A profession’s ethos is an interlacing of sentiment, value, and thought that describes its character, conveys its genius, and manifests its spirit. The ethos endures over time, serving as touchstone against which individuals may strike their actions to know their worth. As a profession’s inner voice, the ethos inspires individuals and calls them back if they stray too far.
This discussion of the occupational therapy profession’s ethos has two discernable parts. The first invites deliberation, given its historical ground. The second is a blend of ideas and images, a clutch of reflections inviting affect and will to join in thought. My hope is to illuminate the ethos of the profession in such a way that a new perspective on current challenges is possible. I set before you this idea: To advance into the future with the ethos that has characterized occupational therapy since its inception is a reclamation of the profession’s heart.