The Coach

Every physiotherapist considers himself as a coach. But what is it that a coach is doing?

In my idea, a coach is helping people change. So behaviour change is the focus of a coach.

The coach tries to enlist the patient’s potential for change, evokes and reinforces intrinsic motivation, addresses the patient’s self-learning ability and empowers him.

Motivational interviewing and the physiotherapist as coach

During 20 years motivational interviewing is developed. And used in different settings. Also physiotherapy.

Motivational interviewing is offering a lot the coach can use. Like evoking intrinsic motivation. And guiding the patient.

Essential skills are:

  • open-ended questions about the motives, possibilities, thoughts and feelings,
  • reflections on feelings, emotions and thoughts about the arguments to change
  • empower the possibilities to strengthen the patient’s trust and
  • share patient-oriented information that motivates or evokes the change process (after asking permission to do so).

And Solution-focused counselling?

Indeed, motivational interviewing is important, but not all there is. When you help people to change their behaviour they (hopefully) often come to a point where action is needed.

That is where solution focused counselling comes in. A solution focused approach contains questions in the direction of the solution. By doing this you empower the patient to use his solution competencies.

The result of this is that the patient is more ‘in controle’. More managing his own life and living according his own decisions.