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The University of Southampton

OCCT6600 Complex Therapeutic Engagements

Module Overview

This module seeks to maximise the effectiveness of therapeutic skills and engagement across a range of complex scenarios to facilitate client /patient participation. You will be asked to evaluate and reflect on professional and personal effectiveness in supporting clients, patients and carers in their own self-management and recovery. You will learn to adapt interventions based on evidence and clinical reasoning, taking into account the complexity of individuals and the contexts in which they live and work. Part of this module will focus on exploring the theory and practice of commonly used ‘talking therapies’ within the context of occupational therapy practice in order to facilitate individual engagement in purposeful and meaningful occupation. You will also engage in recorded role play in which your therapeutic skills can be reflected upon and further developed.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • You will be able to compare and contrast different complex therapeutic engagement techniques used by a variety of occupational therapists when working at an advanced level with services users across a spectrum of conditions
  • Apply, justify and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches to interventions to maximize occupational performance for service users with complex needs with whom you have worked with
  • Identify and critically evaluate a range of evidence based occupational therapy approaches and therapeutic engagement techniques from different branches of psychology and the natural sciences which inform effective and collaborative engagement, with hard to reach service user groups
  • Through the use of video- recorded session be able to analyse the key components of therapeutic intervention and assess how these may be used to facilitate engagement in purposeful and meaningful occupation through detailed personal reflection and openness to the observations and feedback from others
  • You will have critically reviewed your own strengths and weaknesses as a therapist and have identified an action plan to facilitate your transition from student to registrant


- Description Develop and practice therapeutic dialogue skills - such as reflection, summarising, challenging, containing, use of silence, transference, counter-transference. - Understand and practice the therapeutic use of self within therapeutic relationships. - Practice skills in dealing with complex situations e.g. with someone who is aggressive, displays inappropriate behaviour, unexpected disclosure, non compliance with interventions, team conflict, working with families/carers etc. - Exploring the evidence base for talking as a therapeutic approach. - Application of theory to occupational therapy practice, building on students' experiences on clinical placement. - The impact of complex psychosocial and physical contexts on occupational performance and therapeutic engagement. - Theories, treatment approaches and interventions related to the following indicative /possible areas (Case dependent) : paediatrics, bariatric care, diabetes, addiction, dementia, ergonomics, vocational rehabilitation, learning disability.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning will be conducted within practical sessions, group work, student and tutor led tutorials and seminars and key-note lectures. There will be an emphasis on experiential learning with you being supported to reflect on your own therapeutic skills through the use of video and DVD resources and peer feedback. Both School staff and, where possible, visiting clinicians and experts by experience will contribute to the teaching in this module. Ongoing formative feedback, provided by staff and peers will be used to explore the development of student understanding and professional growth.

Independent Study330
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

Gates B  (2007). Learning Disabilities; towards inclusion. 

Goodman J, Hurst J, Locke C  (2009). Occupational Therapy for people with Learning Disabilities; A practical guide. 

Conway M (2008). Occupational therapy and Inclusive Design: Principles for Practice. 

Law M  (2008). Evidenced Based Rehabilitation: A guide to practice. 

Tyldesley, B. and Grieve, J.I. (2002). Muscles, Nerves and Movement in Human Occupation. 

Baker A, Velleman (2007). Clinical Handbook of co-existing Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Problems. 

Sumison T (2006). Client-centred practice in Occupational Therapy; a guide to implementation. 

Petersen T, Mcbride A  (2002). Working with substance misusers; a guide to theory and practice. 

McKay EA, Craik C, Lim KH, Richards G  (2008). Advancing Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Practice. 

Salter M, Turner T (2008). Community Mental Health Care; A practical guide to outdoor psychiatry . 

Feltham C, Horton I  (2006). The Sage handbook of counselling & psychotherapy. 

Pheasant, S (2006). Bodyspace; Anthropometrics, Ergonomics and Design of Work. 

Kroemer, K.H.E and Grandjean, E. (2001). Fitting the Task to the Human; A Textbook of Occupational Ergonomics. 

Perrin T, May H, Anderson E  (2008). Wellbeing and Dementia; An occupational approach for therapists and carers. 

McLeod J  (2009). An introduction to counselling. 

Wheelchair User Housing Study: an evaluation of user experience and the evolution of design standards.

Long C, Cronin-Davis (2006). Occupational Therapy Evidence in Practice for Mental Health. 

Clutton S, Grisbrooke J, Pengelly S (2006). Occupational Therapy in Housing: Building on firm foundations. 

Smith J (2005). The Guide to the Handling of People. 

Nelson-Jones R (2008). Introduction to counselling skills; text and activities. 

Ross J (2007). Occupational Therapy and Vocational Rehabilitation. 

Creek J, Lawson-Porter A (2007). Contemporary Issues in Occupational Therapy [electronic resource]: reasoning and reflection. 

Awang D (2004). Building in evidence: reviewing housing and Occupational Therapy. 

Whiteford G, Wright-St Clair (2005). Occupation and Practice Context. 

Nelson-Jones R (2005). Theory and practice of counselling and therapy . 

Repper J, Perkins R (2003). Social Inclusion and Recovery; A model for Mental Health Practice. 



Video Recorded Roleplay


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation & Viva  (30 minutes) 50%
Video recorded role play and written reflective report  (30 minutes) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


If students wish to take up the optional training opportunity to undertake either the AMPS or ESI training, depending on need and availability, there will be an additional cost to do this. Final costs are dependent on numbers, but we will aim to keep the cost as low as possible.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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