Once the level of creative ability has been established and treatment priorities identified, the VdTMoCA provides treatment principles, informing the therapist how to grade, structure and present activities, as well as informing the therapist how to interact with and engage the client depending upon their level of creative ability. The treatment principles also guide the therapist to select the just right therapeutic challenge and how the activity could be graded and adapted to maximise potential (Van der Reyden et al, 2019). 

The theoretical assumptions of the model is the treatment prinicples provide conditions to elicit and support creative participation and subsequently potential for maintenance or growth of creative ability. 

Table 1 gives a brief description of the treatment principles.

Table 1 - Treatment Principles 

Treatment principle Description 
Handling principles              The handling principles are essentially the therapeutic use of self. Your style of interaction, tone of voice, how to engage the patient, content of your speech, how you manage different behaviour, the type of language
Presentation prinicples                          How to describe the task, what you need to explain and how, how to present the objects and materials required for the activity, how to maximise the ability to relate to, connect with and engage with materials, objects, people and more abstract, situations.

Structuring principles 

How the physical and social environments can be set up by the therapist. For example, the length of the session, how many patients and therapy staff are to be present, the presence and arrangement of materials and objects, the number and type of external stimuli, e.g, light, temperature.  

Activity requirements  

The types of activities to use, the demands of the activity and steps required to complete it, the length of time required to complete the activity. 


It important to note that the model does not provide the therapist with specific activities to use, these must be selected according to an individuals interests and motivating factors. Whilst the model provides these guidelines it allows for much imagination and creativity on behalf of the therapist to select appropriate therapeutic interventions to meet the specific needs of individuals within their service. 


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.

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    Opportunities for networking

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    How could we create opportunities to interact remotely? 

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

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  • Mar 25, 2020 by Tori


     Hi Lou, 
    Thank you for creating this discussion. Within the high/medium/low secure hospitals I work in, we have at present ceased all off ward activity and stopped all Section 17 Leave – which I imagine will cause frustration for those who have progressed to lengthy periods of either escorted/unescorted period of leave from the service. We have developed programmes that can be delivered at ward level, whilst still maintaining the principles of social distancing. I think the focus across all services at the moment is supporting the ward staff and maintaining some consistency for the service users.  We have circulated "easy read" documents for service users around information on COVID-19, detailing information on how to keep themselves safe and well, hygiene procedures and information to reduced anxiety. The staff have also distributed resources to promote ideas around self directed activities and visual materials around keeping occupied and engaged in meaningful activity whilst self isolating. In the MSU, the Therapy Staff have developed resources to be used on the wards to support service users in keeping busy and have completed a revised interest checklist document. 

     We have also circulated easy read letters to the patients to notify them of any treatment groups that have had to be postponed to help manage their expectations and reduce anxiety. 

     At the moment, everything seems to be changing frequently and there is a lot of uncertainty. However, it has been positive to see how supportive, creative, flexible and committed staff have been during this time. 

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