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Genevieve Pepin, Ph.D. (c), M.Sc. erg
Department de readaptation, Universite Laval, Canada

With the Model of Human Occupation, I don't have a still picture of my patient. I learn to know my client instead. I can understand his or her past, at least make sense of it, and knowing that allows me to understand what needs to be developed, strengthened, or maintained. The dynamic aspect of the model, the interrelation between its components and its constant interaction with the environment, gives me a “movie” about my client instead of a still picture. In this “movie” the client changes, lives, moves, goes through things, like in real life. Life is more than the picture of a specific moment in time. I need to find out the “movie” of my client to be able to follow the plot of my client's progress (and understand it because I know about his previous experiences, roles, choices, etc...) and be part of it with my knowledge and my skills as a therapist.

I decided to use the MOHO in my PhD to describe how the parents of clients were dealing with the illness of their loved ones. The MOHO explains human daily living and human occupation. It illustrates and makes it easier to understand the impact that being occupied (or not being occupied) has on daily functioning. In addition, I found the OPHI II to be very helpful in my area of practice. The occupational identity and occupational competence scales were especially useful as they could really “zero in” on the problems. The narrative slope also opened the door to rich discussions as far as precipitating factors were concerned, and other major life events and their relationship to the development of the disorder. This is what describes best what the MOHO helped me understand.

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