How to optimize your Therapeutic Alliance

1. Introduce yourself (shake hands if appropriate) and with a smile say, “Hello, my name is ________ and I am a physiotherapist, you may call me ___________.”

2. Say their full name “And you are _____________ but what would you like me to call you?” (Ideally repeat their name 3 times during the consultation, once at the intro, second time at the end of your subjective and third time at the end of consultation when saying good bye

3. Thank them for waiting or apologize if you are late even a few minutes (acknowledge & respect). “Thank you for waiting, I appreciate it.”

4. Sit one arm length away, same level chair and diagonal to each other

5. Get verbal consent / permission to ask questions and physically assess them. “I am going to ask you some question and then do a physical exam to see how I can help you, is that alright with you?”

6. Be 100% present, nod, lean forward and be engaged without interrupting.  This is referred to as Active Listening. (I am often guilty of interrupting …it’s a work in progress).

7. After a few minutes into the subjective exam, say “Let me make sure that I got this right. Paraphrase what they have just said and at the end ask “Was that accurate? Did I understand you well?”

8. At some point you may get permission and ask “May I take a moment to write this down?”

9. You may ask again “Is it Ok if I ask you a few more questions?

10. At the end of your paraphrasing ask them, “Is there any other important piece of information about you that I should know?”

How to optimize your Therapeutic Alliance

Iatrogenic 2
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