1st Edition

Powerful Occupational Therapists A Community of Professionals, 1950-1980

By Christine Peters Copyright 2013
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

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    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



    Christine Olga Peters is recognized for advancing occupational therapy history. She has presented occupational therapy history internationally and at the United Nations. She received the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Leadership Fellowship and the AOTF Certificate of Appreciation. She is also a Fellow of AOTA.