Existentialism in Occupational Therapy: Implications for Practice, Research, and Education

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As the profession of occupational therapy enters a second century, its growth in an increasingly complex and globalized world requires an adaptive and diverse philosophical foundation. The existentialist school of thought offers a complementary focus, which enhances existing philosophical foundations of the profession and supports two major tenets: (1) humans as self-making beings always in the process of becoming and (2) emotions and feelings as foundations for being-in-the-world. This article explores these two themes both in the context of existentialism and occupational therapy, and then provides an examination of existentialist utility in occupational therapy practice, research, and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-411
Number of pages19
JournalOccupational Therapy in Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018


  • Education
  • existentialism
  • philosophy
  • practice
  • research


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