The Kawa Model: Therapists' Experiences in Mental Health Practice

Donald Paxson, Kristin Winston, Thomas Tobey, Sarah Johnston, Michael Iwama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This pilot study sought to gather information related to the experience of occupational therapists, using the Kawa Model of practice in a mental health setting. Two therapists utilized the model with one client, each over a six-week period. Through qualitative inquiry, the participants (therapists) revealed that, although initially apprehensive about using a new model, they found that the Kawa Model increased client/therapist interaction and energy levels and challenged them to push the boundaries of therapeutic practice. This research suggests that exploration of new models of practice may be beneficial in terms of facilitating successful partnerships and outcomes with clients in mental health settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-355
Number of pages16
JournalOccupational Therapy in Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Kawa Model
  • client centered care
  • mental health practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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