Therapeutic Use of Self in Occupational Therapy: Applying the Intentional Relationship Model

2016-10-19T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Su Ren Wong
There has been a limited number of empirical studies that examine the importance of therapeutic use of self and the therapeutic relationship within the occupational therapy profession. Based on the Intentional Relationship Model (Taylor, 2008), the overall purpose of this study is to quantitatively describe therapist and client perceptions of therapeutic communication, the therapeutic relationship and participation during occupational therapy. To accomplish the purpose, three sub-studies were conducted using descriptive and correlational analyses. The first and second sub-study quantitatively describes the therapeutic modes (therapeutic communication styles) from the perspective of therapist and client populations respectively. As significance was not tested in both studies, no definitive conclusions could be drawn. In the third sub-study, the association between therapist and client perceptions of therapeutic mode use, therapeutic relationship and client participation were examined between matched therapist-client dyads. Gaps were found between therapists’ and clients’ perceptions of mode use and the therapeutic relationship, which may indicate the need for therapists to develop more self-awareness and self-discipline in their interpersonal approach. There was a moderate association between therapists’ perceptions of their empathizing mode use and the affective bond aspect of the therapeutic relationship. When examining clients’ perception, moderate to strong positive associations were found 1) between all modes and the task aspects of the therapeutic relationship, and 2) between three modes and the bond aspect of the therapeutic relationship. Moderate to strong positive associations were found between therapists’ perception of the goal and task aspect of the therapeutic relationship and client’s participation during therapy. Further research is recommended with a larger sample size for greater generalizability of results and to further examine reliability and validity of the CAM questionnaires in an Asian context.