Occupational Therapy for Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with medically unexplained symptoms. 

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 medically unexplained symptoms?

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 medically unexplained symptoms in several ways:

1. Understanding and management of symptoms: Occupational therapists can help individuals with medically unexplained symptoms understand and manage their symptoms more effectively. They work with the person to identify possible triggers or causes of the symptoms and develop strategies to minimize their impact on everyday life.

2. Activity engagement and pacing: Occupational therapists assist individuals in gradually increasing their activity levels and finding a balance between rest and activity. This can help individuals avoid overexertion, which may exacerbate their symptoms, while also promoting a sense of purpose and engagement in meaningful activities.

3. Stress reduction and relaxation techniques: Occupational therapists can teach individuals stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and relaxation strategies. These techniques can help manage symptoms that may be exacerbated by stress or anxiety.

4. Energy conservation and fatigue management: Occupational therapists can provide guidance on energy conservation strategies and techniques to manage fatigue associated with medically unexplained symptoms. This may involve educating individuals on task modifications, assistive devices, and optimizing their environments to reduce the energy required for daily activities.

5. Psychosocial support: Occupational therapists offer emotional support and help individuals address any psychosocial factors that may be contributing to their symptoms. They can provide counseling or refer individuals to appropriate mental health professionals if needed.

6. Goal setting and rehabilitation: Occupational therapists work collaboratively with individuals to identify meaningful goals and develop a customized rehabilitation plan. This may involve setting realistic targets, breaking activities into manageable steps, and gradually increasing the complexity or duration of activities over time.

7. Education and self-management skills: Occupational therapists educate individuals about their condition, symptom management strategies, and self-care techniques. They empower individuals to take an active role in their own healthcare and develop self-management skills to better cope with their symptoms.

Overall, occupational therapy can greatly benefit individuals with medically unexplained symptoms by addressing physical, psychological, and social aspects of their condition and supporting their overall well-being and quality of life.

Occupational therapy assessments for medically unexplained symptoms

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 medically unexplained symptoms 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.