What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a rehabilitation profession that focuses on activity. The word “occupation” refers to anything that people do to occupy time. Occupational Therapists (OTs) have a deep understanding of the relationship between health and meaningful activity. Engaging in meaningful activity helps promote healing and wellness, and an individual’s level of wellness can impact their ability to engage in meaningful activity. In short, OTs help people going through life challenges get back to doing the things they want and need to do.

Mental health issues such as eating disorders, addiction, depression, or anxiety can make it difficult to do things. They can make things like eating a meal, getting out of the house, or even just getting out of bed extremely difficult. They can get in the way of activities like work, social gatherings, and valued hobbies and pastimes. OTs can help people manage their destructive thought patterns, feelings, and behaviours so that they are able to work on getting involved in the things in life that are important to them. Concurrently, OTs promote the engagement in meaningful activity as a means of overcoming mental health challenges.

OT can incorporate treatment paradigms such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Behavioural Activation (BA), and more, depending on what clients are interested in trying. OTs work with clients to “meet them where they’re at” in terms of recovery so that they can set and work on small, manageable goals.

If you’re interested in learning about OT and how it can help you or someone you care about, please email Michelle at art@edoyr.com.

Read an article Michelle wrote for Moods Magazine about Occupational Therapy.

Individual Support

Individual OT services are available on a sliding fee-for-service scale for those who have goals related to mental health recovery and meaningful activity. Goals related to meaningful activity may include but are not limited to:

  • Addressing problem behaviours and/or activities through the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and/or Behavioural Activation (BA) - based approaches
  • Getting back to meaningful activities such as work, volunteering, or socializing after going through a mental health challenge
  • Maintaining wellness and recovery-related behaviours and activities post-treatment
  • Exploring the use of meaningful activity as a way of finding what it means to live a meaningful life, through an Existential/Logotherapeutic appro ach.

Individual OT services can include a predetermined number of sessions (depending on where individuals are in their recovery), each of which will address a certain aspect of the goal-setting process:

  • Assessment;
  • Setting a goal;
  • Implementing the goal;
  • Troubleshooting; and
  • Strategies for maintenance.

A brief phone interview will be required before starting services to discuss treatment options and fee scale. Please contact Michelle at art@edoyr.com for more information.

Group OT Programs

Scrapbooking for Positive Expression and Reflection with Michelle Scott, OT Reg (Ont)


DATE & TIME: TBA. Please inquire.

LOCATION: 15213 Yonge Street, Suite 15 (on the second floor, accessed by the staircase at the front of the building), Aurora ON L4G 1L8

This group will empower participants to use scrapbooking as a way of exploring positive memories, unique qualities and experiences, and past and present roles and activities. This group will take place in a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which participants can feel free to explore scrapbooking as a medium of expression and reflection, share their personal stories, and learn from the stories of others.

This group will be facilitated by Michelle Scott, OT Reg. (Ont). For more information about Occupational Therapy visit this link. Research shows that scrapbooking is helpful as both a process and a product: The act of creating a scrapbook can itself be therapeutic, and scrapbooks themselves can be used as helpful recovery tools. As this is a pro-recovery group, participants will be encouraged to search for photographs and other personal memorabilia that promote positive and fruitful reflection and expression. However, for many different reasons, sometimes exploring the past can be difficult for some people. This is why in group we will also discuss and develop tools and strategies for handling difficult feelings or thoughts that may arise during this process.

At the beginning of this group, participants will brainstorm sections to include in their scrapbooks. This can include everything from valued roles (e.g. parent, student, partner), to memorable events (e.g. milestones, concerts, holidays, trips), to loved ones (eg. family, friends, pets), to valued occupations and hobbies (e.g. photography, sports, volunteering, music). In between groups, participants will be encouraged to locate photos and personal memorabilia that promote positive reflection - participants can also take new photos, if they’d like. Photos can be emailed before each group and printed by the facilitator. Each group, we will spend some time discussing what this process was like, and we will spend most of our time actually working on our scrapbooks.

The aim is to have lots of fun in this group! Scrapbooking supplies will be provided and creativity and self-expression will be encouraged. Artistic ability is not required - if you can wield a glue stick and scissors, you are more than qualified!

Registration for this group will involve taking part in a short phone interview prior to the group beginning in order to identify goals and challenges.

Registration is required. This group is FREE with a referral from Riverwalk Wellness Centres or Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR).  All inquiries are welcome - please email art@edoyr.com to inquire about registration.  A support person (e.g. friend, support worker) may register but please be aware spaces are limited. This is a food-free environment although beverages are permitted.