In the beginning of my career I practiced in several traditional physical therapy settings. I was asked to see two to three clients an hour, using aides or technicians (who were not licensed therapists) to guide exercises and never had time to fully address my clients' physical needs, let alone the depression or sadness they felt because they were injured. I also never had the time to connect with them between treatments to guide or support them.
Clients paid a copay with insurance covering the rest of the bill and followed the doctor’s orders as far as frequency and duration of therapy, no matter what they really needed for healing—which could be more OR less therapy.
When I burned out in this system, I went out on my own and created the physical therapy environment I knew my clients deserved and I wanted to give. I saw everyone for at least an hour, and I scheduled them for what they needed, with lots of support in between. The client had a resource, a friend, and a caring, skilled healer at their disposal to empower the healing process and teach them how to navigate integrating mind, body, and soul.
As you evaluate your own experience with physical therapy, think about what you’re paying for. Do you receive one-on-one attention for at least an hour, by the same therapist? Do you see the same therapist every time you attend a session? Do you practice your exercises in front of that same person? Are you given a way to connect after the session for guidance or support? Does your therapist have enough time to look at all of you? Does he or she ask you about your work, relationship, home, and spiritual life?