Richard Sabel, MA, MPH, OTR, GCFP

Richard Sabel, MA, MPH, OTR, GCFP

Clinical Assistant Professor, Part Time
Occupational Therapy

  • Master of Arts, Occupational Therapy, New York University, New York, New York, 1996
  • Master of Public Health, Community Health Practice Module, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, Texas, 1986
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, 1977
Advanced Trainings or Credentials:
  • Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, 2006
  • Annadottir OT-ADL Neurobehavioral Evaluation (A-ONE) Instrument, 2001
  • The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills, 2000
Personal Statement:

Occupational therapists are skilled to serve people with a wide range of challenges. Our understanding of medical conditions, neurology, psychology, assistive technology, and the influence of physical and social environments on function, provides a unique skill set to enhance occupational performance. Building on this unique perspective, I’ve explored how the integration of occupational therapy with Eastern traditions such as Yoga, Tai Chi Quan, meditation, and Western therapeutic approaches such as The Feldenkrais Method, can improve one’s ability to engage in meaningful occupations. I bring this distinctive, integrative approach to my courses at Downstate. Additionally, I have developed an experiential movement curriculum to help students embody their understanding of anatomy and kinesiology. In other words, it helps students experience the difference between efficient and inefficient movement patterns. This component also clarifies how concepts from kinesiology can serve as an effective guide to promote functional movement and the performance of everyday occupations.  Throughout my academic career I have continued clinical practice, working with clients individually, and organizing programs in community centers on topics such as fall prevention, pain management, pelvic health, mindfulness, and breath.

Scholarly, Clinical, and Community Service Interests:
  • Member of the State Board for Occupational Therapy, 2018- present
  • Sabel, R., Gallagher, B. (2015). Occupational therapy interventions for pelvic floor disorders. OT Practice, 20 (10), 20-21.
  • Sabel, R., Gallagher, B. (2014). We-wi ("without effort"): using tai chi chuan to promote occupational therapy performance. OT Practice, 19 (7), 16-19.
  • Sabel, R., Gallagher, B. (2012). Meditation: a mindful approach to promoting occupational performance. OT Practice, 17 (11), 17-18.
  • Gallagher, B., Sabel, R. (2008). The Right Path: Restorative yoga can provide a potent rehab intervention. Advance for Physical Therapists & PT Assistants, 19 (2), 24-27.
  • Sabel, R., Gallagher, B. (2007). Restorative Yoga: an integrative approach to promote occupational Performance. OT Practice, 12 (19), 16-21
  • Sabel, R., Gallagher, B. (2006). Peak performance: a breath therapy program to promote occupational performance. OT Practice, 11 (1), 15-19.
  • Sabel, R., Gallagher, B. (2005). Restorative yoga. Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, 20 (21), 50-52.
  • Tewfik, D., Sabel, R. (2004). Testimony: advocacy in action. OT Practice, 9 (20), 13-16.
Research Interests:
  • Fall prevention
  • Movement strategies to improve occupational performance for client's with movement disorders
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Clinical Expertise:
  • Neurological Disorders – CVA, Movement Disorders
  • Geriatrics and Aging in Place
  • Integrative Rehab
  • Chronic Pain
  • Pelvic Health
  • Breathing Pattern Inefficiencies and COPD
  • Movement for Function