Dare to understand in Vancouver

By David Butler Physio world, Education for all, Brain and pain 27 Sep 2018

Last week I was invited to have lunch with the staff at a physiotherapy and multidisciplinary clinic in Vancouver –Tall Tree Physiotherapy. While the meatballs in the spaghetti were by far the largest I have ever seen, (they could have been mooseballs!) what really took my attention were some of the design elements of the practice.

There was colour inside and out. The name “Tall Tree” resonated – I had just been for a walk among the magnificent Douglas Firs and it had a subtle metaphorical drive to get upright. There was wood everywhere, the gym sort of subtly merged with the waiting room – no secrets about what you might be doing here. This ‘no secrets about this place’ extended into the treatment rooms and lunch rooms. Entire wall were whiteboards and had been given over Explain Pain education. Each individual therapist had their stories/mantras/drawings on the whiteboards for all to see, almost graffiti like. It just felt right. At the time, I had been reading Steven Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now, which included a chapter on Immanuel Kant’s 1784 enlightenment motto Dare to Understand. And yes, the receptionists were beamingly inviting.

Dare to understand – that’s what I felt and hoped patients to this clinic would feel. Adult conceptual change often involves conflict, but the context of the conceptual shift can be  manipulated many ways. Nothing wrong with a tempting dare.

How are your clinics set up for conceptual change?

-David

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