CO-OP Approach and Cerebral Palsy

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CO-OP Approach and Cerebral Palsy with Helene Polatajko

Listen: Apple | Spotify | YouTube

The OT treatment approaches that are gaining support from evidence, seem to have one common thread between them:

The clients set their own goals. 

Today, we look at a pioneer of this client-centered process, The CO-OP Approach™. We’ll dive into a new research article where, yet again, we see CO-OP outperforming conventional therapy—this time for children with cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

After we review the article, we’re honored to welcome to the podcast the founder of this approach, Helene J. Polatajko, PhD, OT Reg(Ont). Her and I will discuss the implications of her work for all OTs, when it comes to goal setting and focusing on performance in our treatments. 

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 Journal Article 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.

Supporting Research and Journal Articles

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to recognize the impact of children setting their own goals.
  • You will be able to identify reflexive questions you can utilize during treatment to encourage self-generated problem solving. 


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (5 minutes)

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (with Helene Polatajko) (50 minutes)

  • 00:13:12 How the CO-OP Approach™ was born
  • 00:21:00 Formally researching the Approach
  • 00:22:48 Initial impressions of this research
  • 00:29:20 Addressing performance versus specific components
  • 00:33:41 Who is a good fit for the CO-OP Approach™?
  • 00:34:54 Explaining the importance of setting your own goals
  • 00:39:32 Explaining the importance of trial and error and reflective questions
  • 00:45:20 Important therapist qualities
  • 00:50:50 The Olympic Spirit in OT
  • 00:54:00 Final thoughts
This course on CO-OP Approach and Cerebral Palsy 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 CO-OP Approach and Cerebral Palsy.  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, Helene Polatajko, also has no financial disclosures.


Helene Polatajko

Helene Polatajko

Dr. Polatajko, PhD, is an internationally respected occupational therapy scholar and teacher and a valued mentor. She has well over 300 publications, has done over 550 presentations in more than 20 countries, and has held over $10,000,000 in grants.

Her work has focused on occupation and its enablement. Prominent among her contributions are co-authorship on the internationally acclaimed Canadian Occupational Performance Measure and the two Enabling Occupation books, and leading the creation and development of the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance approach.

Dr. Polatajko has been granted numerous top awards and distinctions including the Muriel Driver Lectureship, election to The American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Academy of Research and being named as a Fellow to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L

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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