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Kean University


  • M.A., New York University, Occupational Therapy (1996) 
  • Ph.D. New York University (2005) 

Courses Taught

  • OT 7920 Psychosocial Practice
  • OT 6611 Community Partnerships
  • OT 6400 Theoretical Guidelines I 
  • OT 5002 Foundations of OT 
  • OT 7201 Residency Proposal II 

Research Interests

Laurie Knis-Matthews has been an occupational therapist in New Jersey for over 30 years. She has worked with many psychosocial populations across the lifespan including pediatrics, adolescent, adults and geriatrics in various treatment settings such as; hospitals, outpatient settings, group homes, detox units and long term addiction programs. 

After earning a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from Kean College, she continued her studies at New York University where she earned both her master's and doctoral degrees in occupational therapy in 1996 and 2005, respectively. Dr. Knis' dissertation topic focused on the experiences of substance dependent parents in a yearlong drug treatment program. Laurie was employed as an adjunct professor at Kean University and New York University, before beginning full time employment at Kean in 1999. Dr. Knis-Matthews currently teaches a variety of courses in both the masters and doctoral programs related to theoretical guides to practice, research, and psychosocial seminars. In 2012, she was promoted to full professor at Kean University and served as chairperson of the department from 2010-2017.Under her leadership, the occupational therapy program has earned a ten-year accreditation (the maximum amount permitted), developed an onsite OT clinic and began developing an entry level doctoral program.  

She serves on numerous educational committees, is a prolific and acclaimed presenter and published author. Many of her research interests focus on the experiences of various vulnerable populations (adults and/or children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, mental illness, addiction). Laurie has had much success publishing and presenting research studies with her graduate students. Dr. Knis-Matthews has developed a model of clinical reasoning called the Matthews Model of Clinical Reasoning. This model is currently under contract to be published into a text book for future reading. You can learn more information about this model by following @mmcr.ot on Instagram. 


  • Knis-Matthews, L. (2024). The Matthews Model of Clinical Reasoning: A Systematic Guide to occupational-based evaluation and intervention planning. 

  • Knis-Matthews, L., Wall. K., DeMartinis, J.,Hoffman, Y., and Pantale, A. (2019). The unheard voices of transition: The experiences of four female young adults with ASD as they  prepare to graduate. The High School Journal.

  • Garramone, P., Knis-Matthews, L., Brandeis, P., Kret, M., & Leva, A. (2020). Against the current: Exploring the experiences of fathers with a history of substance abuse. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 37:4, 332-356, DOI: 10.1080/0164212X.2021.1980174

  • Knis-Matthews, L., Koch, M., Nufrio, A., Neustein, M., Zaki, F.& Wall, K. (2020). The Perceptions Four Novice Occupational Therapists' Preparedness and Ability to Perform Occupation-Based Practice in Pediatric Practice Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5(4). DOI:10.26681/ jote.2021.050416 

  • Routledge.Swarbrick, M.,& Knis-Matthews, L. (2023). The time to act is now! Occupational Therapy’s role in health management. In G. Gillen, & C. Brown (Eds.), Willard & Spackman’s occupational therapy, 14th edition (Chapter 50). Wolters Kluwer Heath Inc.