Title

Translating collective occupations to Japanese culture: "Uchi (inside)"

Location

Merritt Room

Start Time

2-10-2015 3:00 PM

End Time

2-10-2015 4:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Occupational science originated from Western ideas and has focused on individuals. However, as we develop our theories of occupation, human health, and well-being, we also need to be aware of the importance of focusing on collective occupations and intentionality, as well as individual, in order to more fully understand the occupational process; that is, how occupation promotes human health (Ramugondo & Kronenberg, 2015). Translation of these concepts to practice in occupational therapy must take into consideration cultural factors as well.

This study is a part of a larger research project to investigate the experience of occupational group therapy sessions in Japan by clients with physical disabilities in recovery stage and occupational therapists. Investigating clients’ and therapists’ experience of group sessions in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan leads us to better understanding of how Japanese collectiveness or “uchi (inside)” influences clients’ participation in a group and human well-being. Odawara & Tuji (2011) showed how collective occupation promoted a Japanese stroke survivor in life crisis to reestablish her life, through her changing intentionality.

Purpose: To explore the relationship between collective occupation, health, and well-being in Japanese society. The author investigated the experience of occupational therapy group sessions of clients in the recovery phase and that of their paired therapists, in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan, to better understand how collective occupation relates to health and well-being.

Methods: Participants were clients with physical disabilities and their therapists in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan. Participant observation of 6 group sessions, interviewing 18 clients and 21 occupational therapists, and 3 focus groups of occupational therapists were conducted. Interview and focus group data were transcribed and analyzed using narrative analysis, based on Garro & Mattingly (2000). Member checking and triangulation of the results of analysis was done and agreement was found.

Results and discussion: I found the therapists’ goal was to prepare clients for social participation. The process they used included:

1. Joining the group together as part of a therapy pair, thus offering the protection and support of the therapist’s knowledge of the client and their uchi relationship, 2. Promoting clients’ engagement in collective occupations, 3. Using the group to lower the hurdle for individuals anxious about returning to previous occupations because of their disability, 4. Promoting challenges in a safe environment, 5. Evaluating clients’ ability in social settings, 6. Bridging to the future.

I found two aspects of the environment in the group sessions: a challenging one, because of the new setting for occupational performance, but also supportive friendly one, constructed by Japanese therapists and clients to whom uchi is the social norm as well as a familiar cultural practice and orientation. Uchi (inside), like African “Ubuntu” (Ramugondo & Kronenberg, 2015) features social attributes of bonding, cooperation, belongingness, sharing, intimacy and responsibility. Three features led clients to find pleasure and satisfaction in confirming their functioning and ability to fulfill their social role. This uchi environment for collective occupation was bridging them toward fuller social participation, health and well-being within the Japanese culture.

Discussion Objective: The discussion will encourage the participants to consider their responses to the following questions.

What collective occupations do Westerners, such a Americans, have? How to they relate to your self-identity and well-being? How do you translate the concept of collective occupations to practice in Western cultures such as the US?

References

Garro, L., & Mattinly, C.(2000). Narrative as construct and construction. In C. Mattingly, & L. Garro(Eds.), Narrative and the cultural construction of illness and healing (pp.1-49).Berkeley: University of California Press.

Odawara, E., & Tuji, I.(2011). Change of occupation experienced by a stroke surviver ~Intentionality~. (Aru nousocchu kanja ga keikenshita sagyo no henka~shikousei~.) Japanese Journal of Occupational Science (Sagyo kagaku kenkyu), 5(1), 36-44.

Ramugondo, E.,& Kronenberg, F.(2015). Explaining collective occupations from a human relations perspective: Bridging the individual-collective dichotomy. Journal of Occupational Science, 22(1), 3-16.

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Oct 2nd, 3:00 PM Oct 2nd, 4:30 PM

Translating collective occupations to Japanese culture: "Uchi (inside)"

Merritt Room

Occupational science originated from Western ideas and has focused on individuals. However, as we develop our theories of occupation, human health, and well-being, we also need to be aware of the importance of focusing on collective occupations and intentionality, as well as individual, in order to more fully understand the occupational process; that is, how occupation promotes human health (Ramugondo & Kronenberg, 2015). Translation of these concepts to practice in occupational therapy must take into consideration cultural factors as well.

This study is a part of a larger research project to investigate the experience of occupational group therapy sessions in Japan by clients with physical disabilities in recovery stage and occupational therapists. Investigating clients’ and therapists’ experience of group sessions in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan leads us to better understanding of how Japanese collectiveness or “uchi (inside)” influences clients’ participation in a group and human well-being. Odawara & Tuji (2011) showed how collective occupation promoted a Japanese stroke survivor in life crisis to reestablish her life, through her changing intentionality.

Purpose: To explore the relationship between collective occupation, health, and well-being in Japanese society. The author investigated the experience of occupational therapy group sessions of clients in the recovery phase and that of their paired therapists, in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan, to better understand how collective occupation relates to health and well-being.

Methods: Participants were clients with physical disabilities and their therapists in a rehabilitation hospital in Japan. Participant observation of 6 group sessions, interviewing 18 clients and 21 occupational therapists, and 3 focus groups of occupational therapists were conducted. Interview and focus group data were transcribed and analyzed using narrative analysis, based on Garro & Mattingly (2000). Member checking and triangulation of the results of analysis was done and agreement was found.

Results and discussion: I found the therapists’ goal was to prepare clients for social participation. The process they used included:

1. Joining the group together as part of a therapy pair, thus offering the protection and support of the therapist’s knowledge of the client and their uchi relationship, 2. Promoting clients’ engagement in collective occupations, 3. Using the group to lower the hurdle for individuals anxious about returning to previous occupations because of their disability, 4. Promoting challenges in a safe environment, 5. Evaluating clients’ ability in social settings, 6. Bridging to the future.

I found two aspects of the environment in the group sessions: a challenging one, because of the new setting for occupational performance, but also supportive friendly one, constructed by Japanese therapists and clients to whom uchi is the social norm as well as a familiar cultural practice and orientation. Uchi (inside), like African “Ubuntu” (Ramugondo & Kronenberg, 2015) features social attributes of bonding, cooperation, belongingness, sharing, intimacy and responsibility. Three features led clients to find pleasure and satisfaction in confirming their functioning and ability to fulfill their social role. This uchi environment for collective occupation was bridging them toward fuller social participation, health and well-being within the Japanese culture.

Discussion Objective: The discussion will encourage the participants to consider their responses to the following questions.

What collective occupations do Westerners, such a Americans, have? How to they relate to your self-identity and well-being? How do you translate the concept of collective occupations to practice in Western cultures such as the US?