Occupational therapy

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Historical picture: Work therapy in its early beginnings

As work therapy refers to the gradual familiarization of patients with mental disorders , physical or mental disabilities in the labor secular basic requirements. Essentially, the work is used here as a therapeutic agent.

Characteristics such as B. Self-confidence , taking on responsibility , resilience and concentration, adaptability and perseverance, getting used to time structures, teamwork and the understanding of work regulations are promoted and strengthened.

In individual or group therapy , the clients do simpler work, whereby the level of difficulty is controlled and gradually increased. In the so-called "discharge stage", the maximum individual performance or the average performance of a healthy person should be approximately reached. In occupational therapy, clients are on their way from patient to employee .

Work therapy should be resource-oriented. The client should make deficit-oriented ways of thinking into the background by removing their strengths. The behavioral therapy and systemic therapy contain elements that support a beneficial design work therapy.

Ideally, work trainers or occupational therapists should be involved in occupational therapy . You have a corresponding qualification through the training content. Work therapy in the penal system is an important focus. The mentally ill offenders work there as part of work therapy. With the therapeutic means of work, patients develop, consolidate and promote their instrumental abilities and skills and acquire socio-emotional skills. In this way, the competencies are "matured". In combination with other therapeutic interventions, it can be achieved that patients can lead an impunity-free life after discharge.


  • Hermann Simon : More active treatment of the sick in the insane asylum . W. de Gruyter & Co., Berlin / Leipzig 1929, first edition. Reprinted in Psychiatrie-Verlag Bonn 1986
  • Michael Brater: Integration through work
  • Aernout: Work therapy in occupational therapy

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