Renee Shearing | Addictions, eating disorder, trauma, TRE provider


What does an Occupational Therapist do and how can you help me?

Occupational Therapists are allied health professionals. Occupational Therapy is a four year degree and we study on the medical campus.

It is a holistic approach to health, incorporating mind body and spirit. We focus on the physical and the psychological workings of the human body.

We focus on how different illnesses or problems affect an individuals ability to function in the world that they live in.

By definition;

"Occupational therapy promotes health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful occupations. Occupation can be defined as "active process of living: from the beginning to the end of life, ... occupations are all the active processes of looking after ourselves and others, enjoying life, and being socially and economically productive over the lifespan and in various contexts" These include (but are not limited to) work, leisure, self care, domestic and community activities. Occupational therapists work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations to facilitate health, well-being and justice through engagement in occupation." (Wikipedia)

Occupational therapy is an extremely wide and varied practise. We can work in a multitude of different treatment settings, from paediatrics to geriatrics, covering physical and mental health.

An Occupational Therapist's aim is to assist individuals to meet their own life goals. Our focus is on promoting independence and to facilitate individuals to achieve their optimal level of functioning whatever that might be.

We work in the “here and now”, looking at what is going on for you at the moment. We look at finding workable solutions for the problems you face so as to best facilitate you achieving your life's goals.

We look at what is missing that you are unable to fulfil or achieve your goals and your life roles and we work to equip you with the skills that may be missing.

With regards to psychiatry and with Addiction so often what we find that we are missing are life skills such as;

  • emotional tolerance

  • conflict management

  • relationship management

  • setting boundaries

  • building self esteem

Generally we look at what you want to achieve, we then look at what is stopping you from reaching your goals or fulfilling your roles and we try and fill the gaps.

We can use a variety of different treatment approaches such as talk therapy, role play, inner child work, body work and so much more.

But for the most part we believe that health is through engaging in our world and in meaningful occupation.


What can I expect in the initial appointment?

The first session is an information gathering session.  I am interested to know what has brought you to see me, what is troubling you and what changes you would like to make in your life.

It is will also important for me to gather some information about you and your history so that I can gain some perspective in terms of what is troubling you in the context of your life.

Through this discussion can discuss your treatment goals and begin formulate a treatment plan.

This is also an opportunity for us to get a sense of what it is like for us to work together. If, at the end of the first session, we decide for any reason that your needs would be better served by someone else, I will do my best to provide you with referrals to meet those needs.

How long will it take?

It is not possible to answer this question accurately since the length of treatment will vary.

Once I learn more about the issues you would like to work on, I will more easily be able to provide you with some idea of how long we might be working together. Usually weekly sessions work best, however in some cases individuals have initially twice weekly sessions during a time of crisis or unusual stress.  Ultimately it depends on the motivation of the clients, if you are coming to work on one specific goal and accomplish that goal, then you may end up terminating treatment at that time.

If you are coming specifically to learn TRE® then we would normally meet for at least six sessions and then we would re-evaluate whether you feel comfortable to continue the practice on your own or whether you would need a few more sessions to get to a point where you feel comfortable using this tool independently.

What can I expect in a session?


TDuring sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts one hour. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.

What benefits can I expect?

Often it is helpful just to have someone to listen and to know that this person understands what you are going through. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your problems and your personal goals and values

  • Developing skills  and tools for improving your relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy

  • Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety

  • Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures

  • Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you

  • Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviours & develop new ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?

If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, our first task is to figure that out. It may take a few sessions before a direction is revealed.  During the course of therapy, as you evolve, your goals may change.  When this occurs it is a great opportunity for you to employ some of the new skills and techniques you have learned during the treatment process.  A collaborative approach will be taken to assist you as you navigate through these challenges, promoting a move toward independence.

What if I need medication?

Sometimes medication combined with therapy is part of the treatment plan. Only Psychiatrists and GP's are licensed to prescribe medication. I do, however maintain a close working relationship with a variety of psychiatrists who are knowledgeable, ethical and compassionate, and I will match you up based on your needs, personalities, location, etc. If at any point you or I feel that a medication evaluation might be helpful, I would recommend that you make an appointment for an evaluation, however the final choice is always yours.

Please CONTACT ME if you have any further questions or if you wish to book an appointment.