Occupational therapy today


A way to more independence

Occupational therapy is based on medical and social science principles and is a remedy to be prescribed by a doctor. It is used in people of all ages with motor-functional, sensorimotor-perceptive, neuropsychological and/or psychosocial disorders.

The aim of occupational therapy is to help people to regain an ability to act in everyday life that has been lost or not yet existed due to illness, injury or disability. To be able to act in everyday life means that a person can satisfactorily fulfil the tasks that he or she sets for himself or herself and those that are set for him or her by his or her life or society. An efficient ability to act requires that physical, mental and psychological functions are largely intact and that the human being can enter into a meaningful interaction with the environment.

Occupational therapy is not about the mechanical restoration of physical, mental or psychological functions, but about the fact that the human being can once again take on the various roles and the associated tasks in his or her life in the best possible way. The goal is to achieve the greatest possible independence and independence in everyday and/or professional life.

For this reason, the focus is not on individual symptoms of the disease but on the restriction of the ability to act. It is interesting to know what people can no longer do due to their illness or injury and how they can be helped. Occupational therapy" is based on the idea or concept that patients and disabled people can develop, maintain, regain or expand their skills required for a meaningful life through everyday or action-oriented activities and processes.

The relationship to the environment is of crucial importance. For occupational therapists, adaptation to the environment plays a role in two respects. On the one hand, it is a question of adapting human beings to given environmental structures and, on the other hand, of adapting environmental structures to those affected.

Occupational therapy is help for independence in daily life and at work

After a differentiated occupational therapy assessment, the individual goals are worked out together with the patient and/or his relatives, the treatment plan is drawn up and the appropriate treatment methods and media are selected. Occupational therapists structure the treatment process on their own responsibility. They provide targeted guidance for everyday domestic and professional life and support the steps towards independence. During the therapeutic process, goals, treatment plan and treatment methods must be constantly adapted to the patient's ability and the changed situation.

The treatment also includes the supply of aids and splints. The occupational therapists select these or produce them themselves and practice how to use them.

Fields of activity of occupational therapy

  • in clinics and hospitals specialising in orthopaedics, traumatology, internal medicine, rheumatology, neurology, geriatrics, paediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatry and psychosomatics
  • in facilities for disabled children, such as special schools, kindergartens, homes and early treatment centres
  • in geriatric facilities such as old people's homes, nursing homes and day clinics
  • in social, medical and professional rehabilitation facilities and workshops for the disabled
  • in the so-called mobile service and social stations
  • in your own practice (after two years of professional experience)
  • as an occupational therapist or head of training at schools for occupational therapy


Further information

Further information on occupational therapy can also be found under the following links: