Abstract

The term confluent education describes a flowing together of the affective and cognitive elements of learning. Confluent education accords high value to affect because of its core principle that the realization of human potential includes attention to the affective elements of human nature. This article reviews the literature on confluent education, extends a previous introduction of the topic, and proposes an integration of affect into all realms of occupational therapy practice. The visual metaphors, philosophical principles, and practical strategies developed in the literature on confluent education are useful when applied to the functions of occupational therapy practitioners engaged in direct care, education, or research. Because the contexts within which occupational therapy practice occurs today often challenge its affective elements, the author proposes confluence as a timely approach. To advance into the future with the affective strength that has characterized occupational therapy since its inception is a matter of reclaiming the profession’s heart.

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