Training to be a Bobath Tutor – reflections on the experience so far: by Karen Blagojevic
02 Jul, 2017 - 01:56 pm 0 comments

Part 1- Sunday 23rd October 2016

I am about to embark on my first assistantship, teaching on a Basic Bobath Course alongside Jenny Williams and Sue Raine.  The thought is both daunting and exciting at the same time. 


I can still remember the sense of anticipation I felt before attending the Basic Bobath Course as a participant.  The prospect of having 3 whole weeks dedicated to my learning and the opportunity to develop my skills as a Neuro rehab clinician was mind blowing and that was before we got started!


I feel the same sense of anticipation now, even though I will be taking it all in from a slightly different angle.  I have the privileged opportunity to cover the course content all over again, updating my knowledge and skills and strengthening my use of this concept that I have been using as a framework for my own clinical practice for the last 14 years.


I will also be part of this teaching team for the first time.  Testing my ability to articulate my clinical reasoning to others and sharing the skills and knowledge which underpin the Bobath Concept.  I am passionate about assisting others on their Neurorehabilitation journey and I hope that this will help me calm my nerves.


These first 2 weeks in Blackburn mark a significant point in my aspiration to become a Bobath Tutor.  It was roughly a year ago that I tentatively submitted by application, not really knowing what BBTA were looking for and definitely not knowing if I had it!   


Part 2- Friday 6th January 2017

Preparing for Module 3 of the Basic Bobath Course I have those doubts that you get when you go to write a presentation or go for an interview for a new job.  Who am I?  Why would anyone listen to me?   When will I be ready?  When will I know enough?  At times I feel like an imposter and wonder how I ever managed to treat a patient before.


I can assure you, that I don’t feel this way because it’s a course on the Bobath Concept.  It is because I am in a room with experienced clinicians (and expert tutors) who would know if I was making it up and call me up on it!  I feel the pressure of having to know exactly what I am talking about and being able to explain it in a way that others can understand and assimilate into their own clinical reasoning. 


I feel strongly that I should have up to date evidence to support my teaching points.  I feel challenged to explain each step of my clinical reasoning as if I were reading from the pages of a book of my thoughts. 


I am empathetic to the participants who have toiled during their Christmas holidays to produce a case study.  Rest assured I was not sitting back with my feet up, waiting for the assignments to be submitted.  I have been reading and digesting as much up to date evidence as I can, to try and bring the most relevant information to you in Module 3.  Already I am noticing the benefits of this endeavour.  I am sharing evidence with my colleagues and bringing new information to my teams for discussion and consideration in our clinical practice.  I am looking forward to seeing you all again and sharing the next part of our learning journey together on the final week of this Basic Bobath Course.


Part 3- Reflections after the end of my first Basic Bobath Course Assistantship

I hope you don’t mind indulging me but this blog is serving as a bit of reflective practice on my part.  It is a way of creating some order from the multitude of experiences that I gained in my last week of teaching on my first Bobath Tutor Assistantship. The experience of being immersed in clinical reasoning, theory and practice for a week has been an intense and emotional one, and it has taken me some time to reflect on this with clarity.


There were three key challenges asked of me during the final week:

1) To present a theoretical lecture on the Wrist and Hand;

2) To present a practical on the role of the hand in reach and grasp

3) To support two course participants to lead a workshop for half of the group on the patient they were treating.


It was only through preparing these sessions that I have begun to really appreciate just how much knowledge and expertise Physiotherapists have about how the body moves.  On top of that, just how much understanding Neurological Physiotherapists have with regards to how a person and their Central Nervous System interact with the world to influence and modify those movements.  Those layers further build when a clinical condition or neurological disorder interferes with the way that person is able to move and experience the world. 


This knowledge and understanding is ongoing, continuous and evolving, just as the body of evidence and field of science is developing and growing.  The key, take home message for me as a clinician from this Bobath course is to ensure that I devote time to observation.  To be able to articulate what I am seeing and compare it with what I understand to be efficient movement.  The analysis of these observations is a key starting point for my clinical reasoning; a framework to guide my assessments and target my intervention.


Being immersed in this environment for a week, being assessed and challenged in this way has really made me reflect and consider all aspects of my skills as a clinician.  There is nowhere to hide, no-one else to put their hand up to answer the question instead, no shying away from those things that make you feel particularly uncomfortable and that you would rather not do.  I have become acutely aware of my strengths and weaknesses, opening myself up to constructive feedback and expert guidance.  


There are many moments when I question why I am putting myself through this scrutiny.  However, the answer remains the same: to be better at what I do; to better help the people I treat; and to support other clinicians to develop their own skills on their own personal learning journey.  The joy of sharing the moments where a patient achieves something for the first time since their stroke or completes a task differently without thinking will always be there, driving me forward.

I am pleased to say that I succeeded in my first assistantship.  I am now progressing towards associate membership of IBITA and the prospect of attending congress in Dublin in September 2017 and meeting other Instructor Candidates from across the globe.  It will be interesting to explore our similarities and differences, particularly as we now all share common assessment criteria on our journey towards achieving Tutor status. 

If you would like to consider training to be a Bobath Tutor get in touch and discuss with us at 

We would be delighted to hear from you!

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