Who are Occupational Therapists and what do they do?

Occupational Therapists are Allied Health professionals who work with people of all ages ranging from children to adults who may have a physical, sensory or cognitive issue, or a combination of barriers they want to overcome and gain independence to do what they want in life. 

Occupational therapists can work with families and individuals to be more involved in the activities they enjoy, build new skills or achieve a specific task/s that’s important to them. This can be anything from improving fine motor skills (doing up buttons and laces), social and life skills (cooking meals and participating in group activities), or equipment requirements and home modifications. 

When combined with physiotherapy and speech pathology, occupational therapists can provide a holistic approach to support multiple goals and areas dependent on the individual’s requirements. Each plan is completely tailored to help provide the best outcomes for individuals to chase the life they want. 

Occupational therapists can also assist in transitioning children to life at school and set goals around important self-care. At CPL, our occupational therapists promote participation, skill acquisition and independence in a range of activities that are practical and meaningful to each person’s situation and life. 

Occupational therapists are involved in many different areas, such as: 

  • Disability sector 
  • Physical rehabilitation 
  • Aged care  
  • Home modification and equipment prescription 
  • Mental health (to name a few).  


Occupational therapists can help with things like: 

  • Daily living occupations e.g., showering, eating, dressing, grooming 
  • Domestic occupations e.g., meal preparation, household tasks, shopping 
  • Productive occupations e.g., work, play 
  • Community access e.g., using public transport 
  • Social participation e.g., community programs, school, local sporting groups 


Occupational therapy for children and teenagers can include: 

  • Help to develop self-care, play, and social and life skills 
  • Support to determine the best body positioning throughout the day to enhance play and eating, and assist with bedtime routines 
  • Prescription of assistive technology 
  • Home modifications such as the installation of ramps, rails, ceiling hoists, bathrooms and toilets to make life at home more comfortable and safer 


Occupational therapy for adults can include: 

  • Help to develop life skills and self-care skills 
  • Home modifications such as the installation of ramps, rails, ceiling hoists, bathroom and toilets to make life at home more comfortable and safer 
  • Recommendations for housing suitability 
  • Support during mealtimes through body positioning, learning new skills and recommendations of the correct cutlery and other equipment needed 

Occupational Therapists work together with an individual and their family, relevant stakeholders (e.g., schools, workplaces), and a multidisciplinary team to provide the best possible therapeutic outcomes. 

They want to help people achieve their greatest potential, and most of all occupational therapists thrive to understand a person’s unique challenges, set goals, and create interventions aimed at overcoming barriers to engagement. 



To find out more about occupational therapy and to discuss how occupational therapy can help you or someone you know achieve their goals, contact CPL today!

CPL logo
Published by the CPL Team
Current Grey
An image of a man sitting in a wheelchair with a woman kneeling beside him. They are in front of a garden of colourful plants and flowers and are smiling.