The Psychologically-informed Physiotherapist


Enhancing connections

A psychological framework to optimise the therapeutic relationship for enhanced outcomes in physiotherapy

What prompted us to devise the Psychologically-informed Physiotherapist? 

Eoin Ó Conaire

“Over the years, I have observed that physiotherapy research and practice has hugely improved its understanding of the role that psychological factors play in our therapeutic encounters with patients. Much of this improved knowledge has focused on how to assess and screen for psychosocial factors and “barriers to recovery”. This is important work and has helped to identify key factors that might play a role in our outcomes with patients. However for me, the big gap is in what we should actually do with our patients. In my view, screening questionnaires and outcome measures should not be used to refuse patients treatment or triage them away from physiotherapy departments. We need to develop our psychological skills and techniques with our patients in order to foster more effective therapeutic interventions. Working closely for over a decade with Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Róisín Joyce and our team of psychologists and psychotherapists at EBTC has helped me integrate psychological knowledge into my day-to-day clinical practice. I think that this has been the most important personal clinical development that I have made in recent years. We now want to share this knowledge with as many people as possible and the Psychologically-informed Physiotherapist course was born.” (Eoin Ó Conaire)


What is covered in the Psychologically-informed Physiotherapist?

The focus this 2-day course is on applying psychological principles and practice to help physiotherapists to develop stronger and more effective therapeutic alliances with their patients.

In collaboration with specialist Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Róisín Joyce, Eoin has developed this course to apply psychological principles in a physiotherapy setting. The course: 

  • Outlines key evidence demonstrating the importance of the therapeutic alliance in influencing positive outcomes in physiotherapy
  • Highlights the key obstacles to developing optimal therapeutic alliance and helps participants to develop ways of identifying and evaluating these obstacles in therapeutic encounters
  • Provides a safe space for clinicians to stand back from and reflect on their practice, think about the types of patients that they find difficult to work with and why this might be
  • Introduces the three systems psychological model of emotion regulation
  • Provides techniques and opportunities to practice using this model personally and with patients in order to enhance the therapeutic relationship
  • Summarises the physiotherapy-specific literature relating to enhancement of the therapeutic relationship
  • Applies the psychological framework to different clinical scenarios to help participants enhance the quality of their therapeutic interactions

After this course physiotherapists will be able to immediately apply the psychological framework to their clinical practice and therefore enhance therapeutic alliance and clinical outcomes.


Who is the Psychologically-informed Physiotherapist aimed at?

This course is aimed at all physiotherapists irrespective of grade or clinical area. This course is also appropriate for registered physical therapists, osteopaths and chiropractors.


Next course


CPD points: 7 hours

To book: Call the clinic on 091 727777 or contact Maria Burke


About the tutor

Eoin Ó Conaire

Lead Physiotherapist

Eoin Ó Conaire is an award-winning chartered physiotherapist and shoulder specialist. Since qualifying from the University of Brighton with first class honours in 1999, he has gathered a huge breadth and depth of experience. This has included working at large London teaching hospitals, professional and elite sport and in private practice. As Musculoskeletal Clinical Lead and lead Extended Scope Practitioner at Central London Community Healthcare, he developed a specialist orthopaedic triage and treatment service and worked clinically in the Upper Limb service. He also set up and ran an ultrasound-guided injection service and in collaboration with Dr. Jeremy Lewis developed and validated the first physiotherapy-led arthrographic hydrodistension service for Frozen Shoulder.

Academically he has gained an MSc (Advancing Practice) with distinction from the University of Birmingham, been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at international conferences. He was awarded the MACP MSc research prize in 2009 and Central London Community Healthcare therapist of the year in 2011. Eoin also regularly teaches this Shoulder Masterclass. This distils his clinical and academic knowledge into a two-day highly practical course to help physiotherapists to improve the management of shoulder pain. In 2021 Eoin started his PhD studies under the supervision of internationally renowned shoulder researcher Professor Filip Struyf at the University of Antwerp.

About Evidence-Based Therapy Centre

In 2012, Eoin and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Róisín Joyce set up Evidence-Based Therapy Centre in Galway. They have a shared vision to develop a service which puts into practice the highest quality research evidence to help optimise physical and mental health. This combined with their clinical expertise and an emphasis on working collaboratively with their patients can provide the best possible outcomes.

Over the past 10 years, Eoin and Róisín have worked closely together to put into practice their shared vision. Evidence-Based Therapy Centre has organically grown into a thriving therapy centre with 17 therapists working across different specialisms including Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Women’s & Men’s Health, Adult Mental Health, Psychosexual and Couples therapy, Family therapy, Perinatal therapy, Adult Autism and ADHD assessment and Clinical Health psychology. They provide supervision, mentorship and support to the in-house therapists but also to therapists working in other organisations and are now developing the training and development arm of Evidence-Based Therapy Centre to share their clinical knowledge, experience and expertise.