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Integrating Mental and Physical Wellness in Occupational Therapy

Sheela Ivlev is an Licensed Occupational Therapist who understands the relationship between emotional and physical pain. After completing her practical training in the psychiatric field, Sheela saw how unresolved emotional stress wears down the physical body. Now through her practice, Sheela offers occupational therapy for adults with disabilities, mental illnesses, clients with pain disorders, and individuals on the autism spectrum. 

Occupational therapists are trained to assess both the emotional and physical health of their clients, but not all professionals maintain this integrated perspective. Sheela’s main goal is to help her clients with all of their occupations, any activity that enriches their life and brings them deeper meaning. Sheela’s clinical perspective is thoughtful, holistic, and always puts her clients first. 

Occupational therapy and telehealth have come together to create a new partnership within the OT field—a format that defaults to client preferences rather than mandatory in-person appointments. Sheela has witnessed client transformations through virtual OT at a time when work transitions are imposing new stressors on the body. As an executive coach with an interest in ergonomic design, Sheela assists corporate organizations with tips to keep their employees healthy, happy, and comfortable with working virtually.

Sheela takes time to learn the barriers of your current environment, inventory your available equipment, and ask questions about your budget before making treatment determinations. A few other tips from Sheela—

  • Take note of positive changes when your pain decreases. 
  • Use apps for accountability and breaking through plateaus. 
  • Keep your body in a neutral orientation while working. 
  • Maintain and respect personal boundaries in all aspects of your life.

Watch the full video to find out more about Sheela, her integrated occupational therapy approach, and her practice, OT Bay Area. Sheela gives her clients the awareness, practical resources, and personal independence to take control of their health.

By: Michael Tugendhat, MLitt