How do the terms we use to describe those

Going to see a healthcare professional for any reason can really bring up a whole range of emotions. Healthcare professionals also experience a whole range of emotions when seeing those they are treating. The relationship can be complex. It consists of two human beings, perfectly imperfect in their own unique way, working together to solve or manage a difficulty, within an even more complex and ever-changing healthcare system.

Today’s Thought Provoking Question has been inspired by an amazing person I have recently met on Twitter: @SilentCries85.

She has decided to use her experiences to raise awareness of mental health, trauma and child sexual abuse. You can check out her blog at the link below:

She was reflecting about the terminology used to describe those receiving treatment/support and how it varies between different professions and between the arena of mental and physical well-being. When we go to see our GP or any kind of medical nurse consultant we are generally referred to as patients and sometimes service users. Psychiatrists also tend to use this terminology when referring to the people they see. Clinical psychologists, counsellors and therapists on the other hand tend to refer to those they work with as clients, emphasising a more collaborative relationship whereby the power dynamics are minimised as much as possible in order to provide space for the development of an authentic therapeutic relationship.

This got us thinking about the inevitable impact the words used to describe people receiving help for their health have, both within the medical/therapeutic system, the way professionals perceive those they treat and how these labels impact how those seeking help feel and the impact all of this has on overall treatment effectiveness.

We would love to hear your thoughts! As someone who either receives and/or provides treatment which do you prefer or find yourself using? What impact do you think the various labels have on the relationship between those being helped and the helpers, and in the process and effectiveness of treatment itself?

Here is to another honest, insightful and respectful discussion.

To check out or share previous #thoughtprovokingquestions just click the link below.

Thought Provoking Thursday #TPT

Much love


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