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occupational therapists

In December 2020 Annette Nel took over the occupational therapy practice. Since then, Annalie Meyer joined her as partner of the practice, and they established Meyer and Nel Occupational Therapists. The focus of the practice is treatment of patients admitted to Optima@RustEnVrede hospital.

The occupational therapy team at Optima consists of therapists with a wide variety of skills and interests. Our passionate therapists follow a holistic approach to provide the best possible services for our clients.


Occupational therapy groups form an integral part of the Optima@RustEnVrede group programme. Each ward has their own age-appropriate occupational therapy programme designed to meet clients’ respective needs. Therapeutically, we draw on principles of the Interactive Groupwork Model (IGM), activity based experiential therapy and DBT principles to facilitate self-awareness and establish skills like:

Connecting to the self, self-esteem and self-confidence;

Social participation and Interpersonal effectiveness;


Sensory strategies to self-regulate;

Creating a safe space;

Emotional Regulation;

Distress Tolerance;


Art and other creative activities, along with social interaction and self-reflection, are used as a medium in groups to create self-awareness, learn new skills and facilitate expression of emotions.

Patients receive individual occupational therapy intervention upon referral from the treating psychologist or psychiatrist. In individual sessions we use sensory intelligence principles to assist clients in establishing a sensory profile. This is an important aspect as it influences emotions, behaviour, interpersonal relationships and thus overall functioning, on a daily basis.


Aims of therapy include anxiety management, establishing healthy rhythms and habits, and equipping individuals towards a balanced lifestyle in order to reach optimal functioning.

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