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'My search is over!': Clair Hebron welcomes the publication of Physiotherapy Otherwise

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The content may engage or enrage, but Clair Hebron is a fan of Physiotherapy Otherwise


This is the book I have been looking for! Physiotherapy students have typically had an education dominated by natural science and thus may be missing a view of the historical, philosophical and sociological view of our world. 'Physiotherapy Otherwise' takes us on a thorny journey through the sociology of professions, guiding us through from different perspectives and drawing on a range of philosophers and sociologists. Each chapter focuses on, and ends in, a critique of contrasting schools of thought. 

Dave Nicholls purposefully takes a disruptive stance, which may engage – or perhaps enrage some – readers. Posing questions should prompt the reader to pause and question the history, present and future of our professions. The author honestly and openly presents his position and motive for writing the book and provides 'offence warnings' interspersed in the text.

Is our practice truly patient-centred?

The journey through the earlier sections has prepared us for the last three chapters which question, in a more in-depth way, the implications for physiotherapy and the ethics of the physiotherapy profession. It asks readers to consider many important questions such as how we view ‘patients’, how and if we care, whether our practice is really patient-centred and whether our actions are territorial.

These questions prime us for considering physiotherapy in a post-professional era and for the proposition that we 'give physiotherapy away'. The example of food culture and nutritionists illuminates how physiotherapy culture may evolve and the use of a thought experiment ask us to consider which parts of our practice we can give away and return to the ‘commons’.

Dr Clair Hebron is a principal lecturer at the University of Brighton

Twitter: @c_hebron

Copies of Physiotherapy Otherwise, by David A Nicholls, are freely available from: https://ojs.aut.ac.nz/tuwhera-open-monographs/catalog/book/8 The book is due to be published in 2022 by Tuwhera Open Books, Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand.

To read an earlier PhysioUpdate article on Physiotherapy Otherwise, visit: https://www.physioupdate.co.uk/news/physiotherapys-future-is-on-the-line-says-new-zealand-based-critical-thinker-dave-nicholls-/

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