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Most clients have abnormal daily routines

We base our assumptions about normality on our own experience and risk mistaking the norms of our immediate social circle (or movies and TV) for demographic reality. I was asked to help stroke ward staff manage a patient who took his bed very early in the evening and...

The Golden Rule is universal

Treat others as you’d like to be treated is a universal principle. Therapists who avoid working with other faiths and cultures can be assured that there is common ground to work from. Working with people with different beliefs can be challenging, especially for...

Read your clients’ information sources

Be aware of clients’ information sources in addition to your own. Newspapers, magazines and online forums vary widely in quality, but may contain information of use to you and your other clients. A client who I had advised on the control of panic attacks returned a...

Compensation cases and miraculous recoveries

Experience suggests that receiving compensation for physical or mental injury or distress is often followed by a significant improvement in the client’s symptoms. Many therapists decline to take on clients with ongoing compensation cases and some question the...

Setting homework has negative implications

Setting “homework” for clients implies that no relevant work would otherwise occur between sessions. When clients fail to do their homework but achieve positive change anyway, the focus may fall on the former rather than the latter. Physical therapies...

Helpful patients are not hateful patients

Therapists should encourage and support, not dread, “helpful patients”. Internet or other research by the client can indicate active involvement in treatment. In 1978 JE Groves described four categories of “hateful” patient, ie: the patients...