The term occupation conveys the powerful essence of our profession—enabling people to seize, take possession of, or occupy the spaces, time, and roles of their lives. Occupation is activity that is both purposeful and meaningful to the person who engages in it. Our uniqueness lies in our use of occupation as a therapeutic agent, but our unique focus on occupation is not always apparent in practice. Four global groups of activities that occupational therapy practitioners use in practice are described—exercise, contrived occupation, therapeutic occupation, and adaptive occupation. Therapeutic occupation and adaptive occupation are proposed as the legitimate activities of occupational therapy. The Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model is then presented. This model stresses a top-down approach to evaluation and provides a framework for implementing adaptive occupation for purposes of compensation as well as therapeutic occupation for purposes of remediation.

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