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Occupational Therapy (OT) is the closest allied approach to health and wellness to STH. As STH utilises occupation as one of the drivers of outcome in our medium, it makes sense for us to make use of different OT theories and approaches. The most influential theory in OT is that of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). First put forward by Kielhofner and Burke in 1980, the development of the model is considered ongoing. It seeks to explain the relationship between humans and their occupations within the environments they are conducted, on the basis that humans are occupational beings whose health is enhanced by participation in meaningful occupation through the achievement of occupational competence and identity.

It has a number of key elements. The first is in relation to what makes for a meaningful occupation and why this may be different for individuals. It explores the concepts of:

  • Volition: internal desires, motivation influenced and modified by personal causation.
  • Habituation: what has become normal/routine to us based on the roles and routines of lived experience, often unconsciously.
  • Performance: the capacity for skilled action within the occupation.

MOHO explains that through our actions we receive feedback from our occupations, leading to continuous modification of our actions. Through this process, MOHO implies that we as humans can gain a sense of effectiveness in relation to ourselves and our environments.

For an STH practitioner, this can support us to understand what occupations are important to clients, and what support we can provide to clients to gain a sense of occupational competence, identity, and mastery of self and our environments. It also enables the practitioner to ensure they support client gardeners in ways important to their lives towards independence and agency.