What I want when I go to see a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or other healthcare professional, or clinician, is someone with a wide range of ‘tools’ in their toolbox, with no strong biases to or against any of them, with strong listening and motivational skills, who will work WITH me as a whole, individual person, to help me progress and ‘rehabilitate’. I need their strong clinical reasoning skills, and their ability to explain in a way I can understand (like a teacher does).
I need them to recognise that my life extends beyond clinic, and beyond that episode of care, and work in a multidisciplinary way and/or signpost into the community. I need them to support my independent practical functioning. I need them to recognise when they need to ask for advice from others.
Above all I need to see a safe, skilled practitioner, with strong clinical reasoning and listening skills, without bias, with enough appointment time, who can work with me to help rehabilitate me, including teaching me to self manage my condition, whether that is pain or other.
I need my practitioner to be honest with me, but not blunt or uncaring. I need a realistic idea of my likely outcomes, with a positive spin, so that I can adjust to my condition and look forward to living well with it.
And there are some really wonderful physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals and clinicians out there, who do this.