Three years ago I stepped away from my teaching job in the physiotherapy programme here at AUT University, in Auckland, New Zealand, to manage a team of psychology and psychotherapy lecturers and researchers. The secondment comes to an end in a few weeks time and it's given me an opportunity to reflect on what it's like working with people who think and work completely differently to physios. The first thing that struck me about my time with the 'psy' disciplines is how little time physios actually spend thinking about what they do. Personal therapy and supervision are absolutely intrinsic to the profession, and no-one here believes that you can be a mindful practitioner without also … [Read more...] about Lessons learned from leaving physiotherapy
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
A few months ago I moved to a new job. Having been part of the Physiotherapy Department at AUT for the last 15 years, I moved into a new school at the start of the year, and the new school put me in close proximity to psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors. My job has involved getting to know how they think and work, and trying to organise the day-to-day business of teaching and learning for these professionals who think very differently to the physiotherapists I have worked with for so long. Working with these people has given me new perspectives on ways people think about health care, students, patients, other professions, and the things that are customary and commonplace. … [Read more...] about Looking at physiotherapy through fresh eyes
Yesterday, I took part in one of the regular and always enjoyable Physiotalk Tweet Chats (#physiotalk). This one was on the role of physiotherapy in exercise prescription. As usual, the discussion ranged widely over all sorts of topics: whether physiotherapists were experts in exercise prescription and what needs to be taught in the UG curriculum not being the least of them. One thing that came through strongly was a desire to manage the client/patient's behaviour. Words like adherence, compliance and motivation kept coming up and people seemed to recognise that all the skill in the world wouldn't matter to the therapist if the patient didn't engage. As someone who's read their fair … [Read more...] about Is behaviourism the future for physiotherapy?