Research Article  |   December 2016
Willard and Spackman’s Enduring Legacy for Future Occupational Therapy Pathways
Author Affiliations
  • Wanda J. Mahoney, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL; wmahon@midwestern.edu
  • Christine O. Peters, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Adjunct Associate Professor, Clinical Occupational Therapy, and Occupational Therapy Historian, Mrs. T. H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. At the time of this study, she was an independent occupational therapy historian and researcher
  • Peggy M. Martin, PhD, OTR/L, is Director and Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Military Rehabilitation / Professional Issues / Centennial Topics
Research Article   |   December 2016
Willard and Spackman’s Enduring Legacy for Future Occupational Therapy Pathways
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2016, Vol. 71, 7101100020p1-7101100020p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023994
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2016, Vol. 71, 7101100020p1-7101100020p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023994
Abstract

Helen Willard (1894–1980) and Clare Spackman (1909–1992) paved the way for modern and future occupational therapy. This article validates the need for historical research in occupational therapy and presents a historical study on how the personal and professional collaboration of Willard and Spackman influenced occupational therapy. Data were gathered from archival documents, private papers, and 10 oral histories with colleagues, students, family, and friends. We used text analysis with triangulation to develop themes to reconstruct a proximity of the historical story. Two major themes that describe Willard’s and Spackman’s influence on occupational therapy are (1) Enduring Legacies and (2) Sacred Solitude and Chosen Gatherings. Subthemes within Enduring Legacies include Guiding Practice, Leaders in Service, and Educational Leadership. These women strongly influenced practitioners worldwide while maintaining the sacredness of their private lives. Their example can serve as a model for current and future occupational therapy practitioners and leaders.