VCU Bulletins

Department of Occupational Therapy


The philosophy of the Department of Occupational Therapy embraces the philosophical base of occupational therapy stated by the American Occupational Therapy Association (1979):

Man is an active being whose development is influenced by the use of purposeful activity. Human beings are able to influence their physical and mental health and their social and physical environment through purposeful activity. Human life is a process of continuous adaptation. Adaptation is a change in function that promotes survival and self-actualization. Biological, psychological and environmental factors may interrupt the adaptation process at any time throughout the life cycle, causing dysfunction. Purposeful activity facilitates the adaptive process. Purposeful activity (occupation), including its interpersonal and environmental components, may be used to prevent and mediate dysfunction and to elicit maximum function. Activity as used by occupational therapists includes both an intrinsic and a therapeutic purpose. (AOTA. [1979]. The philosophical base of occupational therapy. AJOT, 33, 785.)


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Last update: 7/26/2005

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