Mike Stewart posted an interesting picture (link) on his Facebook feed a couple of days ago (thanks to Paul Lagerman - The Naked Physio - for the link, and Mike for posting). Participants on Mike's course were asked to respond to the prompt; "If I designed a healthcare course for students, the first 3 lessons would be...' The responses proved interesting. https://www.facebook.com/100008119901926/posts/2199382033675772/ My suspicion is that if you asked any experienced physiotherapist, they are likely to say something similar. In fact, the evidence suggests that most employers, practitioners, and consumers want their clinicians to have good communications skills, be empathic, … [Read more...] about What is at the heart of physiotherapy?
I teach on a postgraduate paper that gets students from all sorts of health disciplines to think about themselves as health professionals, their professions, and the ‘others’ that they work with. We use a lot of activities to get the students to reflect on their practice and some of these activities can be really challenging. Students do photo essays, write letters of appreciation, design practice models, and explore critical incidents, but perhaps the most interesting activity involves them taking something every day and obvious and making it strange. We ask the students to identify something about their practice that might otherwise be taken-for-granted, and get them to tell us … [Read more...] about Stating the obvious
A couple of friends sent me things that they thought I'd enjoy this week, and both of them are worth sharing. The first was a quote from a student who is halfway through their final year of study and in the middle of a long block of clinical practice. They were reflecting on their work. They wrote: “Sometimes I feel it can be hard to take off my "physio thinking hat" and put on my human thinking hat.” We should perhaps have a moment's silence just to reflect on that. The second was a paper from 2004 that highlighted the virtues of looking at the obvious and familiar in new ways. The paper is titled Culture on the ground: The World Perceived Through the Feet (link to the full … [Read more...] about Taking off your ‘physio’ head
It's often tempting to think that it's the big changes, the grand gestures, that do the most damage to a profession, but it's really the small acts of violence that really do the damage. The daily drip, drip, drip, that slowly erodes the foundations until, one day, the house falls down. 'Threats to democracy come one dollar at a time', goes the old American political aphorism, and so it is with professions like physiotherapy, which can suffer death from a thousand cuts if they are too distracted to notice. Foucault would say that the most powerful and dangerous ideas are those that arrive under the cover of common sense, where it seems almost impossible to dispute the reason and logic … [Read more...] about The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
It's sometimes reassuring to imagine that when the robots finally take over, and all of our mundane repetitive tasks are in the hands of automatons, we will still want and need the comforting touch of real people. I've argued as much myself, suggesting that the future for the physical therapies is assured because people will always want skilled, caring, thoughtful physical touch - the kind of touch no machine will ever be able to replace (Nicholls 2017). But what this argument misses is that its entirely possible for robots to replace physical therapies because they are robots. This point is explored in this beautiful short film by Oliver Schwartz, that explores the relationship a … [Read more...] about Very touching: Physiotherapy in the age of non-human companions
The CPN will celebrate its 4th birthday next week. Two years ago I wrote a blog post celebrating the group's achievements, and it was interesting looking back at it today. We've continued to grow and make progress, and seem to still have an important role to play in being a positive force for an otherwise physiotherapy. Here's a brief snapshot of where the CPN is at now: Our new website has been fully functional for three years now, and it's obviously started to be noticed because we've managed two serious hacking attacks in recent months that threatened to crash the site. Obviously, after the American election, we were going to be next. The Executive has continued to meet … [Read more...] about The CPN is 4
In Nikolas Rose's superb analysis of the history of the 'psy' disciplines (psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry), he identifies something about psychology that the 'phy' professions (physiotherapy, physical therapy) ought to look very closely at. Rose asks why it is that psychological thinking is all pervasive these days. Psychological ideas have slipped into everyday language and ways of thinking, everyday experiences of tension and sadness have been given psychological names and diagnostic criteria, and there are now whole bookshelves full of self-help guides to managing every aspect of your psychic life. Rose asks how this happened; 'Psychological expertise now holds out the … [Read more...] about Physiotherapy unlimited