Why Blog as an Occupational Therapist?

Blogging is a powerful tool that has given my life purpose and drive.

Blogging “promotes self-directed versus teacher-directed learning, encourages self-reflection as a model of social experience and self-identity, and enriches the process of learning”

Maag, 2005, p.23


After being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder I was faced with many scary questions.

“Will I ever be able to work in mental health?”
“How can I create change on a larger scale?”
“How can I redirect my anger from stigma into something powerful and positive?”

So I decided to journal. But putting pen to paper seemed like such an effort. I was writing about all these ideas and dreams I had but keeping them locked in a secret diary. So I challenged myself to think outside the square and I made a WordPress account.

Why Blog?

  • Stigma encountered by friends, family, community, health care professionals
  • Tired of the shame of having the illness
  • Hearing other stories of OTs told they couldn’t work or graduate
  • I wanted to understand myself deeper
  • To share my story
  • To shape, inform and challenge practice
  • To live out my passion for occupational justice and disability empowerment
  • Raise awareness of childhood abuse, trauma and violence

Personal Benefits

  • Blogging is a way of expressing myself. Not only through words, but images, videos, posters, and so many more creative ways.
  • I am living less in my head and more in reality. Its easier to clarify thoughts and feelings if they are on paper. Greater objectivity than subjectivity (wise mind concept)
  • Instead of writing more academically like you would for an assignment. I write in a way so that multiple audiences can understand. It’s so much easier!
  • It’s fun and I can be creative with it!
  • I have written about many topics a lot which have personal value to me such as therapy dogs!
  • I have questioned many of my values and emotions. And with the help of readers, I have gained an outside perspective on how to look at things differently.
  • I realised I had knowledge that was valuable and the people wanted to learn from me. This has been huge in my occupational identity and purpose for my life.
  • It’s been a way to document my progress
  • It is a platform for me to share my CV, experience and research activities.

Clinical/ Academic Benefits

  • I can write about situations and seek other’s opinions on how to handle a situation differently.
  • My mental health knowledge has grown tremendously. Not only do I physically attend a mental health group, but then I implement these interventions into my life, then I reflect, then lastly, I write about how this intervention has helped me. Thus teaching others.
  • I am developing partnerships with key clinicians and organisations around the who are involved in working with people with BPD. These people know recommend my blog to their clients!
  • I am growing in confidence and competence in partnering with other consumers.
  • I am becoming a point of reference in which other clinicians ask my opinion on certain topics to do with trauma, self-harm and BPD.
  • I have learnt to market myself as someone knowledgeable and skilled in BPD. This has given me so much confidence and self-respect. It has also inspired me to start my PhD.

References

Ezzamel, S. (2013). Blogging in occupational therapy: knowledge sharing, professional development, and ethical dilemmas. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(11), 515-517. doi:10.4276/030802213X13833255804711

Published by otforbpd

Founder of OT for BPD. Mental health Advocate; Occupational Therapy Teacher and Researcher Australia “As an occupational therapist diagnosed with BPD I will use this page to share about the various interventions and strategies that are helpful to those with BPD. I will also share about the positive and sometimes challenging approaches that health professionals have used in my treatment in emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community settings. I hope that by sharing my lived experience I can help improve the experience of those struggling to understand Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD) and also support those living with BPD and other mental health challenges Most importantly we will share how occupation can powerfully help change lives!" Laura

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