Occupational Therapy for Behavioral Addictions

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with behavioral addictions. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with behavioral addictions?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with behavioral addictions in several ways:

1. Assessing and addressing underlying issues: Occupational therapists are trained to assess the individual’s underlying issues contributing to the addiction, such as stress, anxiety, trauma, or low self-esteem. By identifying these factors, therapists can develop personalized treatment plans to address and resolve them.

2. Developing coping skills: Occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals develop healthy coping skills to manage stress, emotions, and triggers that may lead to addictive behaviors. This may involve teaching relaxation techniques, problem-solving strategies, assertiveness skills, or mindfulness exercises to improve self-awareness and self-regulation.

3. Building healthy routines and habits: Occupational therapists assist individuals in rebuilding their lives by establishing structured routines and healthy habits. Through activities of daily living (ADLs) training, therapists teach individuals skills necessary to lead a purposeful life, such as time management, organization, and prioritization.

4. Enhancing social skills and relationships: Behavioral addictions often isolate individuals from their social support networks, leading to loneliness and further addiction-related problems. Occupational therapists work on improving social skills and providing opportunities for individuals to engage in productive and satisfying social interactions. This can involve group therapy, role-playing activities, and community integration programs.

5. Identifying alternative activities: Occupational therapists help individuals with behavioral addictions identify alternative, positive activities that can replace the addictive behavior. These activities could include hobbies, sports, creative arts, volunteering, or other forms of meaningful engagement that promote a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

6. Addressing occupational imbalances: Occupational therapy focuses on achieving a balance in one’s daily activities across various roles and responsibilities. Therapists can assist individuals with behavioral addictions in identifying and correcting any imbalances (e.g., excessive work, neglecting self-care) by developing strategies that prioritize and encourage engagement in healthy occupations.

7. Providing ongoing support: Occupational therapy is an ongoing process, and therapists continue to support individuals even after they have gained control over their addictive behaviors. They offer ongoing guidance, reinforcement of learned skills, and relapse prevention strategies to ensure long-term success in recovery.

Overall, occupational therapy aims to improve the overall quality of life for individuals with behavioral addictions by addressing the underlying issues, promoting healthy coping strategies, and reintegrating them into meaningful and purposeful activities.

Occupational therapy assessments for behavioral addictions

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with behavioral addictions in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.