Welcome to the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK). We hope this introduction will inspire you to read and learn more and maybe consider using this model in your clinical practice, to further grow the VdTMoCA community.
The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA) is a practice-based model developed by a South African OT, Vona du Toit, hence its name. ‘Creative ability’ does not refer to arts or crafts, but to one’s ability to bring about change within themselves in order to reach their full potential in life, (Van der Reyden et al, 2019). Creative ability encapsulates the totality of an individual, their mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual abilities whilst considering the immediate and wider environmental context, (Van der Reyden et al, 2019). The diagram represents the levels of creative ability in a spiral, which sybolises the developmental nature of the model and the ever growth of creative ability.
So what makes the VdTMoCA unique?
Whilst OT models assist in conceptualising and formulating people as occupational beings as does this model, what is unique about the VdTMoCA is, it then informs the therapist how to engage individuals to optimise activity participation consequently facilitating growth and change. It essentially informs the therapist what to do and how to do it, so what the OT treatment should focus on and how to deliver interventions.
The fundamental belief of creative ability is that motivation governs action and we can see motivation through observing action, (Van der Reyden et al, 2019). Because we can see the motivation and action, levels of creative ability begin to emerge, and as you learn about the levels of creative ability, you will see an individual can move fluidly through the levels during illness and recovery.
Creative ability is within us all, and because you can see it, assessment can start as soon as you meet an individual. Once the level of creative ability is confirmed the model then identifies the treatment aims. Unlike other OT models the VdTMoCA then assists the therapist further, in providing stipulated guidelines for intervention. These guidelines or principles inform the therapist how to select and grade activities, how to structure and present them whilst considering environmental influences. In addition, central to the core theoretical assumptions is the power of the therapeutic use of self, known as the handling principles which provide the therapist with the valuable tools to adapt their approach according to the level of creative ability.
The VdTMoCA demonstrates outcomes
As you learn more about the levels of creative ability you will begin to spot small changes in your patients, potential signs they are either regressing or progressing to the next phase or level. It is the sensitivity of the VdTMoCA which lends itself so well to measuring outcomes of intervention. Each small change you see is a change in creative ability and because the model essentially says if you do this, then change will happen, you can clearly link the impact of OT intervention on a persons progess. In addition, the VdTMoCA has the Creative Participation Assessment (van der Reyden, 2018), to clinically justify your assessed level and the Activity Participation Outcome Measure (Casteleijn, 2010), to measure the impact of OT intervention.
Further information on the VdTMoCA and its application to clincial practice can be found in the references and reading list below.
References & recommended reading list
Crouch, R & Alers,V. (2014) Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry and Mental Health. (2nd ed). Wiley Blackwell publishers.
du Toit, V. (2015) Patient Volition and Action in Occupational Therapy (5th ed.). Pretoria: Vona and Marié du Toit Foundation.
Sherwood, W. (2021) Perspectives on the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Practice, theory and philosophy. International Creative Ability Network.
Van der Reyden, D, Casteleijn, D, Sherwood, W and de Witt, P. (2019) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Origins, Constructs, Principles and Application in Occupational Therapy. Pretoria: The Marie and Vona du Toit Foundation.