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psychology/brain science in PT?

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jrc

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I am very interested in brain science and in the mind/body connection. In the neurology sub-specialty of PT, is there a large emphasis on these topics? Is research in PT being conducted about the brain and body?

I'm currently deciding between pursuing a DPT or a PhD in psychology research. I find myself drawn more towards the DPT (for a variety of reasons) but am seeking a way to combine my interests.

Thank you in advance!
 

fallbackplan

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You would probably find that a PhD in Psych (cognitive) would be more along the lines of what you are interested in.

The mind body connection you'll find in PT is really more of a movement oriented connection based on the particular trouble spot within the brain.
 

weasel99

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I wouldn't necessarily say that is the case - there is a large portion of the field that is producing exceptional research in the fields of chronic pain, neurogenic pain, and fear-avoidance belief patterns as they relate to disability and function.

I can't speak directly to the field of psychotherapy, but my personal feeling is that every patient session is broken down into patient expectations and anxieties about the inability to move and/or pain, whether it be physical or psychological, and working through one domain (physical) can make as powerful a difference in well-being and health as moving through the emotional, spiritual, or mental realms (and often times they are more powerfully interlinked than we think).

If you have some interest in this area, David Butler & Larimer Mosely's "Explain Pain" is the most artistic, designed for the lay and professional. Some of the Research coming from University of Florida is interesting on nociception and the pain experience (Steven George, PT PhD is the researcher to search for).

Hope this helps muddle things,
Wesley Miller, PT
 

jrc

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Thank you both for your insights. My interest lies mostly with neuroscience and motor learning in relation to neurological disorders. So, it looks like I could go about it either in Psyc or PT, huh? Does anyone know of specific PT's who are doing research related to this?

weasel99, thanks so much for pointing out the research in pain management and PT. That's an area that I'd not considered but will certainly look more into!
 

Elbrus

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Thank you both for your insights. My interest lies mostly with neuroscience and motor learning in relation to neurological disorders. So, it looks like I could go about it either in Psyc or PT, huh? Does anyone know of specific PT's who are doing research related to this?

Drs. Carloee Winstein, & Suzanne Campbell are two individuals who immediately come to mind, but there are many others doing clinical and academic research in these areas.
 

jrc

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Drs. Carloee Winstein, & Suzanne Campbell are two individuals who immediately come to mind, but there are many others doing clinical and academic research in these areas.

Thanks for the info; their research looks fascinating.

Do you all know if one needs a PhD to conduct research as part of one's PT career, or if it can be done with a DPT? I'd ideally like to do research half the time and work with patients the other half.

Thanks again :laugh:
 

Elbrus

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Do you all know if one needs a PhD to conduct research as part of one's PT career, or if it can be done with a DPT? I'd ideally like to do research half the time and work with patients the other half.

I am a DPT working as both a clinician and a funded co-investigator on a research project with someone who has a PT/PhD.

You do not have to be a PhD to do research, but having good writing and scientific method skills are undoubtedly important. I would suggest to anyone interested in research to team up with a mentor for this process. It would be a daunting task if you tried to take it on without solid guidance.
 
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