Making Your Own Wellbeing #OTalk 28th February 2017

This Tuesdays #OTalk will focus on how making something can have a positive impact on your wellbeing and that of your service users. I was recently doing some coaching with a friend and this process encouraged me to stop putting it off, stop finding reasons not to do it and find more life balance and resume crafting with a view to improving my own wellbeing. I have started #ThisMonthsMake with the view to making one thing each month and if you would like to join please do.

When planning this talk I searched the definition of “Making” and found more than just the process of producing something. There were words like: ingredients, potential, invention, forging and so on. I particularly like the idea of possessing the right ingredients to forge one’s own well being. What I like about making things is the process of learning, getting lost in flow and having something tangible as an end result.

I haven’t hosted a chat in a while so I may be a little rusty! I’m also noting that its pancake day, so if you’re making pancakes please reflect on how this process made you feel,

Some interesting pre reading-


  1. Do you engage in “making” or creative occupations? If yes what do you do? If no, why?
  2. How does making something make you feel?
  3. What are the barriers and enablers to making things?
  4. What are some of the skills “ingredients” needed to forge our own wellbeing? How can we build this in OT?
  5. Are you able to use “making” in your practice as an OT? How? Why? Why not?
  6. Do you think you could try to make something every month and reflect on whether this improves your wellbeing?
  7. How do you think we could measure improvement?


Post chat

Online transcript

The Numbers
1,040,826 Impressions
456 Tweets
46 Participants
365 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 3rd May 2016. Social Media- HCPC Guidance

The HCPC are running a workshop for you to have a say in their social media Guidance. on the 1oth May 2016 you can sign up to participate here

The #OTalk community is a shiny example of the potential that using social media can hold – so we’d like you to share what you think the HCPC guidance should cover.

Q1) Should there be fixed do’s and don’ts?  if so what should they be?

Q2) How would/does HCPC guidance influence the use of social media?

Q3) Would there be any differences in how different professions use social media?

Q4) Would overly restrictive rules hinder professional use of social media? if so, how?

Q5) What topics do you feel should be included?


Following the chat I will send a copy of the transcript to the HCPC.

Post chat updates:

Online Transcript


PDF of Transcript: #OTalk 3 May 2016


The Numbers

1,125,679 Impressions
510 Tweets
61 Participants

#OTalk Participants


TV or Not Tv?… That is the question. Exploring TV Watching as an Occupation.

Tonight’s Chat will be hosted by @GillyGorry and we’ll be exploring TV watching as an occupation.

Questions –

  • Is watching TV an ‘occupation’ for you? If yes why, if no why?
  • What are the potential positives for watching TV?
  • What are the potential negatives for watching TV?
  • Could/have you use TV as an Intervention?

This topic was suggested by @otonthetracks and it got me thing about whether I considered TV watching as and occupation and what the possible positives and negatives are for me. Here’s some of my thoughts…


  • Learning – I often keep up to date on current events or watch documentaries or cooking programs, which I learn from and can often result in the baking of a cake, or further research.
  • Family time – ‘MOVIE NIGHTS’ are a big thing in our house, and it’s about much more than what we watch.
  • Developing communication skills, raising awareness or gaining understanding about others and their situations. As a child my Dad regularly put one flew over the cookoos nest on for me and my sisters (It was and still is one of my all time favourite films, which I watched again at the weekend) My Dad suffers with a mental illness and I believe this was his way of introducing us to this and having a better understanding of his world. I would highly recommend watching this to OTs, when I watched it on Saturday I thought  ‘McMurphy would have made a great OT.’.
  • It provides shared experiences that I can talk to others about.
  • It can help with establishing routine.
  • It can take us through a whole range of emotions.


  • It can be a procrastinators worst enemy
  • It can be time consuming
  • Not an active occupation ( I’m not saying I blame TV watching for my expanding waist line… but it doesn’t help)
  • It can be a lonely occupation
  • It can be a mindless activity (not sure that’s always bad)
  • It can cost a lot of money
  • It can be a barrier to communication and relationships
  • Certain programs/topics can be upsetting
  • It can affect sleep.

Personally I try to keep a good balance, and mostly feel the positive benefits of watching TV, but I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Transition from Student to Clinician 2015 : hosted by @GillyGorry

Yes it’s that time of year again, when we have an influx of new OTs into our wonderful profession and when those who graduated last year suddenly realised they’ve been living the dream, and have been OTs for a year. I’ve been an OT for 3 years now and was a student when I first started with #OTalk. My personal transition has been both terrifying and enjoyable and I think  the transition to confident practitioner doesn’t really have a time limit and everyone’s experience is different. Tonight’s chat is about sharing experiences, offering advice and support and a chance for those entering the profession to ask some questions.

I’ve wrote a list of questions, but please feel free to throw your own out there, I’m sure our fabulous community will be happy to help.

Q) What was your biggest worry when starting out, and how did you over come it?

Q) if you’re a new Grad what are you excited, worried or nervous about? do you feel ready?

Q) OTs,was ‘the job’ what you thought it would be?

Q) Do you work in the area you expected to?

Q) What is your top piece of advice for a new grad?

Q) Did you have enough support if your first year? if not, why?

Q) With hindsight, what would you have done differently during your transition?

Chat soon,


#OTalk E-Portfolios Revisted: How are you recording your CPD?

Tonight we’ll be revisiting E-Portfolios (as suggested by the community) Here’s the link back to last years blog and chat transcript

With the possibility of HCPC audit looming, are you ready with your CPD? We would like everyone to share how they’re recording CPD and their OT experience.

Did you start and e-portfolio? Have you kept it up? What are your like and dislikes?  Do you feel audit ready? What tools do you use?

Tweet ya later


The Occupation Debate – Means vs Ends? or is Occupation Focused, Based and Centered practice enough to claim we are providing true occupational therapy?.

OTalk 23-062015 hosted by @GillyGorry

As OTs we all know that the profession of occupational therapy is diverse and OTs practice in many different settings: traditional/ non traditional, Generic and role emerging areas of practice, but sometimes there doesn’t seem to be agreement between what is and isn’t practicing occupational therapy, so tonight we’ll debate it.

Firstly I thought it useful to Define the terms:

Occupation as Ends – the outcome of intervention or goal is the ability to perform or engage in occupation, but does not necessarily mean the use of occupation was used directly as an intervention. (Gray, J.1998).

Occupation as Means – using the engagement and performance of occupations as intervention. (Gray, J. 1998).

Occupation Centered –  to put occupation at the centre and view with an occupational lens ( Fisher, A.G, 2013).

Occupation Based – the foundation or base, is fundamental to assessment and intervention and for OTs this relates to Occupation. (Fisher, A.G. 2013).

Occupation Focused – to bring something into focus and concentrate on one aspect of occupation. (Fisher, A.G. 2013).

before we chat I would like you all to take a little pre chat poll

Q1. how would you describe ‘true’ or ‘pure’ occupational therapy

Q2. Should OTs been practicing occupation as means only when providing interventions?

Q3. What would an occupation as means only OT profession look like?

Q4. Could all types of service user benefit from a means only profession? or would some miss out?

Q5. If practicing occupation as means only, would we still be holistic professionals?

Q6. Should OTs be using occupation as ends if it is, Occ focused, based and centred?

Q7. Does Generic working fit with being Occ focused, based and centred?

Q8 Does the setting dictate means or ends? does it dictate Occ focus?

Q9. How do you practice? do you see your practice as true occupational therapy?

After the chat could you please take the post chat poll

My personal opinion on this subject,  is that occupation focused, based and centered practice creates an environment where occupation can happen, whether that be by means or ends and that actually sometimes my ‘ends’ focus, might lead to another OT being able to be ‘means’ focused intervention. This view comes from working in a broad range of settings with people with Physical and Mental health issues.  for many of the people I work with, barriers such as their environment, or a severe physical disability,  would prevent them from participation in occupation as means therapies initially. However, occupation as means is often my ends, but I always keep the occupational goals of the individual at the heart of my practice. I am interested in hearing your thoughts, and views on this topic and I know from experience it usually generates a good debate. Please feel free to add your comments to the blog as well as tweeting on the night.

Gray,J. (1998). Putting occupation into practice: Occupation as ends, occupation as means. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52(5)3, 354-364.

Fisher, A.G. (2013) Occupation – Centred, Occupation – based, Occupation – focused: Same, same or different? The Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 20: 162-173.

Supervision #OTalk 30th September 2014

Guest hosted by @ForensicDetail and supported by @GillyGorry



Supervision is demanded by COT and the HCPC; a professional and ethical requirement to ensure standards are being met. The supportive aspect is less commonly cited in official documents, but emerges in the literature as the most vital from the perspective of clinicians. It provides reassurance when feeling underappreciated in physical settings (Robertson and Finlay 2009), and provides much needed emotional space to reflect in mental health settings (Edwards and Burnard 2003).

Following the experience of feeling dissatisfied by the supervision, I undertook my own learning about types and models of supervision. This knowledge shapes supervision I request, and also the supervision I deliver. Aiming to provide supervision of good quality and which meets the needs and expectations of the supervisee is a dynamic challenge but awareness of different models and approaches to supervision gives flexibility to adapt to the supervisee without feeling bound by one particular model.

Defining supervision

There are several different, contradictory and confusing definitions for supervision of health care professionals, further complicated by the lack of clarity about whether managerial and professional supervision should be separate entities, and whether clinical and professional supervision are the same.

In addition, different professions tend to develop their own way of conducting supervision based on their therapeutic approach, and different specialties within Occupational Therapy, in my experience, have equally divergent approaches.


On reviewing available literature, there is a range of models devised to guide the supervisory focus. These also stem from different professional spheres but provide a useful means of conceptualising and guiding supervision. These include developmental models, functional models, systemic models, process models and ‘key issues’ models.

Using a model has advantages, though each specific approach has its own pros and cons

Challenges in supervision

Within the literature, staff report supervision is a poor use of time, it does not meet their needs, or they expect something other than what is provided (e.g. Sweeney et al 2001, Morley 2008). I frequently come across the dichotomy of receiving both managerial supervision and clinical/professional supervision from the same person. This can be problematic when it limits the supervisee’s capacity for being open for fear of managerial consequences, being viewed as incompetent or other related fears. However, the small pool of supervisors available in a workplace or nearby can make this an inevitable position.

Similarly, supervisors report feeling ill-equipped to provide supervision, having only personal experience to guide their practice – that may not have been a positive of beneficial experience. My knowledge stems from being a supervisee and what I find helpful. My clinical experience has made me practiced in formulating the difficulties a supervisee may encounter and informs the approach I take supporting development. That said, not every supervisee values and responds to the same approach, requiring a great degree of adaptation when faced with supervisees with very different supervisory needs.

Reflection points

So for #otalk have a think about your own experiences as both supervisee and supervisor… the following may be a good place to start…

What is the point of supervision?
What do you consider ‘good’ and ‘bad’ supervision and why?
What approach to supervision do you take and why?
How can you get the most out of supervision?

References / Biblography


DREYFUS, H.,L. and DREYFUS, S.,E., 1986. Mind over Machine: the power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the era of the computer. Free Press
EDWARDS, D., and BURNARD, P., 2003. A Systematic Review of the Effects of Stress and Coping Strategies used by Occupational Therapists Working in Mental Health Settings. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(8), pp. 345-355.
GOLDHAMMER et al, 1993.

HOLLOWAY, E., 1997. Structures for the analysis of teaching and supervision. In: Watkins C.,E., 1997. Handbook of Psychotherapy Supervision. John Wiley and sons Ltd.


MORLEY, M., RUGG, S. and DREW, J., 2007. Before Preceptorship: New Occupational Therapists’ Expectations of Practice and Experience of Supervision. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(6), pp. 243-253.

PROCTOR, B. 1994. Supervision – competence, confidence, accountability. British Journal of guidance and counselling, 22(3)

ROBERTSON, C. and FINLAY, L., 2007. Making a Difference, Teamwork and Coping: the Meaning of Practice in Acute Physical Settings. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(2), pp. 73-80.

STOLTENBERG, C.,D. and MCNEILL, B.,W. 1997. Supervision from a developmental perspective: Research and Practice. In Watkins C.,E. 1997. Handbook of Psychotherapy Supervision. John Wiley and sons Ltd.

STOLTENBERG, C.,D. and DELWORTH, M. 1987. Supervising Counsellors and Therapists, San Fransisco: Jossy -Bass

SWEENEY, G., WEBLEY, P. and TREACHER, A., 2001. Supervision in Occupational Therapy. Part 3: Accommodating the Supervisor and the Supervisee. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(9), pp. 426-431.