History

A history of compassion

Occupational therapy developed in the 18th and 19th centuries from a base of rehabilitative and psychiatric medicine when Phillipe Pinel, William Tuke and Dorothea Dix began challenging hospital and asylum conditions and promoted the benefits of engaging in daily occupation. Years later, as a result of their efforts, occupational therapy became a recognized profession.

It was almost a century ago when Canadian occupational therapists formed the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. Although they originally focused much of their activity in central Canada, it wasn’t long before a number of therapists began making their way east to work with returned soldiers. About twenty-five years later, the Nova Scotia Society of Occupational Therapists (NSSOT) was formed to promote the profession through both education and public awareness.

Learn more about the history of occupational therapy in Atlantic Canada.