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Work with, not around, chaotic clients

Therapists can either work on, or work around, the chaos in client’s lives. Identifying clients, rather than their circumstances, as chaotic risks disempowering the client. “Chaotic” seems to be one of the mildest “unofficial diagnoses” a therapist can apply...

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...

Demanding clients make legitimate requests

“Demanding” clients are often making legitimate requests. Therapists applying such a label should consider whether it is the client’s requests or the service’s lack of resources which is unrealistic. “Demanding” is a label often...

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...

Beware of unofficial diagnoses & double meanings

Some terms used by therapists to describe clients have meanings which won’t be found in textbooks. Use of these terms is rarely of benefit to the client, although the term may say as much about the therapist as the client. resistant to treatment lacking motivation...