Powerful Occupational Therapists examines the life and times of a small group of occupational therapy leaders and scholars in a post-1950s America, to market their profession as one of increasing importance. Participating in the 1950s rehabilitation, the 1960s equal rights, and the 1970s women’s movements, these innovators, being primarily women, aimed to define themselves as having professional and scientific authority that was distinct from the male-dominated medical model. The community of therapists faced challenges such as that of retaining the appearance of being "ladylike" whilst doing "unladylike" tasks. This book describes the personal experiences of 12 differing occupational therapists and it identifies how a group of them strengthened and developed the profession in the face of diverse challenges. This volume would be of interest to those studying occupational therapy, women and medicine and the history of medicine.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health.
I. Changing in Response to Science
II. The Study
III. Community of Therapists
IV. Community Groupings and Portraits
V. Political Movers and Sustainers
VI. The Dilemma of Philosophy and Science
VII. Professionalizing: Occupational Therapy and Social Movements
VIII. Occupational Therapy’s Past Influences Its Present, and Conclusion