History of the VdTMoCA imageHistory of the VdTMoCA image
Present day
In the UK, the VdTMoCA is estimated to be used as a key model guiding occupational therapy practice (mental health) in 23 NHS Trusts plus in various services provided by St Andrew’s Healthcare, Elysium Healthcare, Cygnet Healthcare and the Priory Group.
Outside of South Africa, the VdTMoCA is predominantly used in inpatient forensic mental health and learning disability services (including all three high secure hospitals in England and Wales), and various mental health and learning disabilities services providing inpatient and community occupational therapy.
The value of the VdTMoCA in the field of learning disabilities (LD)/intellectual impairment has been established over the last 15 years in the UK, with Occupational Therapists welcoming it as the first OT model that enables them to work holistically and effectively.
Outside of the UK, the VdTMoCA is used with adults and children in physical, mental health and LD fields in South Africa (see Bahgoo & Freeme, 2021; Van Rensburg, 2021), and is widely accepted as applicable to all individuals across the lifespan, in ill-health and wellness within and outside of healthcare (Grobler, 2009; Pretorius, 2021; Joubert, 2021). Furthermore, it is possible to utilise the VdTMoCA to understand communities and the collective participation of groups of people (Du Plessis, 2010, 2012; Adams & Casteleijn, 2014).

Embedding the VdTMoCA into practice
It has taken approximately 13 years to date for a range of services (or several services in one Trust) to learn, understand and embed the VdTMoCA into routine practice. Once therapists and support workers have grasped the basics of the VdTMoCA, there is always a keenness to change the key stages of the OT process so that the delivery of occupational therapy can be more effective with greater job satisfaction. However, changing how one assesses, creating assessment activities, developing note writing and report writing as well as making significant changes (often) to intervention and OT programmes, is not something that can be done quickly. It probably takes two years for OTs and their support workers to properly learn how to embed the VdTMoCA and make all of these changes, review and tweak them and finally settle into what has become routine practice.

Many services have achieved this. There are many OT News articles and conference presentations, and an increasing number of research studies evidencing what a significant positive change the VdTMoCA has made to OT practice, explaining and justifying OT, improving job satisfaction, enabling the MDT to understand and value OT, and in some instances, secure OT posts during times of cuts and/or increasing the number of OT posts.

The number of NHS Trusts that have invested in the VdTMoCA across many services (or the entire mental health trust/LD services) has increased steadily over the last 5 years. There is no right way or approach to embedding the VdTMoCA due to many variables in a single context.

How can I learn more?
Accounts of how the VdTMoCA was embedded at Broadmoor high secure hospital and a Rehab service for people with complex needs (mental health) are detailed in Perspectives on the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability: practice, theory and philosophy, Sherwood (2021) (see BOOK page). YouTube video overview of book contents.
OT News article on embedding the VdTMoCA into an acute mental health service. List of all OT News articles
Trained in the VdTMoCA and using the VdTMoCA in practice? 
Engage in discussion in the FORUM (only for OTs and support workers already trained and using the model).
Join the ICANinitiative to actively engage in and contribute to field specific networking groups. Use the Subscribe feature to register your interest and then email wendy@ican-uk.com to introduce yourself and propose your involvement. Read the ICANinitiative info first.

Post training support is available for all Occupational Therapists. (OT Support Workers are supported by supervising OTs).

The revival of the VdTMoCA
The VdTMoCA has gained renewed interest in South Africa in the last 20 years. This has predominantly been due to the interest in the model in the UK and Japan (Adams, 2019).
Many initiatives developed to introduce the model to the occupational therapy profession in the UK. Wendy Sherwood started teaching the model to clinicians in 2007 and set up a national conference on the model in 2009, which gained international interest and therefore the following conferences were international. A fully international presence has long been established over 7 conferences with contributions from South Africa, Japan, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Namibia, Mauritius and Singapore.

Wendy traveled many times to South Africa to meet with founding contributors to the VdTMoCA and present at conferences, and also supported OTs embedding the model into forensic practice in Japan. Subsequently, the Vona & Marie du Toit Foundation (South Africa) had a keen interest in why the VdTMoCA was being explored in other countries and what OTs were doing with it. The Foundation became aware of the need for the model to be published in full and to be researched. Subsequently, the model was published in full for the first time by Van der Reyden et al. (2019).
Numerous important research projects have been undertaken, leading to additions to the theory of creative ability (Sherwood, 2016) and the development of the Activity Participation Outcome Measure (Casteleijn, 2010; Casteliejn & Graham, 2012). It is anticipated that other important studies will be reviewed for inclusion in aspects of the VdTMoCA in future editions of the model.

See numerous short articles on how the VdTMoCA became known and embedded in Japan in the ICAN Download Hub, linked here.

Carla van Heerden later emigrated to Australia where she is pioneering the use of the VdTMoCA in Australia.

How can I be part of the history of the VdTMoCA?
Join the ICANinitiative team to deliver the next international VdTMoCA Conference in London. Email wendy@ican-uk.com.