Clients vs Patients


There have been a great amount of debates whether people who seek help with mental health issues should be called “clients” or “patients.”  The term “client” was introduced in the mental health field in attempt to reduce stigma against mental illness, to promote equal relationships between health professionals and their patients, and to encourage patients to take initiatives and control over the treatment of their illness.  However, some people argue that the term “patient” elicit health professionals’ compassion and sense of responsibility for the care of an individual.

Dr. Konomi uses the term “patients”, simply because she believes that mental health issues should not be treated any differently from any other health issues.  You get a pink eye, you see your family doctor.  You feel down, you see a psychologist.  You get information on what your condition is all about and why it happens.  You discuss the treatment options.  You decide whether or not you treat it.  You always have control over what to do with your problems.  Dr. Konomi does not require the use of the term “client” to make her patients feel comfortable with her, because she has a non-judgmental and compassionate communication style.  Many of her patients also say that they feel that they are “in good hands” because of Dr. Konomi’s clinical skills and knowledge.  However, if you prefer the term “client”, Dr. Konomi will always respect your choice.  Simply tell her your preference.

 
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