Philip Allen, a former solicitor in a global law firm, sustained a brain injury in 2010. Philip is a vocal advocate for occupational therapy and how meaningful occupation has increased his self-worth and improved his emotional wellbeing.
We caught up with Philip to find out a bit more about him and what we can expect to hear him speak about at this year’s Annual Conference in Birmingham.
Q: What does occupational therapy mean to you?
In short, it has been, and continues to be, priceless. As a survivor (please note the word “survivor”, rather than “victim”) of a severe traumatic brain injury, I have found that, for me at least, my activities have a profound and positive impact upon my newfound (and otherwise negative) emotional state. Meaningful occupation is essential to my emotional well-being. Accordingly, any motivation for and facilitation of behaviour is invaluable and I owe enormous gratitude to the occupational therapy profession for providing this!
Q: Can you give us a sneak peek of what you’ll be talking about at Annual Conference this year?
I plan to share some of my experiences as a brain injured individual and, in doing so, to highlight the many changes that, being in such a position, has brought about. I will look at aspects of my existence now and draw comparison with the pre-injury position. I hope that we will all see that what, at first sight, might seem to be very negative, isn’t necessarily quite so bad. My life is different to what it once was, but “different” is not the same as “worse” and, all in all, I have a pretty full and worthwhile lifestyle – and your profession has played (and continues to play) a big part in my getting there.
Q: What one thing to do you want people to do or think about before they come and see you speak in Birmingham?
Perhaps ensure that you have plenty of music stored on your phone, so that you can plug in and ignore me! More seriously, it might be worth giving some thought as to the reason why some possible outcomes of a brain injury can be described as “hidden disabilities”. Perhaps, it would also be worth considering how you might identify them, so as to inform the particular therapy that you will provide in a given case.
Q: Can you tell us something we don’t know about you?
I love to play and record my own music, but am not convinced that an inept fusion of modern classical, modern jazz and ambient techno will bother the charts!
Philip Allen will be speaking at this year’s #RCOT2019 Annual Conference, which is taking place in Birmingham, 17-18 June 2019. Book your ticket today.