Over the last few days, we’ve achieved another landmark in the evolution of the CPN, when six members of the Network presented the first Critical Physiotherapy Forum at the Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference on the Gold Coast, Queensland (link).
Led by CPN Exec member Jenny Setchell in collaboration with the APA, we outlined five different critical research programmes and topics of critical interest, before hosting a panel discussion on the possibilities for more critical physiotherapy thinking and practice in the future
- Ian Edwards – What is the source of our ethical obligation in physiotherapy practice: Codes of Conduct or the Levinasian face?
- Amy Hiller – ‘Insider’ research: Reflexivity as a tool to manage participant misconceptions.
- Blaise Doran – A physiotherapist prepares: Enhancing the therapeutic alliance through Psychological Realism acting methods.
- Gwyn Owen – Thinking through the body: embodiment as a conceptual framework for researching what physiotherapy was, is and can be.
- Dave Nicholls – Physiotherapy as exotic abstraction: The role of luxry and surplus in the genealogy of a profession.
There is a link to our combined PowerPoint slides here
Four days before, Jenny, Dave, Peter Roberts, and another CPN member, Lester Jones, had run a half-day pre-conference workshop on complexity for the APA’s Pain Network, and used the opportunity to show some new ways to use critical philosophy to inform complex clinical problems. Participants at the workshop seemed ready to move beyond the limits of the bio-psycho-social model, and we used ideas of uncertainty and unpredictability to explore ways we might think about pain ‘otherwise.’
A link to the PowerPoint Jenny and Dave gave on complexity and pain is here.
We had a great response from both events, with lots of engagement and people keen to think more about these ideas. It’s sometimes hard to know with these kinds of events whether a few hours is enough (or maybe too much!), but we all got the sense that there was a real eagerness for some new thinking in physiotherapy, and that members of the CPN had something to offer.
Perhaps the best thing about the whole five days though, was getting to meet other CPN members at the conference. We spent quite a lot of time with Blaise Doran, Shelley Barlow, Amy Hiller, Sofia Woods, Sam Bunzli and others, culminating in our 3rd formal CPN dinner (the first two being at WCPT and the ISIH conference in Mallorca earlier this year). We also got to meet practitioners who had shared that experience of feeling as if their ideas were a little ‘out of step’ with the mainstream profession, and felt as if they’d found a home with the Network (see picture above).
Hopefully there will be opportunities for members to meet up again in November next year at the 4th European Congress of ER-WCPT, and for us to provide more opportunities to talk to physios about the role that critical physiotherapy can play in shaping the profession in the future.
If anyone is interested in holding similar CPN events at other physiotherapy conferences or similar, we are happy to share our experiences and offer support. Contact Jenny Setchell for more information.