What are occupations?

Occupations are all the ways you "occupy" your time - this includes your academic work, sleep, leisure, and taking care of yourself. Occupational therapy examines roles, habits, routines, values, and the environment around you, in order to meet your individualized needs.

Some of the most common topics students work on in OT include:

  • Academics: time management, planning and organization, goal setting, improving focus, productivity, procrastination
  • Physical Health: sleep, self-care, healthy eating, engaging in physical activity
  • Mental Health: managing stress and anxiety, functioning with non-visible disabilities, work-life balance
  • Life Coaching: motivation, decision-making, problem-solving, accountability, exploring values and goals
  • Transitions: adjusting to campus life, post-graduation plans, changes in roles or expectations

How do I pick between OT and counseling?

An occupational therapist would be able to offer guidance by:

  • Optimizing day-to-day habits and routines
  • Creating short-term & long-term goals and maintaining accountability
  • Focusing on solutions by using activity analysis to recognize dysfunctional patterns
  • Developing pragmatic skills to create balance
  • Collecting data — sleep, time use
  • Focusing on individual strengths, untapped potential, and then link to action
  • Evaluating holistically — focusing on many dimensions of wellness

A counselor, on the other hand, focuses their conversation on ways to:

  • Recover from past traumas and cope with distress
  • Explore past relationships to improve self-concept and self-esteem
  • Work through underlying psychological issues that affect ability to function
  • Guiding people towards flexibility and responsiveness
  • Emotional integration and regulation
  • Awareness of the past in order to promote insight and healing

What we have in common:

  • Individualized and client-centered
  • Scientifically driven, evidence-based
  • Defined goals

Remember, you are not limited to one therapy or the other. You may utilize both services to address the same problem as the different frameworks and methodologies of each profession can complement each other.

Services Offered and What to Expect

First Visit

First visits are focused on introducing the student to services and additional resources, and identifying the student's concerns. The occupational therapist will work with a student to begin exploring resources and strategies toward meeting the student's goal(s).

Follow-up Visits

Follow-up visits focus on reviewing progress made toward goals and discussing additional behaviors and strategies to sustain healthy change. The occupational therapist will discuss with the student regarding the frequency of meetings. Meetings are designed to be flexible to accommodate students' schedules and needs.

Mon - Fri
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
1239 Arden Rd.
Mail Code 1-8
Pasadena, California 91125
Health (626) 395-6393 | Counseling (626) 395-8331
(626) 585-1522