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Power and confidence in professions: lessons for occupational therapy


Background: Powerful professions have the capacity to obtain leadership positions, advocate successfully in the policy arena, and secure the resources necessary to achieve their professional goals. Within the occupational therapy profession, cultivating power and confidence among our practitioners is essential to realize our full capacity for meeting society’s occupational needs.

Purpose and Key Issues:Drawing from a historical analysis of the medical and nursing professions, this paper discusses the implications of power and disempowerment among health professions for their practitioners, clients, and public image. Theoretical perspectives on power from social psychology, politics, organizational management, and post-structuralism are introduced and their relevance to the profession of occupational therapy is examined.

Implications:The paper concludes with recommendations for occupational therapy practitioners to analyze their individual sources of power and evaluate opportunities to develop confidence and secure power for their professional work in venues both in and outside the workplace.

Clark, F.A. (2010) Power and confidence in professions: lessons foroccupationaltherapy, Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(5), pp264-9

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