My Journey from Burnout to Purpose: A Pediatric Occupational Therapist’s Story

Hello, I’m Chelsea Ellison MS, OTR/L, CLC, and I’ve dedicated the past 8 years to pediatric occupational therapy. My path to this profession was unconventional yet deeply fulfilling.

During my undergraduate years, I volunteered for a hippotherapy program, led by a physical therapist. Witnessing the profound impact of equine movement as a therapeutic tool ignited my passion for occupational therapy. I pursued specialization in this area and achieved certification as an American Hippotherapy Board Certified therapist. Today, I’m proud to run my own business, offering specialized hippotherapy services.

However, my journey wasn’t without its challenges. Like many therapists, I experienced burnout within the traditional outpatient treatment model that prioritizes productivity over quality of care. Frustrated with the constraints imposed by insurance companies and productivity requirements, I embarked on a soul-searching journey to align my work with my values.

Driven by a desire to make a difference, I expanded my expertise to include lactation consulting, inspired by my own breastfeeding experiences with my two sons. Through extensive training, I became a Certified Lactation Consultant with help from the Healthy Children’s Project and the Lactation OT and integrated these services into my company, Nature & Nurture LLC.

Despite my introverted nature, I found confidence in my specialized skills, deriving great joy from providing tailored interventions to my clients. Yet, I knew I had more to offer beyond service-based work.

Someone once asked me:

“If you could do anything with the rest of your life, what would it be?”

I replied “be a professional student”. I am passionate about learning and mastering concepts and ideas that build me up as an individual and encourage success in my patient relationships and life in general. 

With a passion for writing, entrepreneurship, and continuous learning, I am embracing a new venture as an affiliate marketing agent.

My mission? To empower fellow therapists with accessible continuing education and self-development courses tailored to their specialties. Through my platform, therapists can explore new avenues for growth and personal fulfillment, transcending professional ‘ruts’ and unlocking their full potential.

My journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of aligning passion with profession. Join me on this journey of self-discovery and empowerment, as we redefine success in the therapy business and cultivate a community of fulfilled professionals.

Stay tuned to learn with me on my new venture. Together, let’s redefine success and cultivate a community of empowered therapists.

Chelsea Ellison
I am an Occupational Therapist, Mom of Two, Entrepreneur, and Avid Outdoor Adventurer.