Abstract

This inquiry continues to explore the understandings of patient, therapist, and occupation held by the founders of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy. The first part of this search, published in the April 1991 issue of AJOT, discussed personal narratives and anecdotes about George Edward Barton, Susan Elizabeth Tracy, and William Rush Dunton, Jr. This second part extends that discussion through an examination of the shaping influence of World War I on Dunton’s beliefs and through consideration of the views held by Eleanor Clarke Slagle, Herbert J. Hall, Susan Cox Johnson, and Thomas Bessell Kidner. Influenced by contemporary historical forces as well as their personal experiences, the founders shared a common understanding that the right occupation could help persons in need. Personal narratives found within the early occupational therapy literature illustrate each founder’s unique understanding of the manner in which occupation might address contemporary problems. Each view contributed to the development of a multifaceted therapy. Exploration of the multiple interpretations that shaped a common idea may help current therapists to better understand their heritage of caring and to compare it with current practices.

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