Mental Health in physiotherapy: opportunities and challenges

Why does mental health matter in physiotherapy? Michel Probst is a pioneering researcher in the field of Mental Health. In his guest lecture on 26 October, he will grant his audience an insight into his specialism and recommend concrete practical measures.

26.10.2023, 4.30pm–5.30pm – online or on-site (Schwarztorstrasse 48, room 004)


  • Start date 26.10.2023, 4.30pm–5.30pm
    Add to calendar
  • Place online or on-site (Schwarztorstrasse 48, room 004)
  • Costs free

Although physiotherapeutic treatment has proven effective in mental health therapy, corresponding approaches are still rare in Switzerland. Physiotherapy exercises aim to optimise wellbeing, empower individuals by promoting functional movement, awareness of movement and physical activity, and connect their physical with their mental health.

In his guest lecture, Emeritus Professor Michel Probst discusses the opportunities and challenges this approach holds for physiotherapists. He describes physiotherapeutic measures that can benefit patients of private practices, hospitals and clinics.

The lecture explores the following questions:

  • Why does mental health matter in physiotherapy?
  • When, where and how can physiotherapists apply these insights to treat patients with mild to moderate conditions (e.g., eating disorders, depression and anxiety, dementia), and what assessments can reliably verify their effectiveness?

Michel Probst

Michel Probst is considered a pioneer of physiotherapy in the context of Mental Health. Having spent more than 35 years working with psychiatric patients, he is now an emeritus professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium. He started his clinical career at the university’s psychiatric centre in 1978. In 1997, he completed his doctoral thesis, titled ‘Body Experience in Eating Disorders’. His research primarily focused on optimising physiotherapy, physical activity and body image in patients with mental health conditions. One year after completing his doctorate, he started working part-time at KU Leuven. Between 2006 and 2019, Probst trained physiotherapists in the field of Mental Health and psychiatry. He has published more than 225 articles in ten languages and held more than 200 lectures and workshops worldwide. Michel Probst is also the founder and former president (2006–2021) of the International Organization of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (Subgroup WCPT).


Michel Probst

Michel Probst, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium

Note on the presentation

The Guest Lecture will be held in English.