Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Dr. Melissa Jean
Dr Andrew Olendzki
Occupational therapists (OTs) working in school settings must contend with student dysregulation, student skill deficits, staffing shortages, and increased workloads. The aftermath of COVID-19 has also played a role in exacerbating these issues. Mindfulness, with its focus on the present moment in a compassionate and non-judgmental way, has shown promising results in the area of occupational therapy. Though the research is encouraging, there are many gaps and unexplored areas, especially regarding school-based therapy. This paper first explores the current research, including current uses of mindfulness in occupational therapy and gaps related to mindfulness and occupational therapy. One particular model of note is mindful occupation, where mindfulness is integrated with activities of daily living. The gaps in research include job burnout, ethical decision-making, and therapeutic use of self. It then examines interactive reasoning, a process OTs use to help engage with their clients to build rapport and improve therapeutic outcomes. Next, it discusses the therapeutic use of self and the Intentional Relationship Model developed by Taylor (2020). Finally, it reflects on the use of mindfulness approaches for school-based OT, including aspects of the window of tolerance created by Siegel (2007) and orthogonal reality, a concept developed by Kabat-Zinn (2006).
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Rymarczyk, Elizabeth, "Using Mindfulness to Enhance Interactive Reasoning in Elementary School Occupational Therapists" (2023). Mindfulness Studies Theses. 79.