1st Edition

The History of Occupational Therapy The First Century

By Lori Andersen, Kathlyn Reed Copyright 2017

    To understand who we are and where we are going, we first need to understand who we were and where we came from.

    The History of Occupational Therapy: The First Century by Drs. Lori T. Andersen and Kathlyn L. Reed follows a chronological timeline, providing discussions and reflections on the influence of various personalities, politics, legislation and policy, economics, socio-cultural values, technology, and educational factors that led to the progressive maturation of the profession.

    The History of Occupational Therapy: The First Century includes photographs of pioneers, leaders, and advocates of occupational therapy; pictures of occupational therapy artifacts, including newspaper clippings and historical documents; maps showing historical locations in occupational therapy practice and education; and sidebars that give glimpses into personalities and events.


    • The only historical book on the profession’s first 100 years
    • Scholarly book for teaching, professional, and personal use
    • Included with the text are online supplemental materials for faculty use in the classroom.
    • Features glimpses into occupational therapy personalities

    The History of Occupational Therapy: The First Century provides all occupational therapy practitioners and occupational therapy students with a historical context of the profession. Generous use of photographs and illustrations create a visually stimulating and scholarly book that provides the historical context of the profession, from the formative stages in the 18th century to the eve of the Centennial Celebration in 2017, as well as a glimpse into the future.

    “History can tell us that the seeming hardship, the self-doubts of efficacy, the searching for our roots are actually precursors for establishing a new strategic vision and plan that could put us in the forefront of progress.”

    Robert Bing, President, American Occupational Therapy Association, 1983



    About the Authors

    Foreword by Charles H. Christiansen, EdD, OTR, FAOTAIntroduction

    Chapter 1 The Formative Stages: Ancient Times to 1900s

    Chapter 2 Conception and Formal Birth: 1900s to 1917

    Chapter 3 World War I: 1917 to 1920s

    Chapter 4 Standard Setting: 1920s to 1940s

    Chapter 5 Rapid Growth and Expansion: 1940s to 1960s

    Chapter 6 Turning Points: 1960s to 1970s

    Chapter 7 Back to Philosophical Base: 1970s to 1980s

    Chapter 8 Search for a Unifying Theory: 1980s to 1990s

    Chapter 9 Time of Conflict: 1990s to 2000s

    Chapter 10 Looking to the Future: 2000s to 2010s

    Chapter 11 On the Road to the Centennial Vision and BeyondAppendix A Presidents of NSPOT and AOTAAppendix B Executive Officers of NSPOT and AOTAAppendix C Locations of Headquarters for NSPOT and AOTAAppendix D Official Organ/Journal of NSPOT and AOTAAppendix E Annual Meetings of NSPOT and AOTAAppendix F Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecturers and Lectures.Appendix G AOTA Award of Merit RecipientsAppendix H AOTA Membership Summary



    Lori T. Andersen, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services from Springfield College, her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia, and her Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University. She has more than 15 years of experience in clinical practice and more than 20 years in academia. Her academic positions in occupational therapy have included the following: Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, Professor at Nova Southeastern University, Visiting Clinical Associate Professor at Florida International University, and Professor at Brenau University. She is now enjoying retirement, pursuing such passions as traveling and researching the history of occupational therapy.

    Kathlyn (Kitty) L. Reed, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, MLIS, is Associate Professor Emeritus, School of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman's University, Houston, Texas. She completed her basic education in occupational therapy at the University of Kansas, received a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Western Michigan University, obtained a doctorate in special education from the University of Washington, and was awarded a second master’s in information and library studies from the University of Oklahoma. She has been active in occupational therapy for over 50 years as a practitioner, educator, and consultant. Reed has authored several textbooks in occupational therapy and co-authored textbooks in physical therapy and speech-language pathology. She was named a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 1975, received the AOTA Award of Merit in 1983 and presented the Eleanor Clarke Slagle lectureship at the AOTA annual conference in 1986. She has served in the AOTA Delegate and Representative Assemblies representing three different state associations and was chair of the AOTA Ethics Commission. She is a member of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the Society for the Study of Occupation. Her interests include tracking assessments developed by occupational therapists.