Creativity in Occupational Therapy: Person, Process, Product


Alenka Oven, PhD
Head of Occupational Therapy Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Series: Expressive Arts Therapies
BISAC: MED003050
DOI: 10.52305/DPSM5438

Understood differently by different people, creativity has been linked to novelty, originality, problem-solving, flexibility, resourcefulness, self-expression, and health maintenance. In this manuscript, creativity is explored through the eyes of an occupational therapist. The author approaches creativity from two angles; as a therapeutic modality and as a way of thinking.
The manuscript offers a thorough literature review of creativity and its connections to occupational therapy theory and practice.

It brings a historical overview spanning from the days of the Arts and Crafts Movement to contemporary approaches in occupational therapy. Not only is the relevant research gathered and evaluated, but the reader can also find practical applications of research findings to practice. For instance, we learn about the factors that can contribute to the creativity of occupational therapists and how to best foster them in a modern work environment. The author also explores some of the concepts related to the well-being of occupational therapists, such as work satisfaction and work autonomy and their correlations to creativity. The manuscript also presents a novel assessment tool, developed and validated by the author – the Creativity in Occupational Therapy Questionnaire (COTQ) – which is intended for the study of creativity and educational purposes.

This manuscript is a must-read for anyone interested in the use of creativity in health care and the evidence behind it. It offers up-to-date information on the subject of creativity in occupational therapy. However, its influence goes beyond a specific discipline. It argues that creativity can be a healing force, for both the client and the therapist, and that we should do more to nurture it in our lives and at work.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Defining Creativity

Chapter 2. Creativity in Occupational Therapy

Chapter 3. Research on Creativity in Occupational Therapy


Book Reviews

“One of a kind, fresh perspective on creativity! Creativity in Occupational Therapy: Person, Process, Product provides a comprehensive, evidence-based exploration of creativity. As a multi-dimensional concept, creativity is examined as both a personal characteristic and one that is critical to the occupational therapy process. Dr. Oven states, “Creativity can be found in the way we approach the world, reason, occupy ourselves, develop abilities, and prepare for the future.” (p. 32). Numerous definitions and theories of creativity are extensively discussed based on current literature and Dr. Oven’s research. The most significant contribution is Dr. Oven’s broad consideration of the use of creativity in occupational therapy practice. She discusses the traditional use of creative occupations as a therapeutic modality which is supported in the World Health Organizations’ (WHO) recent report providing evidence that participation in creative arts promotes physical and mental health and prevents ill health (Fancourt & Finn, 2019). A significant contribution, however, is Dr. Oven’s expanded view of the importance of creativity in the therapeutic process for both the therapist and the client. For therapists, creativity promotes open-mindedness, original ideas, and the ability to solve problems. As a part of client-centered care, Dr. Oven acknowledges the importance of incorporating the client’s creativity in therapy to promote successful outcomes. She also explores how features of the work environment can foster or hinder creativity in practice. The monograph closes with a synthesis of her original mixed methods research on factors influencing creativity in occupational therapy. In sum, Creativity in Occupational Therapy: Person, Process, Product provides a unique and valuable contribution to occupational therapy and the general public’s understanding and use of creativity in daily life.” – Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor Emerita, Occupational Therapy, Cleveland State University, USA

“The content of the present book is highly applicable to real life situations of occupational therapists and at the same time rather innovative, as it encroaches on one of the least researched fields in social and health sciences, on the occupational therapy process and the role of creativity in it. The key contribution of the book is the cutting-edge approach to the creativity of occupational therapists in the occupational therapy process from a theoretical and empirical perspective. The author discusses in depth the creative process of occupational therapist in occupational therapy treatment, and the factors that trigger creativity, influence its course, stimulate and / or hinder it. The book offers an overview of synthesized and pulled key concepts on creativity from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive resource for scientists and practitioners in the field. To achieve that, the author draws on recent interdisciplinary theoretical backgrounds (philosophical, psychological, sociological, medical, occupational therapy), available in scientific and professional literature worldwide. Furthermore, the book presents research tools for a novel assessment of creativity in occupational therapy, which makes the book both, relevant and practical.” Dr. Bojana Lobe, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

“This manuscript is a timely, fresh and exciting read that addresses several critical questions in the field of occupational therapy that are connected with the human, its vulnerability, and the need for a purpose-filled existence as well as with our shared humanity that should mark the professional relationship between the therapist and the client. This humanistic approach can only be achieved by supporting the client’s abilities, initiating new possibilities and leaning on the creative potential of a therapist who is sensitive to the needs of others. READ MORE…– Dr. Zalka Drglin, National Institute of Public Health, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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