Conversation with Rachel Thibeault. An international researcher and OT 

Topics include: Resilience, Meaning Focused Evaluation, Community based and driven development and social justice. 

Guest: Rachel Thibeault, O.C., Ph.D, FCAOT. 

Host: Jen Taubensee  OT (Reg) BC

Music by David Hyde


An occupational therapist who also holds a Ph.D. in psychology, Rachel specializes in Community-Based Rehabilitation, psychological resilience, and peer support in vulnerable populations. For the past 40 years, as a clinician or as part of her teaching and research career at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, Rachel has worked worldwide in complex contexts such as war zones and hard-to-access areas. In 2002, she received the CAOT Muriel Driver Award. In 2013, she was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and, in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society of International Health and an Honorary Degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Now a consultant on resilience and psychological wellbeing, she provides training in a broad range of settings, from medical agencies and governmental organizations to student bodies and cancer groups, to name a few.


“I’m an occupational therapist, an obscure profession if there

ever was one. We are few and far between, maybe because

we have chosen to serve people with disabilities. All disabilities.

Not a glamorous endeavour, nor a lucrative one.

And I say serve because we deem that in helping we see

weakness, while in serving we see wholeness. We’ve opted

for wholeness nearly a century ago and have been at odds

with the system ever since. We don’t fix people, you see:

with them, we simply try to find a way to meaning, balance,

and justice. I chose occupational therapy because it

blends science and humanism, intellectual rigour and compassion.”

― Rachel Thibeault


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