What is the Experience of Christian Occupational Therapists?
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Spirituality is contentious in occupational therapy. Theoretically ill-defined and under-researched by the profession, spirituality is difficult for therapists to address in practice. Relatively few guidelines exist for incorporating spirituality within the enabling process. Accordingly, therapists individually determine their parameters around addressing spirituality in therapy. This has led to some concerns regarding how therapists with a firm religious orientation approach spirituality in practice. This study used in-depth interviews to explore the experiences of seven Christian occupational therapists for whom spirituality was personally important. Their beliefs provided a perspective that influenced clinical reasoning. Christian faith was a unique resource used in practice, distinguishing their work experience from that of their colleagues. To varying degrees, fear of reprimand by the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario inhibited the extent to which Christian faith was incorporated into therapy. Showing faith rather than sharing faith enabled participants to practice within regulatory guidelines.