Glad I was a Therapist Before I was a Professor

Rebecca Dutton

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I am glad I worked as a therapist before I became a professor.  School creates a false sense of security.  If you do not know the answer, you can ask teachers what they think the right answer is.  Book learning is a good place to start, but it does not tell you what to do when some clients do not respond to treatment that works well for many clients.  Therapists are humbled when they have to say “I don’t know” when information taught in school does not work for a client.  Therapists have to generate their own solution and watch carefully to see if it helps.

In school you learn information in one unit and then move on to the next unit.  However, the right thing to do in the clinic is a moving target that keeps changing as the client improves.  I was reminded of this when my in-patient PT said I was getting better.  I complained that walking was not getting any easier.  She said she was helping me less.  I never thought to tell my clients this either.