• Sarah Anderson

Episode 1: What's Your Vision?

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

Alright everyone. I started this podcast for several reasons. First, I wanted a platform to be able to talk about role emerging and role enhancing areas of practice. These practice areas, I truly believe, will make up-if not the majority-at least half of the most common areas of employment for OT practitioners in the future. Second, I want to encourage OT practitioners to take that next step towards breaking free of the norm and branching out into uncharted territories. Episode 1 of The Innovative OT is merely a snapshot of what is to come. I will be interviewing 2 guests a month, and I will have 2 solo shows a month. My guests will be from all walks of life. I’ve will have a variety of OT educators, entrepreneurs, program developers, and researchers all within the first several months. I will be interviewing OTs who have experienced success as well as failures. I am hoping you all can relate to those interview and find inspiration. Below are the show notes for the first episode-“ What’s Your Vision?”!

Side Note: Try not to judge my writing style for the show notes section. I try to get these out as fast as possible and keep them in their original form. I know they are not perfect-and they are not meant to be ;)

Hello Everyone and welcome to The Innovative OT. My name is Dr. Sarah Anderson and I am a pediatric and mental health occupational therapist, OT educator, and entrepreneur. This podcast is solely dedicated to the topics of role emerging and role enhancing practice areas, entrepreneurship, and program development. This is meant to be a creative space and hopefully for those of you who have been considering starting your own business, or branching out from the typical OT setting, this podcast will give you the motivation and inspiration you’ve been needing. I’ve got an amazing line of up of guests for you all! I will be interviewing OTs who have started their own businesses dedicated to treating population that otherwise would not have benefited from our services and knowledge. I’ve got OT’s in academia who are engaging in research dedicated to expanding the field. I will be having conversations with OTs who want to break from traditional practice but have experienced road blocks. We will get real and raw about failures, successes, and what keeps these individuals motivated when they’ve heard the word “no” hundreds of times.

My goal for this podcast is to have at least two guests a month, and two sole shows a month. If you feel like you know someone, or you would be the perfect guest on my show shoot me an email. You can contact me at

Today I want share with you a little bit about my own story-why and how I started my businesses, and my own goals, dreams, and aspirations for the future. So, let’s get into it.

I started my career out as a pediatric home health therapist. As a new grad I really didn’t understand the importance of mentorship. I have always been a go getter and pretty self sufficient so I didn’t really think mentorship was necessary for me. Well, about 6 months into practice I realized that working solo was not for me. I craved being able to bounce ideas off of someone and wanted to learn from an expert. My boss at the time needed a trained feeding therapist so she paid for me to be mentored by an expert feeding therapist down in Tuscan for a short while. The mentorship was fantastic and I loved getting to work with someone who had so much more knowledge than I did. After the mentorship ended, I realized that I wanted to work in an environment where I would have contact with other professionals on a regular basis, so I went to a clinic and then a school. Both settings were great. About a year into working for the school I decided I wanted to pursue my doctorate. After making an extensive pro and con list I chose a post professional OTD program. I will do a separate podcast on why I choose an OTD versus a research doctorate and the pros and cons of each. Hopefully that segment will help any of you who are considering going back.

I chose to go back to my doctorate for several reasons. One, I wanted to learn more. Two, I knew that practicing full time was not what I wanted to do long term. I wanted to get into program development and possibly teaching. At the time I didn’t think I really wanted to engage in research. I though research would be too overwhelming, and it almost seemed daunting at the time. Let me just say I do not feel that way anymore and I actually love engaging in research projects today. About a month into my doctorate program I saw an opening for a faculty position at my alma mater and I emailed one of my old professors just to see what they would say. I thought it was a shot in the dark. I got an email back and they told me to apply. So I did and I didn’t get the job. About three months after my interview I received a call from the program director and she offered me a .3 FTE position. I was so excited. I also felt like this was the perfect way for me to get into academia. I was able to still practice part time and I could teach part time with solid mentorship. The school I was working at required a full time 40 a week OT so I ended up resigning from that position and found an amazing opportunity working at a child advocacy center, specifically with children who had experienced childhood trauma. This area as we all know is an emerging area of practice. I will talk about my experience working with this population more in another podcast. One thing I will say is that I love working in mental health-with mental health professionals-and so much more work needs to be done in this area. I was able to work very closely with my boss Dr. Shefali Gandhi, who is a phenomenal clinical psychologist, and we were able to develop and build an amazing OT program at the center. My job was to solely focus on helping clients increase their capacity to self-regulate. I did this through a variety of interventions and methods including: mindfulness strategies, increasing interoceptive awareness, body-based feedback, cognitive behavioral activities, Photovice, and sensory modulation. I have started training in the area of biofeedback but have not made much progress in the didactic program since having my daughter back in July.

The rest of the episode focuses on why I love role emerging/role enhancing areas of practice, why I started by own businesses specifically in role emerging/role enhancing areas of practice, and why I hope more OTs find love and passion for this area.

I hope you all enjoyed my first episode.

Yours truly,

Dr. A

#dream #OT #roleemerging #roleenhancing #goals

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