What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) empowers and enables people of all ages to push through limitations in their daily lives—physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually—so they can do more and live better.

Occupational Therapists (OTs for short) are trained in both physical and mental health. They are able to offer a wide range of services to empower and enable clients to achieve maximum independence over a lifespan.

Who do OTs treat?

Occupational Therapists serve people with injury, illness, disability or psychological dysfunction. They work side by side, making a plan with the client, family or caregiver. Together they find the best path to meaning, balance and progress. Through evaluation and treatment, OTs improve their clients’ capacity to participate in meaningful daily activities.

How do OTs help?

Daily activities include most anything—think about the skills required for the “job of living.” (This is where the word “occupation” comes from in Occupational Therapy!) Whether it’s bathing, eating, grooming, dressing, cooking, driving, cleaning, working, leisure or learning, OTs help people function in their community or chosen environment. Keep in mind this is not a conclusive list; an OT can tailor treatment to meet anyone’s needs and interests.

We like to think of it this way: OTs empower and enable people of all ages to push through limitations in their daily lives—physically, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually—so they can do more and live better.

OTs focus on the activities that give their clients’ daily life meaning, and the ways they can achieve a new level of independence. If an OT can enable his or her clients to fulfill needs and purpose as they interact in their environment—looking after themselves, enjoying life, and contributing to the social and economic fabric of their community—then the partnership has truly succeeded.

Where do OT's work?

Practice Setting Graph
Area of Practice Graph
Client Age Range Graph
Employment Category and Status Graphs
OT Gender Graph

Annual Report 2013-2014

Is your OT registered?

Did you know you have access to about 2000 Occupational Therapists in Alberta? You can search by name in the Occupational Therapist Register.

Do you think an OT could make your life better, or the life of someone you know? Occupational Therapist services can be accessed directly, or services may be offered through medical, health, educational, and social systems. To find an Occupational Therapist in a private practice, please visit SAOT.

Want to be an OT?

Occupational Therapy blends science and humanism, problem solving and compassion. You might teach bathing techniques, educate senior drivers, or demonstrate the use of adaptive equipment. But to know you have empowered someone to live a better life is infinitely rewarding. Occupational Therapy impacts not only physical needs, but also mental, emotional and social needs. Imagine helping people reach a goal, gain a new level of independence, increase their self-esteem, or communicate when it was once a barrier. With the range of ways OTs can empower their clients, we believe Occupational Therapy to be one of the most satisfying careers of all. If you would like to be an OT, you must be university educated and complete a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical education (on-the-job training) as well as pass a national certification exam. To practice Occupational Therapy in Alberta, you must be registered with us, the College. To learn more about the process, visit New Applicants. To learn more about Occupational Therapy in Alberta, the Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists (SAOT) provides additional information and resource links.