Anxiety and OT

I went to an occupational therapist for anxiety. I went twice a week for 8 weeks, then went down to once every two weeks. I don’t think many people associate OT and anxiety, but it works. I’m going to explain my experiences with occupational therapy.

The first thing I did was go through an assessment process. My OT read me a “quiz” that helped her get a better understanding of how I lived, my cognitive and motor skills, how I handle social situations, etc. She then read it over and wrote out her understanding of me.

From there, I had sessions of being in the sensory gym and using the equipment. In the gym there were many things to do. My favourite was the hammock, it gave me a break from all the anxiety producing activities. My OT and I would go through different scents that I liked, fidgets that helped me focus on something other than my anxiety, and use the equipment to help me relax. One of the most helpful things in the sensory gym was when my OT turned off the lights, put a star projector on, and let me relax and “turn off” from the world. These little breaks from everything really helped me with self regulation.

My OT and I would work through strategies and figure out what helped. Such as exercises, breathing, and distractions. These strategies were aimed at going out into social situations and how to handle anxiety popping up.

Overall, going to an OT for anxiety was a very good decision, and I wish more people thought go that as an option.

Thanks for listening!

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Getting Into The Business

Yesterday I met with an occupational therapist. In my 18 years of being around occupational therapists I have never met one that isn’t the nicest person in the room. She was extremely helpful. We talked about schooling and even volunteer opportunities for me. Here are three main points she told me on how to get into occupational therapy masters program:

  1. Get a bachelors in anything, but make sure it has the required classes for the OT program you want to apply for. I’m planning on psychology, and she said that many of her colleagues have a bachelors in psychology.
  2. The more experience you have, the more likely you will be excepted into an OT program. Specifically volunteering with an OT or with children.
  3. It takes a minimum of 6 years, 4 years for a bachelors and 2 years in the OT program. The OT I talked to took 2 years in-between to work with kids. This gave her more experience, like I said, the more experience the better.

The OT I talked to said that it’s harder to go into private practice right away, so it’s best to get a job within the health care system, i.e. a hospital. Private practice makes a lot more money, and thats what I want to do in the long run, but start within a system to gain experience and seniority. There is a huge need for paediatric private practice which is great for people like me who want to open a private practice eventually. The OT I spoke with told me she’s always wanted to work with kids, and I have also always wanted to too. Being in the field is a very rewarding job. From what I see, its the best job out there.

My First Attempt: Rainbow Bubbles

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My first attempt at sensory play was sort of a fail and win at the same time. I originally thought that I would just stir bubbles in cups until I made enough. That proved not to work and I could only fill a small baggy with the bubbles I managed to make. I instead used a sink hose to make a lot of bubbles in a tub, then added food colouring. This was a lot easier and made a lot more bubbles. It gave us all a break from math and other school work which was much appreciated.