For the last two years I've been the academic leader of a team of psychologists and psychotherapists. Part of my reason for taking the role was to move away from physiotherapy for a while, and one of the things I've learnt is how much of what the 'pay' disciplines do should be a standard part of the physiotherapy curriculum and scope of practice. How on earth physiotherapists managed to survive for 100 years without exploring transference and counter-transference is beyond me. But one of the things that characterises many of the psy approaches to health and wellbeing is that they will look to the psyche and the mind for the answers to people's despair, anger and confusion. Today I … [Read more...] about Desperate, angry, confused? Sociology can help
There have been a few occasions over the last few months when people within the Critical Physiotherapy Network have been asked to do more for physiotherapy. The first time happened after our CPN Salon in Cape Town last year. Our esteemed colleague Professor Dina Brooks began the discussion by asking the CPN to do more to help mainstream physiotherapists make complex theories and philosophies more accessible. In her Reflections of a quantitative researcher on the CPN Salon, posted in July last year, Dina argued that the CPN risked functioning like a 'club' that excluded those who didn't subscribe to its principles. One of Dina's arguments at the time was that the CPN should build … [Read more...] about What should critical physiotherapy do for you?
A few days ago, a woman posted a message on to a local community Facebook page asking for the following advice; Has anyone had any experience with sciatica nerve pain and useful treatment? Hubby has been in terrible pain for weeks now. Thanks for any thoughts or recommendations. The advice that followed all came from local people and probably represented a fair snapshot of what many people currently think about the management of back pain. I've printed the whole exchange below - it's long enough to be inclusive, but not too long - so that you can draw your own conclusions, but here are a few thoughts that occurred to me reading through it.* All posts bar one were from women. There … [Read more...] about Evidence-based practice will not help us now
The way we think about physiotherapy is overdue a radical shake-up. A couple of months ago, Charles Jennings wrote an interesting piece about the way our use of knowledge is changing, and these ideas have some important implications the way next generations of physiotherapists are learn their craft. Jennings' piece is titled 'Learning in the Collaboration Age' (link), and it focuses on the role collaboration is playing in learning. Jennings contrasts what he calls 'old' ways of acquiring knowledge (often characterised as 'knowing that'), with what is becoming increasingly common these days (knowing how, knowing why). Jennings argues that 'Although experiential and social learning … [Read more...] about Radical new ways to think about physiotherapy
The scientific programme at WCPT Congress provides a good barometer of physiotherapists' interests and the things that it thinks are current or 'coming' in the profession. But when people pay their registration fee, they're signing up for everything, so it's not until after the event that we get to see what people attended and what they didn't. On the other hand, the pre- and post-congress courses can really show what physiotherapists are prepared to invest their money in, and so give us a very good indication of physiotherapists' interests. So with the call going out this week for pre- and post-congress course proposals, there's an opportunity to gauge whether radical shifts are … [Read more...] about Will next year’s WCPT Congress break new ground?
It's been a few months since we last gave you an update on what the Critical Physiotherapy Network is up to, so here's a short summary of things we've done recently and some of the projects we've got in the pipeline. As always, if you'd like to be involved in anything that we're doing, just get in touch. Add a comment to the post, send us an email, Tweet us (@CriticaPhysio) or message us on Facebook (@CriticalPhysiotherapyNetwork). Our first co-authored book - Manipulating Practices: A critical physiotherapy reader - has been an incredible success. Published by Norway's foremost scientific and technical publisher - Cappelen Damm Forlag - it has been downloaded more than any other book … [Read more...] about What’s going on with the CPN?
The idea that one approach to practice is superior to another is a powerful discourse in physiotherapy today. Last week I was talking with a colleague who thinks of himself as a 'critical thinker', and we were debating the merits of active rehabilitation over passive treatment. So called 'passive' treatments (some forms of massage, manipulation and electrotherapy, for example), in which the patient has treatment done to them rather than taking responsibility and actively engaging, have been the subject of much criticism in the profession for some time now. There is, I was told, indisputable evidence for the benefits of active approaches over passive treatment, and that those who … [Read more...] about Going beyond good and bad practice