Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Debra Lindstrom Hazel

Second Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Third Advisor

Dr. James A. Muchmore

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study blends an autobiographical approach with a person's own narrative about her recovery experience to create an analytic framework for exploring how narratives of clients and practitioners can be used to inform occupational therapy practice. Beth and I shared 12 hours of audio-taped conversations about her recovery/rehabilitation experience one year after she had experienced a stroke. Beth was intimately involved in the process of editing her story during the research process. Narrative analysis that takes into account the flow of time was used in addition to identification of key stories that Beth felt were important in her recovery-process. Congruence between Beth's interests and priorities prior to her stroke and her rehabilitation experience, emerged as a central theme of her positive rehabilitation experience. My story is focused on my struggle to become a more client centered occupational therapy practitioner. Although I had seen myself as a holistic/humanistic oriented practitioner, I discovered, that I have subtly if inadvertently patronized clients. The research left me to question: What is required of respectively practitioners and health-care environments, to bring about congruence between authentic, personal interests of clients and their rehabilitation? How can we better discern the line between patronizing and providing just right challenge and support?