Michelle F. Gorenberg, OTD, MS, OTR/L

  • Clinical Associate Professor

Affiliated Programs


  • OTD, Occupational Therapy (2012)
    Thomas Jefferson University (PA)
  • MS, Occupational Therapy (1985)
    Tufts University (MA)
  • BA, Modern Languages (1980)
    McGill University (Qc) 

About Me

I have been a practicing occupational therapist for over 35 years and my clinical experience with clients spans across the lifespan in both traditional and emerging practice areas. My specialty focuses upon the occupational lives of children and their families, and has included positions in clinical settings, as well as early intervention and school and community-based settings. 

I joined the faculty of Widener University in 2020 as a clinical associate professor after holding faculty positions at Philadelphia University (now Thomas Jefferson University) and The University of St. Augustine for Health Science. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from McGill University, my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University, and my Post-Professional Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and Advanced Practice Certificate in Teaching in the Digital Age from Thomas Jefferson University. My doctoral work focused upon the development and maintenance of therapeutic relationships in pediatric practice. 

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy centers on the creation of a learning community in which all members – both students and faculty – learn and teach together, whether on campus, on-line or in blended learning environments. In addition to teaching courses on assessment and intervention for pediatrics, I enjoy teaching foundational occupational therapy coursework and supporting students in “building their OT lens”. 

I view practice, teaching and scholarship as interrelated and mutually supportive. My scholarship interests include therapeutic use of self in OT practice, trauma-informed practice, inter-professional education, and teaching and learning in the health professions. My service to the profession reflects these interests as well. I serve on the School Mental Health Community of Practice through AOTA and am currently coordinating an inter-professional teaching and learning book club for faculty across the country.

Research Interests

  • Children's Mental Health
  • Inter-professional Education
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Sensory Information
  • Teaching in the Digital Age
  • Trauma-Informed Practice


  • Felter, Jeanne PhD, LPC; DiDonato, Stephen PhD, LPC; Baker, Amy MS, PA-C; Hass, Richard PhD; and Gorenberg, Michelle D. OTD, OTR/L (2017) "Using Trauma Case-Based Learning to Inspire Interprofessional Readiness Among Future Health Professionals," Collaborative Healthcare: Interprofessional Practice, Education and Evaluation (JCIPE): Vol. 8 : Iss. 2, Article 2. Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jcipe/vol8/iss2/2
  • Gorenberg, M. & Taylor R. (2014). The intentional relationship model: A framework for teaching therapeutic use of self. Continuing education article for OT Practice
  • Gorenberg, M. (2013). Instructional insights: Continuing professional education to enhance therapeutic relationships in occupational therapy. Occupational Therapy in Healthcare, 27(4), 393-398.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) 
  • POTA (Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association) 


  • Faculty Award of Appreciation (2016), Philadelphia University MSOT Class of 2016.
  • Faculty Award of Appreciation (2015), Philadelphia University MSOT Class of 2015.
  • Faculty Award of Appreciation (2015), Philadelphia University MSOT Class of 2015.