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Occupation, Interaction and Performance essay

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An important part of interviewing a client in occupational therapy is the interaction and performance skills that the therapist uses. In this essay the skills of an occupational therapist, seen in a video, will be evaluated in terms of these skills. Some of the skills looked at will be the facilitation skills that the occupational therapist uses, such as her use of active listening and the way the therapist uses warmth and empathy to build up a rapport with the client. Other areas looked at will be the therapists use of non-verbal communication, for example her body language and gestures. Finally the therapists use of communication models will be discussed, in particular the 'human needs model' and the 'values' model. Throughout the interview, the therapist uses her active listening skills to great effect, active listening is described as 'a person's willingness and ability to hear and understand' Hoppe (2006 p31), and the therapist uses this very well. At various times the therapist uses paralinguistic skills to show her agreement to what the client is saying by giving verbal responses such as 'uh huh'. ...read more.


An important part of a therapists interaction skills is the non verbal communication used. One aspect of this is the body language that the therapist displays. The therapist sits at a 90? angle to the client so that they can make eye contact throughout the interview, without seeming too threatening. The therapist also uses very open body language during the interview, for example she keeps her arms open rather than crossing them, which would imply a more closed attitude. The therapist also does not cross her legs away from the client, which would again convey a very closed attitude. Another aspect of non verbal communication that the therapist uses to a certain degree is her use of gesture. According to Knapp and Hall (1997 p251) a gesture is known as 'movements of the body(or some part of it) used to communicate an idea, intention or feeling' . The therapist such as nodding, in order that the client may see that what she is saying can be understood. ...read more.


In a journal article by Davys, Pope and Taylor (2006) we are told that 'Part of being a professional is to consider the impact that your self-presentation will have on the service user' therefore the therapist dressed in a conservative manner, as the client is also dressed in quite a conservative and this may be what she expects of a professional. The second model that the therapist takes into account is the 'Human needs model' by Maslow (1970) , in particular the bottom section which relates to physiological needs. This is shown by the type of questions that the therapist asks for example relating to cooking and personal care. These are basic needs that all people have in everyday life and the therapist is mindful that the client may need some extra help with these. In conclusion, the therapist uses a wide variety of interpersonal skills throughout her interview to effectively learn about the client and her needs. The therapist uses a variety of different methods to do this, in particular her active listening skills and communication skills in general. All of these combined allowed the therapist to carry out a successful and useful interview. ...read more.

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