#OTalk – 24th February 2015 – #EDAW15 Occupational Therapy and Eating Disorders

Tonight’s #OTalk in on eating disorders and occupational therapy. Here’s the official blog post – we’d love it if you could join us.


Last year, we (@pd2ot and @geekyOT) hosted an #OTalk tweetchat about occupational therapy and eating disorders for Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#EDAW14). We had 63 participants, and tweets from the chat made 659,387 impressions.

This year, Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#EDAW15) will run from Monday 23rd February – Sunday 1st March 2015. To coincide with this, we will be hosting another #OTalk on Tuesday 24th February at 8pm GMT (click the link to check your local time).

A real strength of the chat last year was having the contributions of clinicians/students and those who had personal experience of eating disorders throughout the chat – this year we’d encourage the same thing. So whatever your background, if you have any thoughts on the below topics, please join us!


  1. What types of individual/group interventions could occupational therapists use when working with people with eating disorders? What theory/evidence can be useful?
  2. If you have experienced…

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What do you know about eating disorders?


The week of 24th February – 2nd March 2014 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week . It’s  a great time to increase your understanding, especially if your answer to my question was, “not a lot”. Check out the beat (beating eating disorders charity) website for information about eating disorders . For me, the best way to learn about disorders are through the stories of people who have experienced them. Read  recovery stories , for example  Jonathan  or Amy ‘s, and look out for how eating disorders affect roles and occupational performance, and the part occupation can play in recovery. The website has a range of information resources including a guide for athletes  and information about eating disorders in the workplace .

As a precursor to Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we will be hosting an #OTalk twitter chat about occupational therapy and eating disorders on 18 February 2014 at 8pm GMT (click the link for local time)…

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“Dear Occupational Therapists” – Responses to #OTalk “When Occupational Therapy Goes Wrong”

A great post highlighting two insightful “Dear Occupational Therapists” letters received in response to last week’s #OTalk on “When Occupational Therapy Goes Wrong”


Last week, @pd2ot hosted an #OTalk entitled “When Occupational Therapy Goes Wrong” (the transcript of the chat can be found at this link). Following this chat, we invited people to continue the conversation, unrestricted by Twitter’s 140 character limit:

I was pleased to receive two thought-provoking responses: one from Sarah (@carerseyes), who blogs about her experiences  of caring for her partner with borderline personality disorder, and the other from Linda (@lapsangsusie), who has experienced a range of occupational therapy input as a service user.  I’d like to thank both for taking the time and effort to write about their experiences, and welcome further responses from people who have come into contact with occupational therapy services.

Sarah’s Letter

The full text of Sarah’s…

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Day 10

A very full day indeed. But a fab one.

Today was a bit of a turning point from helping out at placement to bring allowed to run my own activities. I always love this handing over of responsibility on placement at home, but I wasn’t sure it would happen here, due to the language barriers.

The day started with me leading a physical activity group – it was dance based using Latin-American music, as well as some American and European pop. music. The group seemed to enjoy it and it held their attention. It was lovely to be dancing outside in the courtyard with out music blaring. Several of the children from the adjoining orphanage came to see what was happening and keenly joined in our group. That felt like a very special moment indeed. The activity was great for gaining more understanding into my clients’ coordination and gross motor skills, it was also nice to see which clients preferred explicit dance moves and those that were comfortable to move freely with the music.

Afterwards, as is tradition for all volunteers, I presented to the group about ‘Life in the United Kingdom’. The session went well, although it was definitely providing the service with more of an ‘educative’, rather than ‘occupational’ intervention. But as this was requested I feel able to sit with the discomfort of not always doing occupational therapy. There will be opportunities for ‘UK themed’ interactive occupational activities during the week.

This afternoon was the highlight of my trip so far… I had brought materials for making bracelets to Moldova. A group of six of the young adults self-selected to participate and made bracelets either for themselves or family members. As I started the group my supervisor (and translator ) was absent, I did a bit of thinking on my feet and was able to demonstrate the task and get the group to select three colours of thread each, all without verbal communication. We worked together and everyone produced a bracelet, some with minimal assistance and others with a little more. I felt pleased with many aspects of the group; the fact that all participants had chosen to be there, that there was room for individual choice and design, that the challenge of the task could be modified for each person and that I was able to lead it without the help of a translator.

I also had a visit from my overall supervisor here, and got great feedback from the staff at the centre. It’s funny, this feels like real ‘stripped back’ occupational therapy…. I mean, I wondered what sort of tool kit and skill set I’d have once I couldn’t verbally communicate as I’m aware how much I use verbal communication to assess and get to know clients at home, and to talk over ideas with educators. So it feels very reassuring that, even without that, I can still ‘do occupational therapy’.

The rest of my day just involved some exploring and a gym visit, though it has prompted me to write a special entry about crossing Moldovan roads and accessibility provision in Chișinău. Though not tonight as I’m exhausted!

Second Weekend in Chișinău

It’s funny, when on placement in the UK I don’t tend to do much at the weekend as I’m quite tired, but here it seems such a waste to not explore the area. Fortunately I have a shorter working day than at home so I have a bit more energy.

Yesterday I me up with the other three volunteers that are in the area at the moment. We went to the state art gallery, which I’d a to my list of definite ‘Chișinăuen’ experiences… The gallery consisted of several rooms of differing themes. The first contained religious paintings, many with the structure of the church it was taken from still partly attached. The second more traditional Moldovan secular artwork. The third room involved walking to another street, where the exhibition continued with more contemporary pieces . Finally, a very grand room upstairs contained traditional art, and a significant slope to the floor. Throughout our visit the galley staff would scurry ahead of us to turn on each room’s slightly wonky fluorescent strip lights, no doubt turning them off as we left to ensure economical electricity consumption.

We then travelled by trolleybus to another part of the city. At the weekend the locals hold the equivalent of a car boot sale, in an open air market stylee sale of all their unwanted possessions. The market was vast and I could only admire the dedication of the sellers who would be spending a long day in the hot sun, quietly competing to sell their clothes over their neighbour’s and hoping to earn a few Lei.

I had an interesting conversation with my host regarding the healthcare system here. The most interesting message from it is that it has become custom to doctors to receive a financial bonus, from the patient, once they are well as it had previously been most lucrative for doctors to keep the patients engaged in expensive treatments. I also gained a potential answer to why the young people at my placement are so quiet and well behaved. My host proposes that because they are totally ignored within society they either are so grateful for the Centre that they engage well, or are just ‘trained’ to be compliant and restrained by their society’s attitude.

Today has been quieter, some exploring of the centre of town to get materials for a craft activity I am planning and I also joined a local gym. I was physiologically and psychologically missing my exercise and outdoor exercise is nearly impossible here, due to the heat. So, I look forward to experiencing Moldovan step and zumba classes!

Off to placement in the morning. I’m ready for the UK themed week, as well as trips for the group to a monastery and the National Museum.


It’s Moldova Time.

air-travel-13524785051OV So if everything goes to plan, this time tomorrow I’ll be in Moldova! The past few weeks have involved lots of preparations and I’m now a healthy mixture of excited and nervous. This blog has been totally neglected, but I’m really hoping for regular opportunities to post and reflect on all I’m experiencing in Moldova. Hopefully I’ll have regular updates about my occupational therapy placement working with teenagers with learning disabilities, Moldovan family life and all the touristy things I’ll be up to.


Until next time….

Summer Plans

Just a brief post as a visible commitment to lots of blog posts over the Summer. I have a goal of one per week, although some of these may be private reflections. I also imagine the blog taking a slightly different turn during this time. While some of the posts will continue to be the ‘traditional pd2ot stylee’ explorations of BPD and occupation, I also plan to use the blog for reflections and reviews on material I’m reading for my university studies. Perhaps this is a reflection on the stage in the ‘pd2ot’ journey I am at.