ICAN
International Creative Ability Network

Training, Resources, Support & Supervision in the
Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability

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About


About
The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA) (Van der Reyden et al. 2019) is an Occupational Therapy practice model originating from the theory of creative ability developed by South African Occupational Therapist, Vona du Toit (du Toit, 1974; du Toit, 2015).  
This model's unique contribution to the Occupational Therapy profession is understanding people in terms of sequential levels of creative ability. The term creative refers to one's ability to change in response to life‘s demands (the creation of oneself), as well as creation of tangible things and solutions to problems. From a developmental perspective, each level of creative ability is comprised of interrelated volition, motivation and action (behaviours, skills, performance). Identifying and understanding a person's level of creative ability enables therapists to understand and provide therapeutic intervention for people of all degrees of volition, motivation and ability (Van der Reyden et al. 2019). Such knowledge can also guide intervention by other disciplines, family, carers and health and social care support staff (Van der Reyden & Sherwood, 2019).

The VdTMoCA is client-centred, ability and recovery focused. Occupational Therapy is offered to match what the person has volition, motivation and ability for, but which also poses a challenge, mastery of which has the potential to result in growth in volition, motivation and ability. The individual's experience of having his/her motivation (needs) met, and experiencing ability to do activities of daily living, both motivates and enables him/her to engage. Through engagement, behaviour and skills are developed towards the next level. Equally, the model informs intervention to maintain and/or prevent decline in ability, e.g. when improvement and growth into higher levels is not possible, or a person has a progressive condition such as dementia.

The model provides a detailed guide to the selection, structuring and presentation of intervention (Casteleijn & Holsten, 2019). This includes the use of activity, activity groups and differing situations as the core of Occupational Therapy treatment, but informs all interactions with the individual, including how to approach him/her, structure self-care intervention, and how to develop a meaningful routine that attends to all aspects of daily living including use of free time (leisure). Therefore, this model has effectively enabled a multidisciplinary approach (Murphy, 2017, 2019; Quan & Zywicka-Rospond, 2017), including family and carers in the design and delivery of care plans according to the person's level (Schon et al. 2017). This supports individuals to meet their potential.

The model provides a means of measuring increase and decrease in motivation and ability, including the Creative Participation Assessment form (Van der Reyden & Sherwood, 2019) and the Activity Participation Outcome Measure (Casteleijn, 2010, 2012a, 2012b). The latter is available to Occupational Therapists with depth of knowledge and experience of assessing creative ability.

The VdTMoCA is of particular interest to mental health and learning disabilities practice, but is applicable to any service including working with people in wellness (Joubert, 2013) and for staff development (Wilson & Casteleijn, 2017; Zywicka-Rospond & Khatri, 2015). The model is purported to be effective for all diagnoses and severity of illness/problems (Van der Reyden & Sherwood, 2019). For example, in relation to mental health clients, clients perceived as unresponsive and difficult to engage can receive therapeutic intervention from day one rather than waiting for clients 'to get a bit better‘ in response to medication whilst potentially being deemed as 'not ready‘ or 'unsuitable for OT‘. Through this model, therapists may realise that it is not that clients are unsuitable for Occupational Therapy, but that the occupational therapy traditionally offered, may not have been suitable for these clients. Therapists realise that they are able to work therapeutically with these and all clients (all levels of creative ability).

For Occupational Therapists, the model brings together all the core aspects of Occupational Therapy practice (activity analysis, grading, purposeful activity, activity groups, therapeutic use of self and the non-human environment), enabling occupational therapists to be occupational therapists through the application of activity as a powerful therapeutic tool.

The theory of creative ability and the VdTMoCA have been used extensively for over 40 years. The model has gained a great deal of interest in the UK and is known to be in the curriculum of four BSc (Hons) / PgDip OT programmes, and explored at several others through problem-based learning and OT Society’s. The model is used in approximately 21NHS Trusts and 9 Independent healthcare providers, charities and other agencies. The largest field of practice is forensic (VdTMoCA Foundation UK, 2013; 2016), including Broadmoor High Security Hospital (London, 2017; Carpenter 2018; 2018a) and has been used at a therapeutic community prison for people with a diagnosis of personality disorder and learning disability/intellectual impairment (see Wilson, 2017; Sherwood, 2017).

Dr Wendy Sherwood PhD, MSc, Dip COT is a Consultant Occupational Therapist recognised nationally and internationally as an expert in the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA), and is a co-author of the model.

Wendy founded the VdT Model of Creative Ability Interest Group in 2005, becoming the VdTMoCA Foundation (UK) Community Interest Company in 2012. Wendy is a contributing author and co-editor of the first full text on the VdTMoCA (see Van der Reyden, Casteleijn, Sherwood & De Witt, 2019), and co-authored and edited two texts on the practical application of the model in acute mental health (Sherwood et al. 2015) and learning disabilities/intellectual impairment services (Sherwood, 2017).

As the owner of ICAN, Wendy provides training and CPD initiatives for Occupational Therapists, support staff and Multi-disciplinary teams nationally and internationally.  A broad range of initiatives are provided to enable newcomers to the VdTMoCA to gain confidence in applying basic knowledge to practice, and for more experienced practitioners to gain advanced knowledge and skills for challenging aspects of practice. With expertise in enabling Occupational Therapists and other disciplines to learn and apply the VdTMoCA to multidisciplinary practice in Japan and Singapore, Wendy is involved in projects to enable healthcare professionals implement the model in undeveloped and developing countries.

Dr Sherwood has 14 years of experience as a lecturer in Occupational Therapy, and is currently a guest lecturer at London South Bank University; a visiting Prof lecturer in Singapore and an Honorary Fellow at St George’s University, London. ICAN also delivers an international conference on the model every two years in the UK (see Events).

References
Casteleijn D (2010) Development of an outcome measure for occupational therapists in mental health care practice. (PhD PhD), University of Pretoria, Pretoria. Retrieved from http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02102011-143303/
Casteleijn D, Graham M (2012a) Domains for occupational therapy outcomes in mental health practices. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 42(1), 26-34.
Casteleijn D, Graham M (2012b) Incorporating a client-centred approach in the development of occupational therapy outcome domains for mental health care settings in South Africa. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy,42(2), 8-13.
Casteleijn D, Holsten H (2019) Creative ability - its emergence and manifestation, IN Van der Reyden D, Casteleijn D, Sherwood W, de Witt P (2019) (Eds.) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Origins, Constructs, Principles and Application in Occupational Therapy.  Vona & Marie du Toit Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa. Chp 4, pp. 106-146.
Du Toit, V (1974) An investigation into the correlation between volition and its expression in action. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, pp.6-9.
Du Toit, V (2015) Patient Volition and Action in Occupational Therapy. 5th ed. Pretoria: Vona and Marié du Toit Foundation. [Available from wendy@ican-uk.com]
Joubert R (2013) Exploring new dimensions and looking beyond the current potential of the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability. Keynote address to the 3rd ICAN International VdT Model of Creative Ability Conference, London.  [Available from wendy@ican-uk.com]
Murphy L (2017) Embracing change: Introducing the VdTMoCA to the MDT on an inpatient adult mental health rehabilitation ward. Poster presentation at the 5th ICAN International Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Conference, London. [Available from wendy@ican-uk.com]
Murphy L (2019) Healthy Habits: How the VdTMoCA was used to re-structure a substance misuse group. Presentation at the 6th ICAN International Vona du Toit Model of Creative ability Conference, London.  [Available from wendy@ican-uk.com]
Quan S, Zywicka-Rospond G (2017) From the Outside Looking In: Incorporating a non-occupational therapy perspective on using the VdTMoCA. Presentation delivered at the 5th ICAN International VdT Model of Creative Ability conference, London.  [Available from wendy@ican-uk.com]
Schon J, Hooper F, Robertson G, Walsh Z, Wilson R, Sherwood W (2017) Reflections on applying the VdTMoCA to practice, In: W Sherwood (Ed.) (2017) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: a practical guide to occupational therapy for people with learning disabilities. Chapter 4, pp.24-31. Northampton: Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK).
Sherwood W, White B, Wilson S (2015) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: a practical guide for acute mental health occupational therapy practice. Northampton: Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK).
Sherwood W (2017) (Ed.) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: a practical guide to occupational therapy for people with learning disabilities. Northampton: Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK).
Van der Reyden D, Casteleijn D, Sherwood W, de Witt P (2019) (Eds.) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Origins, Constructs, Principles and Application in Occupational Therapy.  Vona & Marie du Toit Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa.
Van der Reyden, D, Sherwood, W (2019) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability core constructs and concepts, IN Van der Reyden D, Casteleijn D, Sherwood W, de Witt P (2019) (Eds.) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Origins, Constructs, Principles and Application in Occupational Therapy.  Vona & Marie du Toit Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa. Chp 3, pp. 58-104.
VdTMoCA Foundation (UK) (2013) Survey of occupational therapy managers' perspectives of the VdTMoCA. Northampton:.Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Foundation (UK).
VdTMoCA Foundation (UK) (2016) Improving and promoting OT: a national survey of occupational therapists’ and support workers’ perspectives of the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability. Poster presented at the OT Show, Birmingham.
Wilson R (2017) The VdTMoCA Behind Bars: becoming a VdTMoCA occupational therapy service in a therapeutic community prison. Presentation delivered at the 5th ICAN International VdT Model of Creative Ability Conference, London.
Wilson S, Casteleijn D (2017) Could the levels of Creative Ability be applied to supervision and development of staff in the workplace? Presentation delivered at the 5th ICAN International Model of Creative Ability Conference, London.
Zywicka-Rospond M, Khatri R (2011) The implementation of MOCA in a medium secure ward. Poster presentation at the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa.




Training, Events, Resources


Testimonials


 The slides were presented very clearly, and I really appreciate the narration and explanation. It gives the slides more 'context'. I also appreciated the photos/pictures/video- they certainly help me to visualise much better. I enjoyed the training; the narration helps to bring life to the learning. It also gives me some time to mull over the information taught- a pause button away :)"

Occupational Therapists

 Overall, it was a great course not only for therapist who have not used this model, but also for those who may have had some experience trying this model out. It provides a comprehensive overview of the VdTMoCA from its fundamental theoretical assumptions and concepts all the way to using this model to guide us in practice, which I feel is very helpful. I really enjoyed the online course, due to the way I take in information and learn it was very helpful to have the slides and the workbook to note take. I also liked the content and felt it went into enough detail. I am feeling confident to now place this into a new service!"

Occupational Therapists

 Information was concise, not too lengthy. Content broken down to chapters made things more manageable. I enjoyed the specific case examples. It's like listening to client stories. Was also great to see the actual products that clients completed. Super appreciative for the course. Enlightens me on new treatment approaches with some clients that I had previously felt stuck or lost with."

Occupational Therapists

 It was a very nice course and I enjoyed it a lot. It was easy to follow and it truly motivated me to implement VdTMoCA in my practice; it has been very inspirational. The information was well presented and very clear. I found that very good as being an on-line training it can be difficult to follow and remain focused. The amount of time given to complete it all and how the presentations are designed, helped me to not struggle to complete it. I want to thank you for the opportunity."

 I really enjoyed the module, it has encouraged me to think more deeply about my clients with personality disorder and how they can present in occupational therapy, and now I can start to see why that might be. The narration was excellent. This module has also made me want to do the two-day course!"

 It is easy to relate with what is actually happening in the ward. It explains the level of the patients and its approaches to introducing tasks and activities and how to move to enhance and upgrade their [patients’] skills."

Nurse

 Accessible on-line training. Very detailed and descriptive. User friendly, especially for non-OT staff."

 I really enjoyed the online course, due to the way I take in information and learn it was very helpful to have the slides and the workbook to note take. I also liked the content and felt it went into enough detail. I am feeling confident to now place this into a new service!"

 "Helped me to think about the 'stuckness' of some of our clients and how to work with this" Team Manager "Highlighted the need to look at different ways of working with out clients base - encouraged to look at difficulties that clients have and the need to look at reasons behind this. Promoted ways that can help them function more effectively in a personal way" Support Worker "A model that corresponds to the patient group characteristics; helps understand and perhaps explain barriers; a guide to pitching interventions right." Psychiatrist"

 I really enjoyed the module, it has encouraged me to think more deeply about my clients with personality disorder and how they can present in occupational therapy, and now I can start to see why that might be. The narration was excellent. This module has also made me want to do the two-day course!"

Blog


How nurses are working with Occupational Therapists to learn and implement the VdTMoCA to enhance service provision and client experience

F.A.Q


How do I obtain the Creative Participation Assessment form?

Since 2006, the Creative Participation Assessment (CPA) form has been available to Occupational Therapists and support workers trained by ICAN, with permission of its author, Dain van der Reyden.  Training has been essential, as in the absence of adequate literature from 2006-2019, it is not possible to understand the items on the form (key constructs), or how they relate to concluding a person's level and phase of creative ability.  See the UK Foundation's Position Statement on Assessment.

In 2019, the CPA was made available in Van der Reyden D, Casteleijn D, Sherwood W, de Witt P (2019) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Origins, Constructs, Principles and Application in Occupational Therapy. Vona & Marie du Toit Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa.  As stated in this text, the CPA can be reproduced for use in practice when the user has gained adequate knowledge through study of the VdTMoCA.

In my view, only Occupational Therapists should be using data from the CPA to conclude a client's level and phase of creative ability, and should not be responsibility of any other person. 

Do you have to be trained in order to use the VdTMoCA?

The short answer is "no", but you do need to have adequate knowledge and understanding.  The VdTMoCA is a sophisticated practice model.  Understanding how to assess and conclude a person's level and phase of creative ability is complex, requiring study, experiential learning and reflection-on-action.  
The first step is to read the core text: Van der Reyden D, Casteleijn D, Sherwood W, de Witt P (2019) The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: Origins, Constructs, Principles and Application in Occupational Therapy.  Vona & Marie du Toit Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa.
Reading reports on application to practice is very helpful too - look for OT News articles (RCOT publication, UK), FOCUS (OTASA publication, South Africa), Participation (available to VdTMoCA Foundation, UK members), and the practice-based texts. 

Who can the VdTMoCA be used with?

Anyone.  Every person can be identified as being on a specific level and phase of creative ability, and the VdTMoCA treatment principles can be applied in any environment, context, situation with any individual or groups of people.  

How do I obtain the Activity Participation Outcome Measure?

The Activity Participation Outcome Measure (Casteleijn, 2010) (APOM) is informed by the VdTMoCA and relies upon good knowledge of the core constructs of the VdTMoCA, and the levels and phases of creative ability.
Therefore, in my opinion the APOM should not be used by inexperienced Occupational Therapists who are not confident in assessment of creative ability.
The APOM is not freely available, but requires training.  Direct enquiries to daleen.casteleijn@wits.ac.za

What is the evidence-base for the VdTMoCA?

The VdTMoCA is one of the longest standing Occupational Therapy models.  Its theory originated in the 1960s and 1970s and was first described as the Model of Creative Ability in the 1980s.  The VdTMoCA has a long standing history in broad areas of practice since this time, used as the model of choice by countless therapists.  Therefore, it has a substantial practice-based evidence-base.
The research evidence-base is not as developed as it needs to be. This could be for many reasons. The VdTMoCA is a South African model - South Africa being largely isolated during the apartheid years. As a developing country, South Africa is a highly challenging context for Occupational Therapy, dominated for a long time by the AIDS crisis. Serving very large numbers of clients, South Africa has only a fraction of the number of therapists in many other countries, restricting opportunities for research.
However, interest in the VdTMoCA in the UK and beyond has sparked renewed valuing of the model in South Africa and the research-base is strengthening (see list of resources).

Can any discipline use the VdTMoCA?

The VdTMoCA can inform every interaction with individuals, therefore it can inform a team's ward round; how nurses interact with and engage clients; how psychologists plan and facilitate group-based therapy; how families and carers enable and support people, etc.  
Knowing a client's level of creative ability also informs us of the nature and degree of support and supervision s/he requires, therefore the VdTMoCA can also help to predict and recommend services that an individual needs, including community care packages.

Is the VdTMoCA taught in Occupational Therapy education?

The VdTMoCA is known to feature in Occupational Therapy student learning at London South Bank University, the University of Essex, Oxford, Northampton, and St George's, London.  There has been a lot of interest in the model at many other BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programmes, but the extent to which the model is taught is unknown.  
If you are a lecturer and want to gain further information on the model or form links with Dr Wendy Sherwood, or want a lecture(s) to be provided, and/or your are an OT student who wants a presentation at your OT Society, contact wendy@ican-uk.com

How can I network with others using the VdTMoCA?

Contact wendy@ican-uk.com to join a network, e.g. community mental health, CLDT, Personality Disorders/other - just tell us which field of practice you're interested in.
Subscribe to the 1500+ email list of professionals with an interest in the VdTMoCA - join the community and receive free notifications of events, news and networking opportunities - use the Subscribe button at bottom of this page.
Join the VdTMoCA Foundation (UK) and participate in their network.
Take advantage of the CPD events provided by ICAN and the UK Foundation.
Attend the the CPD event in the calendar - the ICAN International VdTMoCA Conference (see Events).

Do you have other questions?

Use the Contact page or just email wendy@ican-uk.com

Contact


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