Pros and Cons of Occupational Therapy

Source: WebMD, Healthline

What is an occupational therapist?

The role of an occupational therapist, or OT, is to help individuals maintain independence by teaching them ways to modify everyday tasks and activities that they can no longer do or have difficulty completing on their own. This could be due to certain conditions, such as autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, traumatic injury, stroke, etc. An OT can help individuals learn how to use assistive technology, learn different ways to complete tasks, suggest safety measures for the home, and train caregivers. Some OT’s help with cognitive aspects of daily life, such as helping with organization, routines, and problem-solving.

Pros Occupational therapy can have many advantages. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Holistic. Occupational therapy takes a holistic approach to treatment, instead of looking at just one facet of a condition or experience. It includes all factors that may be impacting an individual's ability to function. OT can be beneficial to various aspects of a condition.
  • Improves independence. An individual can gain added independence with occupational therapy. It provides skills that will allow them to become self-reliant and able to complete tasks and activities without the help of others.
  • Treats many conditions. While some forms of treatment are specific to a certain condition, occupational therapy is multi-faceted. It can be a tool for individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional and neurological conditions.
  • Customizable. Occupational therapy is tailored to each individual. No two treatment plans will be exactly alike, even with the same condition. Having a customizable treatment format is great for creating an individualized experience.


Although occupational therapy can be very beneficial, it is not for everyone. Cons associated with OT include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cost. Insurance may not cover the cost of occupational therapy. This can make it inaccessible to some people.
  • Time commitment. Occupational therapy will require a commitment of a certain amount of time for the treatment. In addition to appointments and sessions, work is also done at home.
  • Active participation. An individual must actively participate in occupational therapy. Unfortunately, some individuals may not be able to do so.
  • Effectiveness. As with any type of treatment, occupational therapy may not be effective for every person. Some may not reap the benefits of OT.
  • Difficulty. Occupational therapy may require a person to perform difficult or uncomfortable tasks. This could include physical therapy exercises that they may be unable to physically complete.

Additional sources: Novant Health and OTFocus