From a Dream to Reality
Occupational Therapy has provided me with a holistic framework that has helped shape and define my approach to health and wellbeing. Along the way it equipped me with a broad and unique skill set, which I have tailored through working with people experiencing diverse challenges living, being and doing what what is important to them. Occupational Therapy showed me that what occupies our time, the things that we do during our day (our 'daily occupations'), has a profound impact on promoting heath & wellbeing, or disease and illness, in our lives.
From my beginnings in a generalist community Occupational Therapist role, I got a taste of everything, from paediatrics, hand therapy, home modifications & equipment prescription, to aged care and disability. This role helped me to gain an understanding of the challenges people face every day, to make decisions to do what will help them to move towards health, or away from it. I came to notice this depended a lot on a persons experience of personal safety, financial independence, access to education, social supports and their sense of control in their lives.
I decided to follow my passion working with children & families to work for an Autism specific organisation, which encouraged my interest in the development & expression of the mind and emotions. I developed specific skills in supporting children with Autism and their families, and a deep understanding of the importance of the family unit & parental relationships in promoting successful therapeutic outcomes for the child, and wellbeing for parents and siblings.
This lead to a return to the public sector where I worked in mental health, another area of passion. I further developed my holistic approach to delivering Occupational Therapy services, to include the role of thoughts, behaviours and emotions, addiction, trauma and locus of control on occupational performance and wellbeing. Following this, I spent time working in sub-acute rehabilitation, with people with physical health and neurological conditions, and then with older adults. Here I was able to exercise my knowledge & understanding of the 3 fold quality of health: physical, emotional and mental, and observe how this approach worked to facilitate sustainable health and wellbeing outcomes for my clients. These experiences and roles have provided me with the skills, knowledge and motivation needed to step out into my own practice and create Circle of Wellbeing.
Growing up in a small town in the Great Southern, I have an understanding of the difficulties around accessing health services in rural areas. This has been my motivation for creating a mobile service, to ensure it is accessible to people outside regional hubs.
My experiences working across the field of Occupational Therapy for the past 5 years, have given me an understanding of the essence of health and wellbeing. Health includes understanding & awareness of ones physical, emotional and mental states, and how they function together. Wellbeing then encompasses the impact of health on the ability to participate in activities and roles, that bring meaning and purpose to each persons unique life, which in turn works to promote good health.
It is a dream to have the opportunity to share my approach to health and wellbeing with people experiencing the challenges that illness, disease, and disability can provide throughout life. To work alongside people on their journey to health & wellbeing, within a holistic framework, is a daily gift and a challenge that I cherish. This is an occupation that brings a significant sense of meaning to my life, and I hope to do this work for many years to come.
It has taken hard work, persistence, and ongoing growth to create this opportunity for my dream to become a reality, and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported and assisted me along the way.