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Occupational Therapy Chat:
on recovery, wellbeing, facilitation and navigation

Extracts from a conversation with a twitter group of occupational therapists.

@OTalk_Occhat How are you going to be able to do a 48hr straight “performance”? What impact will it have on you?

@RGPLizCrow (ask me afterwards hee hee!) I have allowed a month’s recovery. Hoping its enough….

@OTTalk_Occhat I think that in itself speaks to the truth of the project 😉 Will you document this, too?

@RGPLizCrow Hmm. Wondering how I would do that? Would love to hear ideas. Aftermath is certainly part of the project…

@Helen_otuk But in doing that would you risk your recovery? Maybe afterwards would be better?

@RGPLizCrow ‪I think it will unless there’s a way to set something recording then for me to come ‘back’ to it later. It’s an interesting question, but I’m struggling to know how to record without requiring energy when so much of the process is internal and observable only by me… I’m very open to ideas.

@Symbolic_Life What recovery strategies will you utilise?

@RGPLizCrow More Bed! And the more I can disengage even from my own mind the quicker the recovery.

@OTalk_Occhat  We OTs find it quite challenging when people need bed rest (or is it just me?)

@Symbolic_Life Yeah, I do also. I always think of engaging as doing.. This challenges my novice perspective!

@RGPLizCrow It does go against so much advice about getting people moving quickly, but in time we become best at knowing what we need.

@OTalk_Occhat Do you work on sensory sensitivities in bed? Like, keeping a low light, no noise etc?

@RGPLizCrow It would help with specifics like brain processing strategies, but you need to trust me to know my capacity.

@symbolic_life Indeed.. Time is key! It’s placing engagement in the right time and environment.

@AnnabelFenn Agreed. There is value in meditation, reflection and rest. I often need reminding .

@OTalk_Occhat Oh, so much!!

@symbolic_life I agree.. I myself use reflection and meditation. It’s sometimes in the mix I need reminding.

@RGPLizCrow I use both, plus writing. They’re not available to me at the extremes of illness, but are waiting for me as I recover. My daughter and my diary are what bring me back to myself.

@OTTalk_Occhat It is hard to step back, but our client-centredness means we are well placed to do so!

@OTalk_Occhat Agreed. It’s always driven from the client perspective.

@OTalk_Occhat Yes! OTs are at their best when they take time to listen to what the patient says about limits!

@BillWongOT And we also can listen to what things are meaningful to them.

@Helen_otuk Hear  hear… it should be a collaborative approach, you are expert about you.

@OTalk_Occhat We need to consider how much recovery is necessary after our intervention. #beddingout helps us see.

@Nnikki_Duffy What I found fascinating was your opinion on pacing your life. Great insight for OTs.

@symbolic_life Gaining perspectives for OTs.

@RGPLizCrow > Both parties bring a seperate set of skills. It’s how the disabled person accesses the OT skills for a facilitation.

@Symbolic_Life What are you hoping to achieve from your performance? What are your aims?

@RGPLizCrow Visibility for a hidden community, but also questioning how we achieve a benefits system which incorporates real lives.

@symbolic_life This sounds great! Something the OT community can learn from hugely! Your part of the way! Achieving already!

@BillWongOT And perhaps it can be a wonderful WFOT [World Fedarationo f Occupational Therapists] Conference material!

@OTalk_Occhat How does #beddingout change the narrative of disability?

@AnnabelFenn For me it challenges dichotomous thinking, of neatly categorising people into systems, labels, diagnoses.

@AnnabelFenn Yet having access to services being dependent on these.. a strange symbiotic relationship!

OTalk_Occhat Yes, and this is what #beddingout  seeks to start conversations about: this disparity, this tension… Hmmm…

@AnnabelFenn Also the question of OT assessments: standardised assessment with cut-offs, standardised scores . . .

@OTalk_Occhat Yes, how does this very personal and fluid set of circumstances fit into our formalised standardised world?

@Nnikki_Duffy #beddingout challenges our perception of what we think wellbeing ‘should’ look like.

@OTalk_Occhat Yes! Agree so much!

@OTalk_Occhat Yes, what is “wellness” or “recovery” for people with disabling conditions or chronic sickness?

@BillWongOT Very good question. I think wellness has to do with good Quality of Life despite being bedbound.

@OTalk_Occhat Yes: what would “good Quality of Life” look like for someone who is #beddingout, I wonder?

@symbolic_life It’s not for us to decide; it’s in the context of the client’s wishes and goals.

@Nnikki_Duffy Really happy to read this! Wellbeing does not equate to health but something far more profound. The world has a lot it can learn from disabled people’s hard won experiences.

@RGPLizCrow Finding a fit between the world and me equates to the best wellbeing and that can shift over time and circumstance.

@BillWongOT I think each client’s definition is different, depending on their wishes, goals, & culture.

@RGPLizCrow Good health makes it easier but is not a pre-condition – I think not many realise that!

@BillWongOT Something I didn’t think of before, but it makes sense.

@OTalk_Occhat Thank you, this is such a wonderful insight: and something we don’t necessarily get taught!

@Nnickki_duffy I’m positive more people will recognise this after seeing #beddingout

@Nnickki_duffy 🙂 it’s definitely got legs to send ripples out that can change perspective and practice.

@OTalk_Occhat ‪Bureaucratic systems and cultures can make these ideals tough to fulfill, how do you find strength to hold to them ..?

@Helen_otuk Oh they do! But that is often what keeps me going : finding ways to demonstrate and advocate for those I work with. Thank you…

@winnielove46 By remembering it’s not just personal?

@Helen_otuk It is people like you who help to form my thoughts and make me stronger! I know what I think, but you provide me with evidence.

@OTalk_Occhat I love the thought about wellbeing equating to health. For me, that’s a big take-away from tonight’s #occhat

@BillWongOT Something I didn’t think of before, but it makes sense.

@Symbolic_Life A great opportunity to hear a client point of view! Many thanks for staying strong and voicing the community’s needs!

@Helen_otuk  #beddingout reinforces my belief that the individual is the expert about themselves. Understanding and collaboration are key.

@BillWongOT Very important. It’s something that should have a place in OT conference topics.

@OTalk_Occhat Yes, tensions between our role in the ‘system’ and our values. We have to navigate carefully towards best practice.

@BillWongOT My take home point is: OT’s have to know more about the occupations and occupational struggles of bedbound people.

@OTalk_Occhat We’ve really been challenged by this work and it’s going to be really interesting to follow the project.

@Symbolic_Life A Cracking @OTalk_Occhat tonight prompting more reflection on my approach… All building on my therapeutic use of self.

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To cite this page: Roaring Girl Productions (2012) Occupational Therapy Chat: on recovery, wellbeing, facilitation and navigation, Roaring Girl Productions [online] [Available at:] [Accessed 20/02/2018]