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Kawa Model

Kawa Model

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by December 6, 2017 Events, Student Projects

Authors: Kean University Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

Event: General Body Meeting (#5)

Date: November 20, 2017


The general body members of SOTA consist of both OT graduate students as well as undergraduate students that are interested in pursuing a graduate-level education in OT. The executive board, which consists of current 2nd year OT students, thought it would be a good idea to present the “Kawa Model” to its members, as we learned this model in our 1st year of OT school and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Iwama at the AOTA Conference this past year! We also thought that it would be an informative, creative experience and allow the early exposure to the field of OT to those who are interested in the field.


We created a short presentation briefly explaining the creation of Kawa, the constructs, and the different ways in which this model can be used in OT practice. We also stressed the idea that this model is based on one’s own perception of their river flow and that these constructs may be used as a guide, but can be adapted to fit one’s needs. After this, we offered two ways in which the members could build their own rivers to reflect on their lives in the present moment. We offered paper and colored utensils if they wanted to draw this out or materials to use if they wanted to physically build a river.

Materials used:

  • Styrofoam bowls (river beds)

  • Cellophane wrap (river flow)

  • Rocks

  • Sticks (driftwood)



  • Members gained a better understanding of the Kawa Model and how it can be used in OT practice.

  • Members were able to create individualized Kawa River Models and make them their own by adapting the constructs and apply their own perceptions as they apply to their river-flows.


Kawa Presentation (1)


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