It’s not even an open door to say: as a physiotherapist you need to be the confidant of your patient. Of course, everyone realises how important trust and therapeutic alliance is.
But do we actually know why?
Before we dig in to the evidence on this role. Let’s first make clear what the confidant does.
The physiotherapist as confidant
In order to provide adequate care, the physiotherapist acts as a confidant. That is: have a relation of trust.
This relation of trust is central, and the therapist is non-directive. So the patient determines the direction of the conversation while the therapist creates structure and rest.
How does this look like? Well: as a confidant, you accept the patient as a human being, respecting their qualities and weaknesses. You try to understand the patient and their environment, and you imagine yourselves in their position.
In this role you don’t need any knowledge that’s specific for a PT. You just sit, be calm, be attentioned and tuned in with the patient and LISTEN.
Just sit, be calm, be attentioned and tuned in with the patient. And listen.
So, don’t interrupt.
Why is this role so important?
While he is listening, creating an environment of warmth, safety and trust, he achieves several things.
The most important: the confidant is creating a solid basis for the other roles of the physiotherapist: communicative detective, coach and teacher.