Here are the latest episodes.

Thinking and Learning Through an Occupational Lens with Brock Cook

Listen to Thinking and Learning Through an Occupational Lens with Brock Cook

Sarah and Brock discuss: 

  • His favorite things about OT
  • How his podcast Occupied has impacted his own learning:
  • Hero vs Anti-hero theory
  • Importance of understanding complex theories and how they apply to understand people better
  • Self-awareness as a therapist
  • The great coriander debate
  • “Pot Stir Thursday” on MH4OT:
  • How he came to think about things differently
  • Empowering his students to think for themselves
  • The fear of failure
  • Taking a step back to realize where you are
  • Episode with Sarah’s first supervisor- Inspiration, Sensory Integration and Zen with Roxie Fernandez:
  • How being in academia has impacted his own view on learning
  • Where he wants to see the profession of occupational therapy go in the future
  • Brock’s episode with Professor Gail Whiteford:
  • What Brock has learned from podcasting
  • The episode Brock talks about that pushed him way outside his comfort zone:
  • List of Occupational Therapy Podcasts:
  • #OTTalk on Twitter:

Contact Brock:







Bunnies and Ducks and Llamas, Oh My! with Mona Sams

Listen to Bunnies and Ducks  and Llamas, Oh My! with Mona Sams

Sarah and Mona discuss: 

  • How she incorporates llamas into her OT sessions
  • What other animals she has at her practice
  • Why llamas are effective in therapy
  • LlamaFest:
  • How animals facilitate verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Introducing clients to animals when they are afraid of them
  • The importance of skilled therapy when using animals
  • Link to her research article:
  • How she got interested in using llamas in therapy
  • Using llama hair for crafts
  • How she structures her sessions
  • Other considerations for using animals in therapy
  • The interconnectedness of all animals




Early Intervention with an OT Mom with Danielle Delorenzo

Listen to Early Intervention with an OT Mom with Danielle Delorenzo

Sarah and Danielle discuss:

  • Navigating early intervention assessment as a parent and a therapist
  • A blessing and a curse of being an OT going through this process
  • Roles of being a mom, an OT, getting her doctorate, and now being a therapy mom
  • The importance of having a “village”
  • The defining moment that made her seek out help
  • Developmental trajectories
  • Being the first person as an EI OT to tell parents that something is wrong
  • Caregiver dyad and regulation
  • How having a child in early intervention has impacted her as a therapist
  • Parental guilt
  • Being present in the moment through mindfulness
  • Value of working with the parents and families in early intervention
  • Being an expert means being a life long learner
  • Questions she had from the mom side
  • Dealing with people staring at our kids when we are out in public
  • Using video-taping to facilitate therapy and parental education
  • One piece of advice for therapists?
  • Her blog Mornings with an OT Mom:
  • Her episode on the OT Schoolhouse Podcast:





A Year in the Lyfe

Living Life One Day at a Time with TaeJun Lee

Listen to Living Life One Day at a Time with TaeJun Lee

Sarah and TJ discuss: 

  • His interest in obstacle course racing
  • 9/13/2003- The day of his accident
  • What his life looked like before
  • The extend of his injuries from the accident and then once in the hospital
  • The perspective of going through inpatient care
  • Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center:
  • Coping with medical professionals, his family, and friends thinking that he might also have a brain injury
  • Getting better one day at a time
  • Why he preferred to go to physical therapy over occupational therapy
  • Progression of his recovery, sensation, and movement
  • His willingness to work and fail in order to make progress in therapy
  • Spent about 5 months with little to no movement 
  • Overcoming the trauma and the injury 
  • Transitioning to going home
  • Continuing his therapy and rehabilitation on his own
  • His path into becoming a COTA/L
  • How his accident and personal experience with therapy has influenced him as a therapist
  • Finding a job with a disability
  • Recognizing his physical limitations and using other ways to manage his treatment sessions
  • His progression of interests in fall prevention, pain, kinesiotaping, movement, soft tissue, technology and apps, assistive technology, ergonomics of video gamers
  • Importance of collaboration
  • His healthcare collective 
  • His blog- One Day at a Time 365:

Connect with TJ:





Sensory Integration and the Transformation From Clinic to Home with Laura Petix

Listen to Sensory Integration and the Transformation From Clinic to Home with Laura Petix

Sarah and Laura discuss: 

  • Her favorite weekend occupation 
  • The lack of lunch breaks as a pediatric OT
  • My secret to hot lunches on the go:
  • Laura’s favorite food 
  • Our sensory quirks
  • How she explains sensory processing to parents
  • Facilitating parents to be validated with their feelings
  • The importance of education for the caregivers in order to carry-over techniques at home
  • Bridging the gap between working in the clinic environment and home or school
  • Using the just right challenge for the kids and when providing strategies for the parents
  • How she structures her sensory treatments
  • Following the child’s lead
  • Celebrating the small wins
  • Her path into OT 
  • Her journey with sensory difficulties with her daughter
  • How she navigates being an OT and a mom
  • The impact of being a parent of a child with sensory needs on her practice as an OT
  • Advice for therapists
  • What is the meaning behind the name The OT Butterfly?
  • Teachers Pay Teachers- The OT Butterfly:
  • Classroom Sensory Strategies Guidebook:




From OT School to New Grad OT with Jordan McCauley

Listen to From OT School to New Grad OT with Jordan McCauley

Sarah and Jordan discuss: 

  • Today is a big day, why is that?
  • Experiencing back to back fieldworks
  • When did he find out about OT?
  • How the Level 1 Fieldworks were integrating within his program
  • One thing he wished he knew going into his level 2 fieldworks
  • Realization of balancing life with fieldwork
  • Challenges he faced during his rotations
  • Managing self-care
  • Resources for Level 2 students
  • Importance of community 
  • OT Exam study resources
  • What’s next for him?
  • His capstone project trip to Guatemala

Find more Resources here:

Follow Jordan on Instagram:

Fieldwork is Over: Now What?- OTA Fieldwork: Part 4 of 4

Listen to Fieldwork is Over: Now What?- OTA Fieldwork: Part 4 of 4

Chantal, EJ, and Sarah discuss:

Midterm Evaluations and the Final Weeks of Placement - OTA Fieldwork: Part 3 of 4

Listen to Midterm Evaluations and the Final Weeks of Placement - OTA Fieldwork: Part 3 of 4

Chantal, EJ, and Sarah discuss:

  • Their current feelings heading into the last 2 weeks of fieldwork
  • Feelings about midterm scoring
  • What going through the midterm looked like
  • Importance of self reflection during fieldwork
  • What their day-to-day looks like in fieldwork
  • The importance of having other students with you on fieldwork
  • Practice supervision for OT and OTA students
  • Reflections on expectations and managing the role of the student
  • Becoming your own therapist and not just an imitation of your supervisor
  • The last two weeks of fieldwork and beyond
  • Finding a job as a new grad

From Observation to Taking the Lead - OTA Fieldwork: Part 2 of 4

Listen to From Observation to Taking the Lead - OTA Fieldwork: Part 2 of 4

EJ, Chantal, and Sarah discuss:

  • How they feel after completing 3 weeks of fieldwork
  • Shifting from observing to leading their own groups
  • Distinguishing OTs unique value in mental health services
  • What to do when your treatment plan backfires?
  • Therapeutic use of self
  • Learning to read the patients
  • Daily and momentary goals
  • How their days are structured
  • Differences in supervision
  • The emotional toll of working in mental health
  • The role of our own biases
  • Changes in responsibilities expected in the next few weeks of fieldwork
  • Advice for students going into fieldwork

Preparing for the Challenge - OTA Fieldwork: Part 1 of 4

Listen to Preparing for the Challenge - OTA Fieldwork:  Part 1 of 4

EJ, Chantal, and Sarah discuss:

  • Their previous level 2 fieldwork placement
  • Getting experience in many practice areas as an OT student
  • Hardest parts of their first fieldwork placement
  • Challenges with documentation and relating the treatments to the big picture
  • Transitioning from classroom to clinical practice
  • Learning to take chances and not be afraid to make mistakes
  • Preparing for their next Level 2 placements in mental health
  • Having fieldworks back to back
  • Excitement and nerves going into their last placement
  • What they are most excited about and what they are most nervous about
  • Importance of developing an open line of communication with your supervisors
  • The students’ perceived strengths and weakness going into fieldwork
  • Being resourceful when not knowing the answers
  • How to be a good student
  • The importance of asking questions
  • Differences between OTA and OT fieldwork
  • Advocating for yourself as an OTA student
  • Social media resources for OT and OTA students

OT School: From Classroom to Level 2 Fieldwork

Listen to OT School: From Classroom to Level 2 Fieldwork

Bianca, Kat, Celia and Sarah discuss:

Minding Our OT Business with Laura Park Figueroa

Listen to Minding Our OT Business with Laura Park Figueroa

Sarah and Laura discuss:







Transitions and Reflections of a Millennial OT with Grant Mitchell

Listen to Transitions and Reflections of a Millennial OT with Grant Mitchell

Sarah and Grant discuss:






Creating Confidence and an Occupation-Based Mindset with Alexis Joelle

Listen to Creating Confidence and an Occupation-Based Mindset with Alexis Joelle

Sarah and Alexis discuss:

  • OT settings within the hospital
  • What is acute care?
  • Planned and unplanned hospital stays
  • Supporting clients in the beginning of their journey
  • Typical length of stay in acute care setting
  • Importance of education within the initial session/ evaluation
  • Similarities of Acute Care and Early Intervention practice areas
  • Getting experience in other practice areas to guide our current practice area
  • Episode with Dr. Michael Roberts- How Deep is Your Love for OT?
  • Differences in working with planned and unplanned hospital stay clients
  • Challenges working in acute care setting
  • Ableism
  • Occupation-centered practice within the hospital setting
  • Advice for people that are in a system where occupation-based practice is not at the forefront
  • Being a mentor and life long learner
  • Her consulting company:
  • AcuteCare4OT on Facebook:






Battling The Burnout with Erika del Pozo

Listen to Battling The Burnout with Erika del Pozo

Sarah and Erika discuss:


The Why of OT 4 Lyfe with Sarah Putt

Listen to The Why of OT 4 Lyfe with Sarah Putt

Sarah discusses

Unlocking the Potential of Occupational Therapy with Sarah Lyon

Listen to Unlocking the Potential of Occupational Therapy  with Sarah Lyon

Sarah and Sarah discuss

Contact Her:


OT Potential:
OT Potential Podcast:

Inclusion, Education, and All the Colors of the Rainbow with Devlynn Neu

Listen to Inclusion, Education, and All the Colors of the Rainbow with Devlynn Neu

Sarah and Devlynn discuss:

  • AOTA’s Vision 2025: “As an inclusive profession, OT maximizes health, well-being and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities, through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living.":
  • Role of incorporating inclusion into the vision
  • Respect for identity and use of pronouns
  • Overview and definition of the letters of LGBT+
  • Importance of identify, pronouns, and personal aspects
  • Incorporating identity into our client’s occupational profiles
  • Important statistics involving the LGBT+ community and healthcare
  • Positives and challenges he has faced as a gay therapist and working in healthcare
  • Advice for therapists experiencing difficulty with their identity within their clinical role
  • Devlvynn’s discussion with Taelormade OT on OTea Time:
    • @taelormadeot on Instagram
  • Devlynn’s posts on Shannen Marie OT’s ABCs of OT:
    • @shannenmarieot on Instagram
  • ADL specific tasks for the LGBT+ community
  • Importance of access to appropriate public restrooms
  • Resources for therapists
    • National Alliance for Mental Illness:
    • The Trevor Project:
    • LGBT Health Edcuation:
    • Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Provider Directory:
    • Person Centered Care:
    • LGBTQ+ & OT:
    • Healthcare Disparities:
    • LGBTQ CCD:
    • LGBTQ Task Force:




Uncorking Topics in Occupational Therapy with Miranda Rennie

Listen to Uncorking Topics in Occupational Therapy with Miranda Rennie

Sarah and Miranda discuss:

  • Her current OT role working in outpatient neuro and also teaching at a local university
  • How she first heard about occupational therapy
  • Transitioning from student to new practitioner
  • Tips for incorporating evidence into practice
  • Advocating for evidenced-based practice
  • Collaborating with others using evidence to advance the profession
  • A fun fact about Parkinson’s medication interactions
  • Starting a PhD program
  • Research as a practice area
  • Surround yourself with people that support and challenge you to pursue your dreams
  •  OT Uncorked
  • OT Potential
  • The Rainbow OT





Podcast Link:

Being Well and Finding Balance in Life with Brynne Terry

Listen to Being Well and Finding Balance in Life with Brynne Terry

Sarah and Brynne discuss:

  • Her current role as a OTD student
  • Stressful time periods for students and practitioners
  • How to define wellness
  • How stress impacts a person’s life
  • Implementing strategies before getting stressed to maximize effectiveness
  • Engaging in occupations to alleviate stress i.e. painting with watercolors, walks, being in nature
  • Picking one thing to focus on, rather than a bunch of different tasks that add to your to-do list
  • Keystone habits
  • Strategies to manage stress
  • Mindful meditation
  • Finding pockets to implement strategies
  • “You can do anything, but not everything”
  • The power of saying no
  • Removing sorry for your vocabulary and asserting your communication
  • Tips for staying organized
  • Time Tracker:
  • How the time of day impacts productivity/ motivation
  • Prioritizing yourself

Contact Brynne:




Becoming an Occupational Therapist: Starting an OT Program with Rachel Moore

Listen to Becoming an Occupational Therapist: Starting an OT Program with Rachel Moore

Sarah and Rachel discuss:

  • Link to first episode with Rachel:
  • What her orientation looked like
  • The emotional rollercoaster it was applying to OT schools
  • What it felt like to get the acceptance letter into an OT program?
  • Appreciating when things don’t always go as planned
  • Volunteering not just in OT settings to understand the bigger picture
  • Being a floater in a hospital
  • Hippotherapy with a physical therapist
  • Getting a snapshot of our lives through the podcast
  • Fieldwork Mini Series:
  • Advice for pre-OT students
  • What Rachel is most excited for about OT school and what she is most nervous about
  • Importance of building and growing your professional community as a student
  • Adjusting to changes in schedule and in life because of being in school
  • Pre-OT Success:
  • Standing out in you application
  • Moving from an atmosphere of competition during applications to collaboration within a program
  • Rachel turning the table on Sarah and asking her a few questions
  • Embracing the time you have in school
  • Paying attention to your self care while in school
  • How to be confident in asking questions
  • Getting involved in student leadership groups

Finding Your Community: 2019 AOTA Recap

Listen to Finding Your Community: 2019 AOTA Recap

Sarah shares:

  • Arriving and checking in early to avoid lines

  • Attending the SIS Networking Reception

  • Developmental Disabilities, Academic Education, Children & Youth, Productive Aging, Home & Community Health, Mental - Health, Rehabilitation & Disability, Sensory Integration & Processing, Work & Industry

  • For more information about SIS:

  • Making plans, but not sticking to them

  • Making the most out of your time at conference

  • Attending the International Breakfast and other World Federation of OT events

The Keynote Address and Opening Ceremony


Tweet Up

  • @OTBrianNY
  • @davidsmcguire
  • @BillWongOT
  • @TheOTtoolbox:
  • @MissJamieOT:
  • @AlondraLaOT:

IG Meet Up

  • @taelormadeot:
  • @shannenarie_ot:
  • @therainbowot
  • @clinitote:
  • @otreference
  • @allisontheotstudent:
  • @mermaidsandot
  • @carolineb_ot:
  • @ae_the_ot
  • @jordanot_
  • @lgthefitot:

Meeting other OT Podcasters

  • Mandy Chamberlain:
  • Dr. Michael Roberts:
  • OT After Dark:
  • Ericka Del Pozzo:
  • OT Uncorked:

Meeting up past podcast guests

  • Ijeoma Ikepeze: Episode 20:
  • Brandon Seigel- Episode 26:
  • Cami Culwell- Episode 7:

Expo hall

  • More Cow Belt:
  • Seeing Previous students
  • Meeting up with you the listener

Investing in yourself

Mark your calendar for next year March 26-29, 2020

Helping Kids with Autism Learn, Play and Thrive with Meg Proctor

Listen to Helping Kids with Autism Learn, Play and Thrive with Meg Proctor

Meg and Sarah discuss:

  • Common misconceptions about autism
  • Looking at the broader picture of children with autism
  • Utilizing the right tools for each individual child
  • Importance of evaluation and re-evaluation
  • Meg’s journey into specializing in autism
  • Finding the right mentor who aligns with your purpose and values
  • Working in early intervention and how that shaped Meg’s current work
  • Common questions from other therapists about autism and play
  • Selecting the right goals for working on play skills with children with autism
  • Identifying play skill goals versus social play goals and when to use them
  • Using simple activities to increase generalization from during therapy to the child’s daily routine
  • Utilizing a balance between using resources within the client’s homes and bringing a therapy bag
  • Use of naturalistic strategies to get them to start imitating
  • Scaffolding up or down to adjust the strategies to teach them skills, especially when they are rigid
  • How to structure you sessions
  • Meg’s company Learn Play Thrive

Contact her:

Coupon Code for OT 4 Lyfe Listeners: OT4Lyfe25

Facebook Group:


Double Timing Documentation with Jason Gonzales

Listen to Double Timing Documentation with Jason Gonzales

Jason and Sarah discuss:

  • Concepts such as efficiency, time management, prioritization, and redundancy
  • Learning in different ways
  • Lack of consistency in school-based reports
  • Common problems and complaints when writing reports
  • His personal experience and OT journey
  • How he identifies problems and then does something about it
  • What led him to develop Double Tim Docs and what it is
  • Tips for therapists to improve their own documentation process

You can find out more about Double Time Docs here:

You can contact Jason here:

Project: Sensory with Rachel Harrington and Jessica Hill

Listen to Project: Sensory with Rachel Harrington and Jessica Hill

Sensory processing is a complex entity with lots of intricacies and is often times overlooked and misunderstood. As occupational therapists, it is our job to uncover underlying sensory processing and sensory modulation problems within our clients and then educate and provide tips and strategies to help them learn to integrate the information for success and optimal function within their daily lives. Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC and Jessica Hill, COTA/L come on the show to cover a broad overview of what sensory processing is, what it looks like, and some of their favorite activities to address sensory concerns.

Sarah, Rachel, and Jessica discuss:

  • Common misconceptions of sensory processing
  • What sensory processing and sensory integration is
  • An overview of the sensory systems
  • The fine line between typical sensory functioning and dysfunction
  • How they got into and interested in sensory integration
  • What the Sensory Project is and how it started

Their favorite sensory activities and equipment: The Hammock Swing

Sensory resources for therapists:

Find them:

The Ins and Outs of the AOTA Conference

Listen to The Ins and Outs of the AOTA Conference

Attending conferences is a great way to learn new things and connect with people within the occupational therapy community. And one of the biggest events each year within the United States is the American Occupational Therapy Association conference. This episode details specifics about what the AOTA conference looks like, how to prepare, and tips on how to make for successful conference experience.

What it looks like?

  • Four days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday are full days, Sunday is a half day)
  • Pre-Conference institutes on Wednesday
  • Workshops, Short Courses, Research presentations, Conversations that Matter, Posters, Expo Hall, Alumni receptions
  • Presidential Address, Eleanor Clark Slagle Lecture, First Timer’s orientation, Fitness Events
  • Blood Drive and Book Drive this year

Benefits of going as a practitioner:

  • Continuing education units (up to 24)
  • Exposure to new research/ practice areas
  • Networking/ meeting like minded people
  • Inspiration and motivation

Attending as a student:

  • Some schools offer a conference scholarship
  • Student specific courses and presentations
  • Networking with other students and practitioners
  • Winning a free NBCOT exam

My favorite parts:

  • International Breakfast
  • Opening Ceremony
  • Keynote address
  • Grand Opening of the Expo Hall
  • Tweet Up
  • Meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends

Tips to Prepare:

  • Business cards
  • Notebook and pen or notepad on phone to write down notes/ contact info for people you meet
  • Water bottle
  • Extra battery & charging cords for phones/ computers
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Bring a sweater or coat
  • If going with a group, split up for courses and then share notes
  • Connect with people online beforehand
  • Be prepared that you can’t do it all

Other Resources:

If you have questions or comments, hit me up on social media:

The Business Side of Occupational Therapy with Brandon Seigel

Listen to The Business Side of Occupational Therapy with Brandon Seigel

Understanding the business side of occupational therapy is pivotal for any therapist and practice owner to know. In order to be successful within our profession, we must be aware of the state of healthcare and be solid within our purpose as a clinician. Our guest today, Brandon Seigel, is a private practice business consultant and executive director of Wellness Works Management Partners with years of experience helping practitioners start, run, and advance their practices to the next level.

Brandon recently published a book called The Private Practice Survival Guide, outlining highly useful information for therapists and practice owners alike. He presents all over the country at local and state conferences and has an online course and private practice podcast launching soon. His goal is to help therapists in creating a business model that ultimately helps them excel both on a business side and on a clinical side.

Brandon and Sarah discuss:

  • Brandon’s current professional life
  • Wellness Work Management Partners- Consulting Firm
  • Works with private practices all over the country and internationally (OT, PT, SLP & physician)
  • Consultation services and management services
  • Executive Director at Every Child Achieves in Southern California
  • Speaking all over the country, including 3 courses at American Occupational Therapy Association
  • New book just released called The Private Practice Survival Guide
  • Creating a new private practice podcast
  • Importance of prioritization
  • Why he does what he does
  • His start business and then how occupational therapy came into play
  • Struggles in school as a child and how that played a role in his desire to help others
  • Going to community college, then the University of Southern California, and graduating from California State University Northridge
  • Starting the workforce after college with entrepreneurs and managing other companies and multimillion dollar projects
  • His company was moving to a different state as he was marrying an occupational therapist whose mother had a successful therapy practice which needed some business support
  • Revolutionized that company and then branched out to start his own consulting company
  • Always felt a calling to purpose
  • His willingness to help his clients at any time and any day
  • How Brandon and Sarah met
  • Power of clinical integrity
  • Our current state of healthcare
  • The most asked question that he gets from private practice owners
  • Recognizing a therapist’s cost to a company
  • Shifting the employee mindset
  • Knowing the responsibilities of the employer and of the employees
  • Tips for therapists to stand out when being considered for a job
  • Resume building strategies
  • Importance of writing a cover letter and quickly responding to any correspondence for a job that you apply for
  • Self-awareness and his biggest perceived weakness is something that is not self-aware
  • Be specific in your skills and attributes
  • Discussing financials upfront
  • How to cut ties with an employee?
  • Upcoming online course coming in 2019

Find his book here: The Private Practice Survival Guide

Contact Him:



Twitter: @wellnessworksmp


The Power of Play in Clinic Based Therapy with Francesca Avalli

Listen to The Power of Play in Clinic Based Therapy with Francesca Avalli

We all discover occupational therapy through different ways and it is always fascinating to hear how each therapist is first introduced into this wonderful profession. Our guest today is the whole reason that our host Sarah became an occupational therapist in the first place after meeting her while she worked at a local preschool. Francesca Avalli, MS, OTR/L has a wealth of knowledge from her years working in pediatrics, both in the school and clinic setting, and has a passion for the profession of occupational therapy that is undeniable. She runs her own pediatric clinic in Los Angeles, California and created an awesome product called Handee Band to facilitate her client’s strength and growth.

Francesca and Sarah discuss:

  • Francesca’s current OT life
  • How her professional life has shifted since having a child
  • Working in the clinic setting
  • Starting a pediatric private practice
  • Her goal of mentoring and teaching newer occupational therapists
  • How Sarah and Francesca met
  • How Francesca inspired Sarah to become an occupational therapist
  • The difference between working for yourself and working for a company
  • The power of saying no and realizing boundaries as a therapist
  • Playing within the clinic setting
  • Her favorite treatment strategies and pieces of equipment
  • Teaching confidence to kids
  • Multiple uses of lycra within the clinic setting
  • Her most memorable moment as an OT
  • Managing client/parent relationships
  • How and why she created Handee Band
  • Who Handee Band can be used with

Find Handee Bands here: Handee Bands





Exploring the Country Through Travel Therapy with Emily Ann Becker

Listen to Exploring the Country Through Travel Therapy with Emily Ann Becker

Travel therapy is a unique practice area that consists of traveling to different parts of the United States in order to provide therapy services to places in need. Usually, rotations last about 13 weeks and then the therapist moves on to another placement. Sometimes there can be a potential to sign on for additional time if the services continue to be needed. Emily Ann Becker, OTR/L, is a travel occupational therapist who is currently licensed in 6 states and works in a variety of different settings, including skilled nursing facilities and home health. She discusses the best and worst parts of working in travel therapy and how flexibility is essential. Throughout our discussion she sheds light on the complexities and opportunities that being a travel therapist provides, as well as her passion for helping to inspire others.

Emily and Sarah discuss:

  • Being licensed in multiple states and the differences in state law.
  • The trials and tribulations of being a travel OT
  • The variety of settings that travel therapy provides
  • The ability to specify the new jobs you are presented
  • The best and worst parts of being a travel therapist
  • How much the placement companies help you with your placements
  • The personality that you need to be a travel therapist
  • The importance of self-care
  • Tips to becoming a travel OT
  • Tax implications of travel OT placements
  • Possibilities of international travel therapy
  • Choosing one word as a focus for the year


Instagram: @emilyann815

How Deep is Your Love For OT with Michael Roberts

Listen to How Deep is Your Love For OT with Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts, OTD, OTR/L, is the founder and current program director of the master’s degree program in Occupational Therapy at Regis College, in Boston Massachusetts. He has a strong passion for all things occupational therapy, as well as educating and empowering current occupational therapy students. His clinical background focused on adult physical dysfunction (inpatient, outpatient, and home care) with a specialty in oncology rehabilitation. He has completed research in fieldwork performance and next generation gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii) for health and wellness purposes, as well as presented at numerous state and national conferences, and independent oncology rehabilitation seminars. Dr. Roberts is the creator and host of the “I Love OT Podcast”, a show that highlights what is special, exciting, unique, and rewarding about the field of occupational therapy. His dedication and excitement for our profession pours out through his words as he shares wonderful stories and insightful wisdom from his OT experiences.

Sarah and Michael discuss:

  • Michael’s current OT life
  • Scope of working as a clinician vs being an educator
  • His journey from clinical OT to being in academia
  • Working in the home environment with children and adults
  • The importance of being a fieldwork educator and what it provides for students, practitioners, and clients
  • His research in fieldwork education
  • Setting up an open communicate and a reflective process during the fieldwork process
  • How student’s own ideas and activities foster the therapeutic process
  • Thinking outside the box for each individual client
  • Importance of occupation based practice within the natural environment
  • Challenging aspects of OT/ getting knee deep in our client’s lives
  • Memorable stories from the field
  • How OTs have keen observation skills within their practice and in their personal lives
  • Why Michael got into podcasting
  • What he loves about OT
  • Staying curious and continuing to learn within our profession

Find the I Love OT podcast here:

Twitter: @otdaddy

Instagram: @realotdaddy

Crafting Your Life for Success with Intention and Purpose with Andy Nielsen from OT Growth

Listen to Crafting Your Life for Success with Intention and Purpose with Andy Nielsen from OT Growth

Andy Nielsen, OTS is an business innovator having founded products like the patented 8Scape folder and a Facebook advertising company called Big Ocean Commerce. He currently attends A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona and is completing his masters in occupational therapy. Integrating his background in business and his holistic approach to healthcare, Andy started OT Growth, a website aimed at helping pre-OT students, current OT students, and OT practitioners succeed within the career. He is a family man who strives to lead a balanced life serving others and contributing to society in meaningful ways.

Sarah and Andy discuss:

  • Andrew’s early life as an entrepreneur
  • “Just Start” cause there is always more to learn
  • The book “The Power of Starting Something Stupid” by Richie Norton
  • Using OT’s creative skills to develop life changing ideas
  • Finding your calling in your life
  • Taking risks to find what keeps you engaged
  • Changing your mindset to handle failures
  • Setting up your life to prioritize your time
  • Considering the worst case scenario
  • Pushing through adversity to get to your goals
  • Setting yourself apart for your applications
  • The importance of advocating for OT

He graciously created a list of resources just for the OT 4 Lyfe Tribe, which can be found here:

Link to the Design Your Freedom video




Incorporating Dogs into Animal Assisted Therapy with Karen Ni from Sun Dog Therapy

Listen to Incorporating Dogs into Animal Assisted Therapy with Karen Ni from Sun Dog Therapy

Dr. Karen Ni, OTD, MA, OTR/L, CPDT-KA is passionate about using animal assisted therapy as a meaningful and powerful therapeutic tool. She uses her dogs, Dottie and Tater, as her canine co-therapists to assist in her therapy sessions and provide a different perspective and aspect to therapy interventions. She has also opened her own private practice, Sun Dog Therapy, that offers occupational therapy services, dog training, and other types of services related to caring for and learning about dogs. Sarah and Karen discuss:

  • Clarifying and defining terms that pertain to Animal Assisted Therapy.
  • Understanding the animal’s well-being during therapy and thinking of them as co-therapists.
  • The need for certification and training for animal assisted therapy.
  • Designing your schooling to emphasize your interests.
  • How dogs are incorporated into a variety of therapy sessions.
  • The difference in training for therapy rather than obedience.
  • Empowering the client by allowing them to train the dog and show others their results.
  • Transitioning skills from individual skills to generalized skills.
  • Starting SunDog Therapy as a private therapy practice
  • Lessons learned while starting a new business
  • Becoming involved with service dogs through other facets than specifically OT

Animal Assisted Intervention International -

SunDog Therapy -




Leading From Where You Are with Ijeoma Ikpeze

Listen to Leading From Where You Are with Ijeoma Ikpeze

Ijeoma (EJ) Ikpeze OTA/S is a OTA student at Erie Community College who recently finished her school work and is about to embark on her first Level II fieldwork. She has a passion for leadership and profound interest in promoting the profession of occupational therapy. EJ is currently the only student and only OTA representative in the AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program. Sarah and EJ discuss her experiences, including:

  • OTA school workload and her interests for fieldwork
  • Learning and getting comfortable with practicing in early intervention
  • Getting exposure to a variety of practice settings
  • Going back to get an Associates Degree after getting a Bachelor’s degree
  • Being accepted into the AOTA Emerging Leadership Development Program
  • Going to “Hill Day” at the Capitol Hill in Washington DC to lobby for OT
  • What defines a leader and being a leader as an OT
  • Getting involved state legislature to make a difference

More info about the AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program:

Contact her at:

Happiness Through Movement, Education and Volunteering with Elizabeth DeBlasi

Listen to Happiness Through Movement, Education and Volunteering with Elizabeth DeBlasi

Elizabeth DeBlasi, MS, OTR/L is a professor at Long Island University who woke up one night with a passion for international volunteer work. Within two weeks she was on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa to learn more about Therapists Without Borders. She and Sarah discuss their passions for pediatric therapy and how much they value sharing their knowledge around the world. They discuss:

  • How many hats OTs seem to wear on a regular basis
  • Getting to Cape Town with 2 weeks notice for WFOT
  • Finding your calling in OT and combining your passions
  • Empowering parents to make the primary difference in their child’s life
  • Passion for teaching and training students
  • Getting inspiration in the middle of the night
  • Balancing work with passions outside of work
  • Using yoga with sensory stimulation for young children
  • What happens at a Silence Retreat
  • Volunteer work within traveling, positive and negative experiences
  • Advocating for yourself and skills when volunteering
  • What makes Therapists Without Borders a great organization
  • How volunteering affects both the therapist and the client

Contact Elizabeth:
Instagram: @the.ot.movement

Find out more about Therapists Without Borders:

Notes From the OT School House with Jayson Davies and Abby Parana

Listen to Notes From the OT School House with Jayson Davies and Abby Parana

Pediatric occupational therapists work in a variety of settings which present their own challenges and advantages. School Based OT’s have their own distinct perspective on working in pediatrics and working in conjunction with teachers and school administrators to provide the most benefit to their clients. Jayson, Abby, and Sarah discuss a variety of topics relating to school based therapy.

They discuss:

  • Random findings in the laundry
  • Funny stories from the daily life of a pediatric OT
  • Helping kids understand more difficult parts of life
  • The job market for school based OTs across the US
  • The best and worst parts of school based OT
  • Finding and being mentors through your career
  • Advocating for other types of services for clients within the school settings
  • Experiences that led them to their passion in OT
  • Strategies on how to deal with and avoid burnout
  • Why they started their podcast
  • Professional development units by listening to podcasts

Follow Them on:

  • Instagram:
  • Twitter:
  • Facebook:


  • Abby:
  • Jayson:

OT School House Podcast:

Guidelines for OT Practices:

20% off Promo Code for OT School House Professional Development Credits: OT4LYFE

OT-PT Collaboration in Early Intervention with Jennifer Ogawa, PT

Listen to OT-PT Collaboration in Early Intervention with Jennifer Ogawa, PT

Physical therapy in early intervention has a very distinct view. Collaborating with occupational therapists allows each practitioner the ability to see the same therapy intervention from a fresh set of eyes. Jennifer Ogawa joins to discuss collaborating in early intervention.

Sarah and Jennifer discuss:

  • The benefits of collaborating between disciplines
  • How to beat traffic in Los Angeles
  • The advantages of home based therapy
  • Their favorite toys to use in therapy
  • The joys of working in early intervention
  • The benefits of being a well rounded therapist
  • The craziest thing they have experienced in a client's home
  • How to get into early intervention and what is required

You can find Jennifer on Instagram here:

OT Round Table: The Best Parts, The Hardest Parts and What We Wish Others Understood About OT

Listen to OT Round Table: The Best Parts, The Hardest Parts and What We Wish Others Understood About OT

As occupational therapy clinicians, our jobs drastically shape our values and perspective on life. We share a unique outlook and approach to meaningful engagement in all of life’s occupations. Today is the first round table session in which Brock and Erika, a few OTs from different practice areas, come together to discuss topics within the field.

Guest Panelists:

  • Brock Cook, BA OccThy - Lecturer - James Cook University - Mental Health
  • Erika Downs, COTA/L, MSG - Geriatrics

We discuss the following topics:

  • The beach
  • Apps & social media: MySpace, Facebook, Marco Polo
  • Structure of our jobs in per diem, home health, mental health, and academia
  • Hardest parts of current jobs
  • Limitations on our jobs as a therapist imposed from our healthcare systems
  • Dealing with tough cases and death of a client
  • What we wish more people knew about occupational therapy
  • Why people do not know what occupational therapy is
  • Our favorite/ last watched TV show
  • Mental health as a practice area in the United States and Australia
  • Our paths to the field of occupational therapy
  • Importance of gaining exposure in numerous practice areas
  • Best parts of being an occupational therapist

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 6 of 6 - Week 13: Reflections on the Experience

Listen to Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 6 of 6 - Week 13: Reflections on the Experience

The student’s first Level 2 fieldwork is over:

  • Feelings during the last couple of weeks
  • Level of growth and now possessing a new prospective
  • Structure of Level 2 fieldworks: back to back or having more schooling in between
  • AOTA Final Evaluation and the Student Evaluation of the Fieldwork Experience
  • Reflections on their perceived strengths and weaknesses from first episode
  • Recognizing their continued challenges and their biggest positive takeaways
  • Balancing self-care with demands of fieldwork
  • Overall feelings throughout their experience
  • Considerations of recording their experience

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 5 of 6 - Week 9: Struggling to Balance Fieldwork with Life

Listen to Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 5 of 6 - Week 9: Struggling to Balance Fieldwork with Life

It’s week 9 of Level II fieldwork and Rachelle and Maya are here to discuss their current state’s as they head into the last few weeks of their clinical rotation:

  • Current expectations at the end of their fieldwork
  • How to handle schedule changes
  • Strategies for documentation and report writing
  • The benefits of having a support system outside of OT
  • Work-life balance
  • Importance of working with the family in pediatrics

Coping strategies for dealing with the mental, physical, and emotional stress of fieldwork.

The Very First Steps in Becoming an OT with Rachel Moore

Listen to The Very First Steps in Becoming an OT with Rachel Moore

Every occupational therapists journey begins with OT school. And before school, comes pre-requisites, the GRE, volunteer hours, and applications. Being right in the middle of this process, Rachel Moore discusses how she is managing all the requirements and preparing to begin applying to OT programs. She shares some great insight into resources she has found helpful and tips for what to expect as a volunteer.

Steps to take for the OT application

  • OTCAS: Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service
  • GRE: Graduate Record Exam
  • Advice for pre OT students and volunteers

Occupational Therapy resources

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 4 of 6 - Week 6: Halfway Through Fieldwork and Experiencing the Midterm Review

Listen to Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 4 of 6 - Week 6: Halfway Through Fieldwork and Experiencing the Midterm Review

It’s Midterm and Rachelle and Maya have completed 6 of their 12 weeks of fieldwork. Sarah reconnects with Rachelle and Maya to discuss details regarding the AOTA midterm evaluation and to get updates in regards to their current fieldwork experience. We’ll hear information about:

  • AOTA midterm evaluation
  • Communication with supervisors
  • Pros and cons of videotaping students during treatment sessions as a learning tool
  • Student’s progress towards becoming an entry-level practitioner
  • Challenge of incorporating occupation-based treatments
  • Documentation challenges and strategies to address them
  • Exposure to non-clinical roles as an occupational therapist
  • Advice for other students as they embark on Level II fieldwork experience
  • Effect of fieldwork experience on Rachelle and Maya’s future aspirations as occupational therapists

Using Gardens in a Holistic Approach to Occupational Therapy with Deedee Levine

Listen to Using Gardens in a Holistic Approach to Occupational Therapy with Deedee Levine

While working as a school-based OT, Deedee Levine MS, OTR/L, YT-200, CD has found gardening and gardens to be a unique and integral part of her Occupational Therapy treatments. In addition to that, it’s helping children understand their overall health from a whole new perspective. Using Occupational Therapy as a pillar of her holistic healing approach, she has branched out into multiple other facets of health care. We discuss:

  • How she blends environmental science with occupational therapy
  • Impact of outside gardens on youth in schools
  • Cooking is the most important OT treatment session
  • Skills utilized during cooking activity
  • How taking care of a plant can influence children
  • Food justice and implications of availability of fresh foods in low income areas
  • Empowering families to be able to grow and make their own foods to be healthy
  • Microscopic versus whole view lens
  • Disconnection between where our food comes from these days
  • Grants and funding opportunities for therapists
  • Engaging the entire school and not just students receiving therapy
  • Occupational therapy can also be seen as opportunity therapy
  • Incorporating yoga and Ayurvedic doula into occupational therapy
  • Relatedness of sensory processing and Ayurveda
  • Promoting health and wellness at the beginning, rather than only addressing it once something goes wrong
  • An explanation of her private practice, Deedee Levine Therapeutics

Find out more on her site:

Or follow her on:

Instagram: @deedeelevinetherapeutics

Facebook: DeedeeLevineTherapeutics

A Special Episode Full of Thanks

Listen to A Special Episode Full of Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving in the US and that means it’s time to sit down and reflect on all the things in your life that you are thankful for. Sarah sits down to contemplate all the things and people she is thankful for in her life, including:

  • The ability to impact the lives of her clients
  • Being a fieldwork educator and impacting the next generation of OT’s
  • Opportunities for volunteering abroad and the ability to travel
  • Elaine at CRECER
  • Olga at Háskólinn á Akureyri
  • Pushing through the limiting beliefs to get the Podcast live
  • The guests that took a chance to record before the podcast went live
  • The Level II Fieldwork students that recorded the mini-series.
  • Mastermind Mind groups with Leo, Debra and Alexis, Jayson & Abby
  • Alex and Kiara for putting together show notes and helping fine tune ideas.
  • Brock Cook at the Occupied Podcast -
  • Sarah’s husband Ray for setting up all the background, promoting and editing.
  • The listeners and community that is building around this podcast

A giveaway - snap a picture of a review in your favorite podcast player and email it to

Thanks again everyone!

Making A Difference Around The Globe With Lauren Stanley-Alpert

Listen to Making A Difference Around The Globe With Lauren Stanley-Alpert

Having a love for travel and pediatric occupational therapy, Lauren Stanley-Alpert, MS, OTR/L, C/NDT felt the drive to combine her two passions. After struggling to find reliable organizations to volunteer with, she decided to create her own organization to provide a more affordable, responsible, and sustainable volunteer experience for other therapists. Therapists Without Borders aims to connect occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech language pathologists to individuals and communities across the globe that have a significant need for therapy services while making sure that the services provided has a long lasting positive effect on the population.

They discuss:

  • Attending the 2018 World Federation of Occupational Therapists conference
  • Issues with current international volunteer opportunities
  • Sustainability of carry over of services for people with special needs
  • Importance of researching volunteering opportunities
  • What to expect when volunteering
  • Dealing with difficult experiences and differences abroad
  • Why people should be interested in volunteering in less fortunate areas


Instagram: @properjetiquette

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 3 of 6 - Week 5: Bridging the Gap Between Student and OT Practitioner

Listen to Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 3 of 6 - Week 5: Bridging the Gap Between Student and OT Practitioner

After 5 weeks of their Level 2 fieldwork, Rachelle and Maya are back to debrief about their experiences so far. They are just about halfway done and being expected to do more and more every week. Their caseloads are increasing and the demands are becoming more challenging as they bridge the gap between student and practitioner. They discuss:

  • Daily and weekly responsibilities
  • Adjusting to the high demands of fieldwork
  • Tough conversations with parents
  • Importance of seeing things in context
  • Interactions with supervisors, students, and other professionals
  • Importance of taking initiative and advocating for yourself
  • Benefits of reaching out to school faculty for guidance during fieldwork
  • Favorite experiences from fieldwork thus far

From Occupational Therapist to Entrepreneur with Cami Culwell

Listen to From Occupational Therapist to Entrepreneur with Cami Culwell

Occupational therapy and entrepreneurship have a lot in common. Cami Culwell, MA, OTR/L was having trouble with existing bags during her day to day practice as a treating therapist. Clinitote was born out of a drive to make something that is vital to every practitioner’s life more functional and fashionable. Sarah and Cami cover a lot of topics during their talk including:

  • Their most memorable experiences as OT’s
  • How to deal with the loss of a client
  • Importance of having a mentor
  • The challenges of starting a business
  • Implementing work/life balance
  • Overcoming criticism
  • Advice for an aspiring entrepreneur
  • How being an OT has helped overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur

You can contact her on:

Facebook: @clinitote

Instagram: @clinitote2017

For a 30% discount on any Clinitote purchase use the promo code: OT4LYFE30

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 2 of 6 - Week 2: Moving from Observation to Hands-On Practice

Listen to Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 2 of 6 - Week 2: Moving from Observation to Hands-On Practice

Maya and Rachelle return to the podcast with two of their twelve weeks of fieldwork completed. We touch base with them to see how everything is going, shed some light on what the beginning of fieldwork could look like, and discuss strategies for making the jump from observation to hands on practice. The following topics are covered:

  • Current successes and challenges in fieldwork
  • Managing difficult behaviors in pediatrics
  • Supervisory experience
  • A typical day as a Level II student
  • Time commitments and management during and outside of fieldwork
  • Exposure to notes and documentation
  • Transitioning from observing to leading sessions
  • Reviewing client population and ages
  • Work/ life balance

Limiting Beliefs, Accountability and Masterminds with Leo Valenzuela

Listen to Limiting Beliefs, Accountability and Masterminds with Leo Valenzuela

Ultra-running and endurance hikes test one’s ability to overcome exhaustion, mental blocks, and limiting beliefs. Besides being a favorite occupation of Dr. Leo Valenzuela PT, DPT, they have also taught him many life lessons that he has utilized in order to start his own physical therapy private practice, Los Leones Physical Therapy. Sarah and Leo meet to chat about how they formed a mastermind group in order to accomplish their goals of starting a PT practice and an OT podcast. They discuss the importance of community and how it held them accountable and taught them pivotal skills in pursuing their dreams.

They discuss a range of topics including:

  • Ultra-running and endurance hikes
  • Pushing limits and challenging yourself
  • Starting a private practice
  • Hardest part of getting it off the ground
  • Pushing past boundaries
  • Maintaining consistency
  • Most exciting part of starting his own business
  • Going against the grain
  • Importance of having a community
  • Helping with finances, marketing, website design
  • Motivation from others who are also wanting to start something
  • Our favorite physical therapy podcast and Facebook group
  • The PT Entrepreneur Podcast
  • PT Entrepreneur on Facebook
  • Mastermind groups
  • Being held accountable
  • Changing your life personally and professionally
  • Limiting factors and impostor syndrome
  • Setting goals to be better than the month before
  • Failing forward
  • Advice for others wanting to start their own practices

The PT Entrepreneur Podcast

You can reach out to Leo at Los Leones Physical Therapy:

On Instagram: @losleonespt

Or at his site:

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 1 of 6 - Week 0: Excitement and Trepidation as Fieldwork Begins

Listen to Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series - Part 1 of 6 - Week 0: Excitement and Trepidation as Fieldwork Begins

For occupational therapy students, going on a fieldwork rotation is exciting and also a little nerve-wracking. It is the time that they finally get the chance to integrate the information that they learned in the classroom and apply it directly into practice. We had the opportunity to chat with two Masters level students, Rachelle and Maya, who are about to embark on their first Level II fieldwork experience. This episode will be the first of 6 as we follow along with them over their 12 week rotation. Sarah and the students will delve into the following topics:

  • Transitioning from the classroom into a practice setting
  • Students’ strengths and weaknesses going into their first Level II
  • Students’ feelings and emotions before beginning fieldwork
  • Current level of preparation and methods to further prepare before starting fieldwork
  • Working with clients and caregivers in various settings
  • Importance of self-care throughout fieldwork
  • Models of student supervision
  • Advice to students from a supervisor’s point of view
  • Meaning of occupational therapy to students