Spirituality and occupational therapy: Reflections on professional practice and future possibilities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Spirituality has been recognised as an important part of client-centred occupational therapy practice for many years. During the past two decades, occupational therapists from around the world have contributed to a growing body of literature, which has enabled the profession to explore ways of integrating spirituality into clinical practice. These developments continue to evolve through on-going conceptual and theoretical refinements, as well as through empirical research, which has laid the foundations for an emerging evidence-base. Researchers have also addressed issues related to working definitions of spirituality, as well as examining the beliefs and attitudes of occupational therapists in practice, and how spirituality can be embedded effectively within occupational therapy education. Spirituality within occupational therapy is viewed as an important part of holistic practice alongside bio-psycho-social considerations. In addition, occupational therapy continues to expand its understanding of spirituality, in particular how doing can be considered from a transpersonal perspective. In turn, this transpersonal-occupational connection poses questions for how the profession can contribute its knowledge and skills to tackle global problems, such as the burgeoning ecological crises. Climate change is impacting on communities worldwide, through droughts and floods for example, which is disrupting people’s lives and highlights the need for adaptive responses. Occupational therapy and spirituality can open up new vistas of unexplored potential, and these future possibilities are an important part of human flourishing, which can come forth in all that we do.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpirituality across Disciplines
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Practice
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319313801
ISBN (Print)9783319313788
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016


  • Ecological
  • Occupational therapy
  • Spirituality
  • Transpersonal

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