In The Zone
Shrinkwrapped has a terrific post up, On Clients And Patients, Part V. The entire series of posts are an informative, enlightening and intimate look at the doctor- patient/client relationships that are now a part of how Americans have come to expect from front line medical providers.
Part V hits the nail on the head:The change in therapy of patients into clients and Doctors into providers began for noble reasons.
When the War on Poverty began with great fanfare during the administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the goal of abolishing poverty by empowering and supporting the poor brought some new terminology into common parlance. Empowerment became all the rage. "Power to the People" was the mantra of the 60's protesters. As with all slogans, what was left unspoken was what kind of power would be engendered in the recipients of society's largess. Over the course of several decades, empowerment more and more came to mean helping patients demand their deserved entitlements from the "uncaring and withholding system." First the Social Workers adopted this philosophy, and it then spread to the Psychologists and Psychiatrists. This led to an unconscious splitting of the transference that continues to be problematic.There is more.
Consciously, therapists changed their usage of patient to "client" and "consumer" in order to level the playing field between Therapist and patient and dispense with the hierarchical relationship between the two. In so doing, the Therapists (in league with the Insurance companies and the legal profession) have consigned their clients to dependency.Smart writing, smart insight. Read it all, because we need realistic expectations on what to expect from healthcare providers.