The theory of occupational reconstructions emphasizes the mind-body engagement to deal with an inherently transformational injustice or problematic situation. This theory views occupations as pragmatic with meaning of inquiry. In other words, occupations are experiments for searching the truth. Occupations are creative, and engagement in occupations are intrinsically motivated (the hallmark of occupational therapy). This theory consists of seven principles, 1) Occupational reconstructions respond to a problematic situation (i.e. addressing problems people experience); 2) Occupations have meaning and purpose to ameliorate the situation (i.e., no choice but acting to transform to better situation); 3) Occupations are comprised of embodied practices (i.e., involving mind-body engagement, concerning more than beliefs, ideas, symbols, thoughts, feelings, words); 4) Occupations have a narrative structure (i.e. purposeful actions with a temporal structure); 5) Occupations open up spaces for creative transform actions (i.e., searching for and discovering thinking about and doing things); 6) Occupations involve voluntary participation (i.e., emphasizing choice and freedom or action that is intrinsically motivated); and 7) Occupations are hopeful experiments (i.e., with the purpose to improve or ameliorate the situation but without guarantee that the outcome will be achieved). These principles aim to provide guidelines for therapists in studying, designing and evaluating small to large scale social transformation, including community-based practice, community development, participation and inclusion, empowerment, health activism, occupational injustice, and political practices, by viewing occupations as both means and ends in changing situations of injustice (i.e., social transformation).
Domain of occupation
The application ranges from large scale social transformation in political practices to smaller scale in the community.
Frank, G., & Muriithi, B. A. K. (2015). Theorising social transformation in occupational science: The American civil rights movement and South African struggle against apartheid as' occupational reconstructions'. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45, 11-19.
The Meaning Perspectives Transformation Model is characterised by three phases: the trigger phase, the changing phase, and the outcome phase. These three phases move the process of meaning perspective transformation in the physical, emotional, cognitive, or spiritual dimensions. Critical self-reflection acts as a catalyst and represents as a moment of “readiness of change”. This allows clients to identify their assumptions, question meaning, and develop alternative ways of performing.
The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA) (Van der Reyden et al. 2019) is founded on the theory of creative ability developed by South African Occupational Therapist, Vona du Toit (du Toit, 1974). This model's unique contribution to the Occupational Therapy profession is understanding people in terms of sequential levels of creative ability. The term creative refers to one's ability to change in response to life‘s demands (the creation of oneself), as well as creation of tangible things and solutions to problems.
The three-phase framework helps to view the life resuming process of people who suffer from long-term disabilities such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and whiplash, and to provide the right intervention at the right time. In this framework, the reestablishment of previous role(s) of the clients and/or the development of a new role are the most important. The role achievement is believed to be the primary goal of therapy intervention for people with long-term disabilities. The three phases are included as named for this framework.
The Framework of Occupational Justice (FOJ) offers an occupational perspective of justice or injustice on everyday occupations. This framework emphasizes on the inclusion of every individual in an occupationally just word (i.e., the environment, such as community and government, in which the individuals can do what they decide to be the most meaningful and useful to themselves, family, communities and nations). It illustrates how the inter-relationships of structural factors and contextual factors support or restrict occupational outcomes and occupational rights.
The psychoanalytic frame of reference (FOR) emphasizes on the unconscious aspect of what is done and said, and it is embedded in an occupational therapy relationship model of practice - the Vivaio model (MOVI). The central element of the MOVI is the recognition of constant emotions that exist in the interdependent relationship between the three elements of patient, therapist and ‘doing’.