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About Support

Many of us use the word “support” frequently, both in our professional and personal lives. This month OT’s at LIfeworks have been discussing the many facets of support – be they emotional, practical, mental. spiritual, financial or a combination of some/ all of these.

Occupational Therapists are trained to “enable” the clients they see, because of their flexible approach, skills in assessment and practical intervention –  and the type of support offered. Too little support leads to overwhelm -with life’s stressors, functional limitations and social isolation. Too much support and a lack of opportunity for growth or development of resilience results.

For some clients (and family/friends) asking for support is a hurdle to overcome. Some of us believe it is a sign of weakness or failure. As an OT we see asking for support as a way of saying “I am important enough to warrant help”, which is a great place to start therapy because there is an element of self respect/love already present.

Knowing when someone needs a genuine reassuring word, or the right amount of challenge is not easy. Comprehensive listening skills, a broad-based toolbox of interventions and keeping the person’s values front-of-mind, guide Occupational Therapists to provide an enabling supportive approach for our client. That way, interventions are relevant and meaningful to the client and their significant others.

Asking ourselves – at work and in our private lives – does the support we offer provide for growth or encourage overwhelm, is a worthy self question at times. Checking with ourselves, are we feeling supported, overwhelmed or in need of a different type of connection, is most important too.

The way we like to experience support, the type and amount needed is a very individual concept. Are we tuned into this?

Julie Morriss is a seasoned Occupational Therapist, having dedicated many years to her practice, particularly in the realm of Mental Health with individuals of all age groups. Her early career was spent with the WA Health Service, where she honed her skills in case management, CBT, and solution-focused therapies. After stepping back for family time and further study, she returned to work with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, contributing significantly to the development of day programs assisting the transition from hospital to community. Julie prides herself on her holistic approach to complex conditions and has recent experience working in the culturally diverse Pilbara community in WA. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy from Curtin University. Outside of work, Julie finds solace in gardening, kayaking, yoga, and spending precious time with her family and pets.

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