My Career in Occupational Therapy
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For information about occupational therapy please see www.cotec-europe.org 

After graduating from Dorset House School of Occupational Therapy, Oxford (today Oxford Brookes University) in 1968 I obtained clinical experience with clients in South Africa and in Germany after moving there in 1974.  In 1992 I was first called by the executive of the German association of occupational therapy (Deutsche Verband der Ergotherapeuten - DVE) to be their delegate to the Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Copuntries (COTEC).

During my time as a clinicial therapist I was also involved with the training of OT students both as a clinical supervisor and as a part-time teacher in the training school in Frankfurt am Main.  During this time I became especially interested in Hand Therapy and specialised in this area.  In 1996 I  embarked  on a distance learning course at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff in Pain Management because it became obvious to me that nearly all clients of occupational therapy suffer some form of pain: physical, mental/spiritual or emotional.  I completed my MSc in Pain Management  with a dissertation about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

This complicated but extremely painful condition which may develop after an accident or surgery to an extremity has been known by many different names. It is often referred to by the name of Paul Sudeck, who first published an article about it in 1900.
The essential conclusions from my research are that active movement and excercise of the affected limb and general mobilisation of the person as advocated by Paul Sudeck in 1900 together with the appplication of DMSO cream provide a good therapy with excellent results when initiated early enough.  My clinical experience before, during and after this research confirmed that occupational therapy is the ideal intervention for these sufferers.

From 1st July 2003 I was employed as a lecturer in occupational therapy at the Europa Fachhochschule Fresenius in Idstein. This university of applied sciences is the first in Germany to offer the full training of occupational therapists at a university. (www.fh-fresenius.de)

As from January 2006 I was professor and head of the divison of Occupational Therapy within the faculty of Health Sciences.

I have now retired from my position at the EFF and look forward to being able to have time to do some research and to being able to hold seminars in English or in German on 

  • Pain Management, 
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) 
  • Use of the Kawa Model, (www.kawamodel.org/)
  • 'Ergotherapeutisches Assessment' (www.ergoas.de/
  • OT English and English for Therapists in Research

If you would be interested, please contact me at pip@higman.de