.
In the UK, the VdTMoCA is particularly valued for enabling Occupational Therapists and support workers to understand clients who are significantly limited in motivation and occupational performance and are difficult to engage and provide effective therapy for (VdTMoCA Foundation UK, 2013, 2016; Hosier et al. 2011). Subsequently, the use of the model’s intervention guide has improved client engagement in therapy (Harvey & Fuller 2009; VdTMoCA Foundation UK, 2013, 2016; Wilson & White, 2011). The model is also valued for improving Occupational Therapists’ and Occupational Therapy students’ confidence in their clinical reasoning (VdTMoCA Foundation UK, 2013, 2016; promoting Occupational Therapy professional language and identity (VdTMoCA Foundation UK, 2013, 2016); increasing MDT understanding of Occupational Therapy and its value to services, and improving therapists’ confidence and job satisfaction (Wilson & White 2011).
Question during the chat will include.
Q1) What is your experience of using the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability in practice? Please specify what area of practice you are currently working in. #OTalk #VdTMOCA
Q2) In your experience, what have been the barriers/challenges to implementing the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability in your practice #VdTMoCA? How have you overcome this? What strategies did you utilise? #OTalk.
Q3) How do you think the implementation of the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability has changed your practice? Think around assessment, developing treatment, evidencing effectiveness of 1:1/Group interventions, report writing, service user engagement, profile of the #OccupationalTherapy profession. #OTalk #VdTMOCA
Q4) What have been your particular highlights since implementing the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability into your practice? Please share your experiences on what has worked well, best practices! #OTalk #VdTMOCA
Q5) Has treatment been effective since you have implemented the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability? If so, how have you evidenced this? How have you shared with within your service user/service/clinical team? #OTalk #VdTMOCA
Q6) How useful is the #VdTMoCA when making decisions on clinical intervention? #OTalk #VdTMOCA
Q7) Next Steps: What are your future plans around the use of the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability? Think in terms of your service, research, quality improvement projects, training needs. We would love to hear from you, particularly around plans to contribute to the evidence base for the #VdTMOCA.
de Witt, P. (2005). Creative ability: a model for psychosocial occupational therapy IN R Crouch and V Alers (2005) Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry and Mental Health. 4th edition. London: Whurr Publishers Limited
de Witt, P. (2014). Creative ability: a model for individual and group therapy for clients with psychosocial dysfunction IN R Crouch, V Alers (2014). Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry and Mental Health. 5th edition. London: Wiley Publishers.
Harvey H, Fuller K. (2009). Changing practice through MoCA. OT News, Dec, p41.
Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation. (UK) (2013). Perspectives of the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: a survey of occupational therapists and occupational therapy support workers. Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK).
Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation. (UK) (VdTMoCAF (UK)) (2016). Gaining Momentum: The VdTMoCA Foundation (UK) Research Strategy 2016-2021. Northampton: Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK). Available at: http://www.vdtmocafuk.com/assets/images/documents/gaining_momentum/Gaining_Momentum_VdTMoCAF_Research_Strategy.pdf (accessed on 08/07/2019).
Wilson S, White B. (2011). The journey to service redesign. OT News, August, p36-37.