Clinical Models Serving as Maps for Mental Health Physiotherapy Approaching the Movement Awareness Domain: Theory Development in Basic Body Awareness Therapy (BBAT)


Skjaerven Liv-Helvik
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway


There is a need to clarify physiotherapeutic components related to processes of promoting movement quality through movement awareness, developing theory to establish professional competence in the mental health field. The purpose of this paper is to present clinical strategic models, as models help spotting patients problems, and serves as tools to identify and communicate movement health potentials.

 During 15 years, in-depth, qualitative research has been presented, describing and distinguishing movement phenomena, movement pedagogy and treatment processes: studies of physiotherapy experts in different contexts. The research is inspired from therapeutic strategies in Basic Body Awareness Therapy (BBAT).

From extensive qualitative material, four clinical models was identified, appearing as keys in the health-focused project, presenting clinical intertwined phenomena. The models are: (i) Movement Quality Model, (ii) Movement Vocabulary Model, (iii) Therapeutic Component Model, (iv) Movement Awareness Learning Cycle. Together they include items of clinical importance.

The four models are useful to orient within a complex clinical landscape, including physical, physiological, psychological, cultural/relational and existential perspectives, elements and aspects. To have a coherent conceptualization within the movement awareness domain is important for physiotherapists treating patients with mental disorders. The models cover a diversity of components, with human movement as core.

 Models are made for clinical practice. Implementing person-centered, process-oriented, health-directed clinical models, presented as maps, are useful in challenging mental health physiotherapy. There is a need for deeper understanding of pattern of human movement, health and wellbeing. The models are a step to develop theory within the movement awareness domain.

November 30, 2022