The ability to participate in everyday activities that hold meaning and value is a determinant of health and wellbeing. Occupational therapists work with people when health and social barriers limit this valued participation. However a challenge persists in including religious practice or ‘doing’ within therapy, with many occupational therapists feeling ill-equipped and reluctant to address religious doing. The study reported here examines religious doing within the lives of participants from a number of faith traditions. A photovoice method is used, with participants discussing photographs that they have taken to describe their religious doing. Data are analyzed using a phenomenological reflective lifeworld approach. Findings are grouped into six themes and are explored using both verbatim quotes from transcripts and some of the photographs taken by participants. A reflective description of the core aspects of participants’ practical religious doing is constructed from the data, with the intention of providing occupational therapists with a basis from which to begin to consider practical religious doing within the lives of their clients. It is proposed that occupational therapists do not need an in-depth knowledge of theology and doctrine but rather an understanding of key and familiar occupational principles such as person-centred habits and routines, and community connectedness.
- religious practice
- occupational therapy