Welcome to the Creative Concepts in Occupational Therapy Blog where Debra Battistella writes about all things occupational therapy. 


Despite the fact that the profession of occupational therapy (OT) has been around for 100 years, it remains mysterious to many. Unless you or someone you know has benefited from OT services, chances are good that you are among those who think occupational therapy practitioners help people get jobs....READ MORE


Mirror Therapy, also known as Mirror Visual Feedback, is an evidence-based treatment approach that can be used with people who experience brain injuries such as cerebrovascular accident (CVA)/stroke or TBI. To understand what mirror therapy is...READ MORE



Occupational therapists often recommend and establish home exercise programs when clients are ready for discharge. Is this the best time or even the right time? I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why....

People need time and practice to learn and build habits. This is especially true of occupational therapy (OT) clients experiencing interruptions in health. People in the midst of a health crisis or...READ MORE

Brain Primers 

Stroke Recovery

Brain Primers

Stroke recovery can be challenging for clients and clinicians. As clinicians, we sometimes feel challenged in finding interventions that work, making our jobs feel hard and leaving clients feeling hopeless. This article describes three simple and effective brain priming interventions you can use right away so intervention selection doesn’t feel so daunting. BRAIN PRIMERS are simple and effective...READ MORE



This is for Olivia. She will never know the depths of inspiration she gave me, and likely, those around her. Or...Maybe she was too much for some.


Olivia worked in a nearby coffee shop. I like to order ahead so I can slip in and out quickly with coffee in hand. Until Olivia came and changed that. I started hearing, “Have a good day, Debra” as I left the building. Soon, the excitement advanced as Olivia greeted me upon entering. Her beautiful smile and bright energy were magnetic – taking up big space. I LOVED going for coffee when Olivia was there. She ignited my mornings in a fantastic way. I started looking forward to seeing her.


And then she was gone. Just like that...No Olivia for an entire week. I walked in to pick up my coffee only to discover it wasn’t ready. I stood and waited, unseen by the 100 people standing behind the counter. Such a dismal feeling. After the 5 hours it felt like I was there, someone finally acknowledged me and gave me my order.


I asked about Olivia. “She doesn’t work here anymore.” My heart sank. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew. I am sad just writing this.


People matter. How we are matters. I love the Olivia’s of the world. They add spark and life – a contagious energy that naturally motivates others to be more of who they are. I appreciate authentic, genuine, pure LIFE! I need it!


I’ll bet Olivia was unaware of the impact she made on me. I’ll go so far as to say she wasn’t always on top of her game. Why would she be? No one is. That, is unrealistic. In fact, it’s unnecessary. However, when people know who they are, they are comfortable being themselves and even on a “low” day, the love that they are still oozes from them.


Are you like Olivia? The type of person who loves others and enjoys seeing them...The kind who knows the value of appreciation...The one who loves sharing Joy? The person who lives their passion with purpose?


Thank you for that. I appreciate it more than you know.  


Or have you lost your spark? Did you once have it and now it’s lost? Life can cause that sometimes. I see you. I feel you. It happens to the best of us.


Maybe you feel like you’ve never been full of the type of joy that bubbles over. That might not be you. I see you too.


I don’t know why Olivia left the coffee shop. I hope it was for bigger and better things. What I do know is I miss her. She made getting coffee great. I felt alive and seen because of Olivia.


OT Practitioners...The way we show up matters! Our beingness matters. It can be challenging to be yourself in certain physical medicine practice environments these days. I’d love to help...Consider joining the Confident Clinician Program. This multifaceted mentorship experience is for occupational therapy practitioners who are looking for true leadership that focuses on professional growth and an empowered practice.


Do you love OT and want to write for us? 

Reach out with a sample of your work and let's see if you're a good fit! 

Or, share your thoughts and creative ideas! 

Email: debrabattistellaot@creativeconceptsot.com

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Make it a great day