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Unread November 12th, 2004, 05:31 PM
Melody Victor, Ph.D. Melody Victor, Ph.D. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6
Default Re: Client vs. Patient

Funny...I'm from Canada and I haven't even heard this term! Yeesh...consumers...I agree with you. Perhaps it's a term in psychiatry circles?
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Unread January 14th, 2005, 04:41 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Elizabethtown, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 195
Default Re: Client vs. Patient

Took me a very long time to reply. The Ministry of Health of Ontario calls patients "Health Care Consumers" in their own published material. I had not known that health care was a product that could be "consumed". Perhaps the policy people come from the maritimes and are confused with the consumption of fish from the Grand Banks. Only in Canada EH?
George Neeson M.D.

Last edited by George Neeson; January 14th, 2005 at 04:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Unread January 14th, 2005, 09:58 PM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 283
Default Re: Client vs. Patient

American authorities are using the term "consumer" as well. I believe that this is supposed to be de-stigmatizing and empowering (which would be a good thing if changing the terminology really accomplished that).

Unfortunately, this tends to be accompanied by referring to us as "providers" which makes it sound as though we are faceless drones in a service industry rather than being skilled professionals.
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Unread January 14th, 2005, 10:56 PM
Micah Perkins Micah Perkins is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, Ok, USA
Posts: 10
Default Re: Client vs. Patient

I also prefer the term client rather than patient. I agree with others that the term client insinuates a more colaborative relationship. It also helps me keep in mind who I work for. I agree that the therapist is (hopefully) more knowlegable about psychological matters than the client. But, the client is the one who is ultimately responsible for taking that knowlege and applying it to his/her life. The term patient implies, to me, someone sitting around waiting for 'the cure', rather than an active partnership. In the end, I dont think it really matters. Just as long as we treat our clients/ patients with respect, share our knowlege, and encourage them to actively work to 'cure' themselves.

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Unread January 18th, 2005, 11:19 AM
William Reid William Reid is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 105
Default Re: Client vs. Patient

Hey, don't blame this on psychiatrists! :-) We are about 98% against "consumer," and probably well over 50% against "client" when referring to individual patients. If one is speaking of large groups economically, or, I suppose, politically, other terms may be more descriptive in some contexts, but it's a slippery slope.

I think I've already mentioned, in a much earlier post, a well-known senior Clinton (the U.S. President just before George W., for those living on desert islands) appointee with bipolar disorder who openly says the terms "patient" and "mental illness" help people (including legislatures, funding agencies, and managed care organizations) take mental illness seriously and place it on a par with other medical issues (cf., funding parity efforts, which are hurt by separating our "clients" or "consumers" from other clinicians' "patients").

"Consumer," "recipient" (used in Illinois), and to some extent "client" tend to trivialize serious mental disorders and their treatment, and place them in a much less fundable (arguably throwaway) category like "behavioral health" or "problems in living." That's not good for access to clinical care, funding for care, or both individual or public recognition of the need to recognize and vigorously treat many mental illnesses.

Thanks for listening.
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