Beyond Individualism: Ethical Considerations for OTs

Earn 1 hour of continuing education by joining OT Potential after taking this course.

Beyond Individualism with Adam Cisroe Pearson

Listen: Apple | Spotify | Google

We became occupational therapy practitioners to deliver transformative care to our clients.

This is a tall order to begin with—and we also hold justice as one of our core values. So, we want to transform lives AND do so in a socially responsible way. 

This is hard and complex work. It requires that we question and move beyond overly simplistic theories of practice. The article we explore in this one-hour podcast pushes us to see beyond the concept of “individualism.” After all, limiting our lens to individuals alone can limit the care we deliver to all of our clients—and it can hinder us from seeing broader issues of injustice.

To discuss what this looks like in both non-traditional and traditional OT settings, it is our honor to welcome Dr. Adam Cisroe Pearson, who has made a career of applying his occupational therapy lens toward broader principles of housing equity and parity.

This course is designed to meet the OT ethics CEU requirements for Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Example OT Potential Club podcast course certificate.
Earn 1 hour of continuing education

1. Listen to the podcast for free.

2. Sign up for the OT Potential Club.

3. Pass the quiz and download your certificate!

Primary Research Explored

When you log in, be sure to check out the OT Potential Club’s written breakdown of the following research article. Then, share your questions and thoughts with fellow practitioners.

Secondary Research 

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to identify the ethical limitations of individualism.
  • You will be able to recognize some concepts and theories that help OTs move beyond individualism.


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (10 minutes)

  • What is individualism?
  • What is wrong with using individualism as the only lens?
  • Why was this paper written?
  • What examples did they pull from the research?
  • Authors’ discussion and conclusions
  • Takeaways for OT practitioners

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (with guest Adam Pearson) (45 minutes)

  • Can you share your own personal story of moving beyond individualism? 
  • What were your initial impressions of the journal article?
  • How have you seen the problem of being too individually focused playing out in OT and healthcare in general?
  • Did you think the theories and frameworks they mentioned were helpful?
  • What else has helped you move beyond individualism in your own work?
  • What advice would you give to OT practitioners who want to make a career of tackling broader societal issues like affordable housing?
  • What are concrete ways that you think OTs in traditional settings can “move beyond individualism” in their practice? 
This course on Beyond Individualism: Ethical considerations for OTs is AOTA approved!

This course is an independent/self-study course delivered via podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play & more. Explore your listening options on the OT Potential Podcast page.

If you need accommodations to take this course, please contact us and we will address your needs on an individual basis.

If this course were to be canceled, please see our cancellation policy on our terms page.

In order to receive a certificate for this course, you must first listen to the podcast in its entirety. Then, you will need to take the test (found at the top of this page) and earn 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.

Target Audience/Educational Level

Our target audience is occupational therapy practitioners who are looking to learn about moving beyond individualism and occupational therapy. The educational level is introductory.

Financial and Non-financial Disclosures

It is the policy of OT Potential to disclose any financial and non-financial interest the provider or instructor may have in a product or service mentioned during an activity. This is to ensure that the audience is made aware of any bias of the speaker.

We here at OT Potential have no financial stake in this topic. Our guest, Adam Cisroe Pearson, has no financial interest in this topic to disclose.


Dr. Adam Cisroe Pearson, OTD, OTR/L:

Beyond individualism expert guest Dr. Adam Cisroe Pearson, OTD, OTR/L

Dr. Adam Cisroe Pearson is a St. Louis native, raised in a family of educators. He grew up in Normandy, near Ferguson, where the 2014 uprising after the murder of Mike Brown led him to clarify his occupational therapy lens towards broader principles of housing equity and parity.

Already engaged in providing occupational therapy services to unhoused individuals at a then-drop-in day shelter called The Bridge, he was hired to direct the development of Garfield Place Apartments, a permanent supportive housing program at Peter & Paul Community Services (PPCS). He hired and led a team of clinicians and support staff to provide services for four years. Recognizing the need to learn more about the intersection of housing, disability, and policy, he then left to work as the strategy and development manager at the Centene Center for Health Transformation at the Washington University Social Policy Institute.

Dr. Pearson then returned to PPCS as the chief operating officer, where he presently oversees the organization’s seven programs and programmatic staff, strategic planning initiatives, and facilities. Outside of his primary day job, Dr. Pearson is an instructor with the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates. He joined early on as the interprofessional coordinator, always interested in working to improve coordination between OTs who are doing the vital justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work. Read full bio.

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L:

Podcast host: Sarah Lyon, OTR/L

Sarah’s passion is helping fellow OT practitioners translate evidence into daily practice. Sarah earned her BA in religion from St. Olaf College, then earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from New York University in 2011.

Since then, she’s worked in numerous facilities, including a critical access hospital, an acute trauma hospital, and a state inpatient psychiatric hospital. Sarah is the founder/owner of OT Potential. Read more about OT Potential here.

This course was designed to meet your continuing education requirements

We designed the courses in the Club to meet the requirements for “online” and “independent/self-study” courses. For more details read our blog post: Can I earn OT CEUS from a podcast? To verify the requirements from your specific state (within the US), check out our post, OT Continuing Education Explained. If you are outside of the United States and have questions, please contact us.

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