Tessa Milman OTD, OTR/L(she/her)
Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Tessa Milman teaches mental health, clinical reasoning, community programming and qualitative research, utilizing Team-Based Learning and other learner-centered pedagogies. Her courses incorporate diverse perspectives and critical theories, to support occupational therapy students to become culturally humble practitioners who care deeply about lived experiences and embody person-centered and trauma-informed approaches. She has practiced and supervised students in pediatric and adult mental health settings.
When working with children, she worked specifically with families who had experienced trauma and were involved in the foster care system. Her personal journey building her family through adoption from the foster care system has provided her with experiential knowledge about impact of trauma on relationships and participation. She is passionate about integrating lived experience with academic knowledge within teaching and practice, and embedding justice, equity, diversity and inclusion into occupational therapy practice and curriculum. Dr. Milman is on the board of the division’s Diversity, Access, and Equity Committee, where she serves as chair of the curriculum workgroup.
Dr. Milman holds her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy and Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy, both from USC. She earned her BA degree in Sociology from Smith College.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2009 | University of Southern California
Master of Arts (MA)
in Occupational Therapy
2008 | University of Southern California
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
2001 | Smith College
This article will introduce and provide examples of two broad contemporary approaches that supervisors can use to strengthen mental health practice: reflective supervision and recovery-oriented supervision. Reflective supervision supports supervisees’ capacity for deep reflection and intentional action, and recovery-oriented supervision applies concepts from the recovery model to supervision, to empower supervisees to embrace the recovery model in practice.