Occupational Therapy for Compulsive Behaviors

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with compulsive behaviors. 

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 compulsive behaviors?

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 compulsive behaviors in several ways:

1. Promoting routine and structure: Occupational therapists can help individuals develop a structured daily routine, which can reduce the occurrence of compulsions. By engaging in meaningful and purposeful activities at specific times, individuals with compulsive behaviors can find alternative ways to occupy their time and redirect their compulsive urges.

2. Developing coping strategies: Occupational therapists can teach individuals coping techniques to manage and reduce stress and anxiety, which often trigger compulsive behaviors. These strategies may include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, journaling, or guided imagery. Learning and practicing these techniques can help individuals better handle their emotions and prevent compulsive behaviors.

3. Engaging in pleasurable activities: Occupational therapists can help individuals identify enjoyable activities that provide a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. Encouraging individuals to engage in pleasurable activities can divert their attention away from compulsive behaviors and provide a healthier outlet for their energy and emotions.

4. Enhancing problem-solving skills: Occupational therapists can work with individuals to enhance their problem-solving abilities. By identifying the underlying causes and triggers of their compulsive behaviors, individuals can develop strategies to manage and overcome them. Occupational therapists can provide guidance and support in developing problem-solving skills and making more informed choices.

5. Developing alternative behaviors: Occupational therapists can assist individuals in identifying and developing alternative behaviors that are more adaptive and healthy. These behaviors can act as substitutes for compulsive behaviors and provide a positive outlet for their energy. Examples include engaging in physical exercise, art, music, writing, or other activities that foster a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

6. Managing time and priorities: Occupational therapists can aid individuals in developing time management skills and setting priorities. By organizing tasks and activities efficiently, individuals can avoid feeling overwhelmed or anxious, which often contribute to compulsive behaviors. Learning effective time management strategies can also provide structure and reduce the need for compulsive routines.

Overall, occupational therapy offers a holistic approach to address the underlying causes of compulsive behaviors, develop coping strategies, and promote healthier habits and routines. By working closely with occupational therapists, individuals can gain control over their compulsive behaviors and improve their overall well-being.

Occupational therapy assessments for compulsive behaviors

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 compulsive behaviors 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.