Occupational Therapy Quotes

April is OT month, and we are celebrating what it means to be an occupational therapist with the best occupational therapy quotes. Although every therapist is unique, and every setting poses its own challenges and opportunities, we are all united in this wonderful profession. To help us celebrate OT month and share the love of OT, let us present 10 of the most inspirational quotes for occupational therapy professionals!

Occupational Therapy Quotes 

Seasoned OTs will be reminded of why we do our work, new graduates can share what their work actually means, and maybe we will even get a few new recruits along the way.

You’ll also love these to use these occupational therapy memes in sharing to social media. And best of all, lets celebrate the field of OT!

“Medicine adds days to lives, occupational therapy adds life to days.”

OT Quote #1: “Medicine adds days to lives, occupational therapy adds life to days.” 

Unknown

  • In our number 1 spot is one of my absolute favorite sayings. It presents such a simple way to show how OT differs from traditional medicine and highlights what occupation means to us: the meaningful bits of one’s life. 
Occupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can’t into can. Impossible into possible.

OT Quote #2: “Occupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can’t into can. Impossible into possible.” 

Valerie Pena, OTR

  • Simple yet effective; this quote symbolizes the change that OTs make in their patients’ lives. We are highly skilled in increasing functional independence and provide the tools and education needed for doing so. 
Occupational therapy practitioners ask, “what matters to you?” not, “what’s the matter with you?

OT Quote#3: Occupational therapy practitioners ask, “what matters to you?” not, “what’s the matter with you?” 

AOTA President, Virginia “Ginny” Stoffel, Ph.D., OT, BCMH, FAOTA

  • This is one of those quotes that makes me so proud to be an OT. The best OTs will first discover with the patient what is most meaningful to them and go from there. We do not focus on the deficits but on the goals. 
As pediatric occupational therapists, you are supporting mental health.

OT Quote #4: “As pediatric occupational therapists, you are supporting mental health.” 

Tiffany Northrop, OTR/L

  • Here is a reminder for us all: occupational therapists support mental health! Some work exclusively in mental health settings, but we all greatly consider mental health as a service provider. 
I long to accomplish a great a noble task; but it is my chief responsibility to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

OT Quote #5: “I long to accomplish a great a noble task; but it is my chief responsibility to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” 

Helen Keller

  • She was not an OT, but her words ring true for our profession. The “little things” like brushing your teeth, writing your name, and buttoning your shirt become very important when you cannot easily do them. 
Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.

OT Quote #6: “Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.” 

Mary Reilly, OTR, Ed.D.

  • Shout out to all the certified hand therapists out there! The hands are used in just about every occupation, and their healthy function is integral to our experiences with daily activities. 
Occupational Therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide.

OT Quote #6: “Occupational Therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide.” 

Jessica Kensky

  • As a Boston Marathon survivor, and an oconology RN, Jessica has seen both sides of rehabilitation. During a keynote speech for the AOTA, Jessica offered this quote to describe her experience of receiving occupational therapy after her below knee amputation. 
Play is really the work of childhood.

OT Quote #7: “Play is really the work of childhood.” 

Fred Rogers 

  • Mr. Rogers was an amazing advocate for many important causes, but he especially cared for the children of the world. Occupational therapists often may look like they are “just playing”, but play is crucial! Play is not only the work of a child, but it is the way that they learn and the pathway to growth. 
When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

OT Quote #8: “When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” 

Eleanor Brownn

  • Self-care is integral (crucial, necessary, essential, fill-in-the-blank) to the ability to provide for others. Burn out occurs when we do not take the time to care for ourselves, or allow ourselves to be cared for. Although it is not in our nature, occupational therapy practitionners, like many others, need to prioritize themselves in order to give to others. 
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

OT Quote #9: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

Winston S. Churchill

  • This is just another way to say that we see abilities and not disabilities. OTs use activity analysis to break down all the little details that make it possible to complete a task. Through this, we can see the strengths and provide supports based on them. 
“Occupational therapy is more than a job. For many it is a calling. We felt drawn to it.”

Quote #10: “Occupational therapy is more than a job. For many it is a calling. We felt drawn to it.” 

Amy Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA

To close out our list, we have a quote from Amy Lamb that describes how much our profession means to us. This is not just a job, but a vocation. It may not always be perfect, but we love being occupational therapists! Happy OT month! 

For more occupational therapy month resources, check out the free downloads that we’ve shared to promote the profession and celebrate all that we do:

Sydney Thorson, OTR/L, is a new occupational therapist working in school-based therapy. Her
background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about
providing individualized and meaningful treatment for each child and their family. Sydney is also
a children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.

Occupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can’t into can. Impossible into possible.