The patient–therapist relationship in occupational therapy has been a blend of competence and caring with the emphasis fluctuating over the years between these two features. When patients tell stories about their experiences, they reveal widely differing views of occupational therapists, partly because of the different ways therapists manifest competence and caring during patient–therapist interactions. Images from stories suggest that some therapists unwittingly disappoint their patients. This paper examines the patient–therapist relationship as envisioned by therapists and patients to help occupational therapists recommit to the patient as a vital partner in a collaborative relationship.

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