How consumers of mental health services come to understand their potential for work: doing and becoming revisited.
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BACKGROUND: Doing and becoming are fundamental constructs in occupational therapy. However, we have little understanding of how these concepts apply to the way that individuals develop ideas about their future in the realm of work. PURPOSE: This paper examines the doing-becoming interaction and applies it to our understanding of work potential among consumers of community mental health services. METHODS: Using a grounded theory approach, 10 consumers were interviewed about their experiences with paid and unpaid work. Data were analyzed inductively according to the constant comparative approach. RESULTS: The findings reveal that doing and becoming are essential to the process of how consumers develop ideas about their potential for work. Through doing work, consumers gain insight into their capacity for future work participation and become persons with possible work futures. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: An occupational perspective on career development challenges occupational therapists to create opportunities for doing and becoming among consumers.
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