'The meanings of craft to an occupational therapist'.

Emma Harris, Sally-Anne Denshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Craft was the first therapeutic occupation of occupational therapy. Since the early days of the profession, the value of craft in practice is a topic that has been discussed with fluctuating interest. Recent discussions by occupational therapists have reinforced that although craft is relevant to occupational therapy, there are uncertainties about its place in contemporary practice. Presently, scholars have identified that occupation is both the center of human experience and the core of our profession. Therefore, this study aimed to begin to clarify the meaning of craft to practice today by gaining a deep understanding of the meanings that one occupational therapist attributes to craft. Methods: Using narrative inquiry, data were gathered through a conversation held between the research participant and myself. A reflexive journal was also kept to support this data gathering process. Narrative analysis enabled intimate engagement with the data and the emergence of themes and sub-themes. Results: The findings, in the form of an interpretive story, suggest first, that craft-making has therapeutic value; second, that reasoning about the therapeutic use of craft is similar to reasoning about other therapeutic activities; and third, that personal experience with craft-making can influence the selection of craft as therapeutic media. Conclusions: From this study, further research into the impact personal and professional experiences can have on choice of therapeutic media and an analysis of the sociopolitical context of the meanings that occupational therapists attribute to craft-making is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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