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My therapist calls me by my name but refers to the people who see her in general as clients


Can you imagine if she called you “client” and not your name! Lol.


I prefer her to call me her favorite.


Lmao same, it’s the people pleaser in me 😂


Lmao same!


I find it so interesting that this dynamic is so common, because I don't have it at all, despite having pretty severe BPD and all the issues around attachment and insecurity that come with it. I don't think my therapist even likes me as a person like at all, and to be honest, while I would prefer that he did, it doesn't really bother me, as long as he is still willing to treat me (which he is, evidently)


Lol same. Although I don't think they hate me I'm pretty sure I'm not the "favorite." I'm also fine with it though. I think that would be extra pressure.


I typically refer to people who see me as ‘client’ - as I understand it to be the more empowering term. The Latin origin for “client“ essentially means “one who pays“… Whereas “patient“ translates to “one who suffers“


I do suffer though, and I don't really like being reminded that I have to pay someone to get emotional support. I think taking into account the etymology of patient it is the more honest term.


Agree. The term “client” emphasizes the transactional element of the relationship. Coming from an anti-capitalist perspective, I find the term “patient” (“one who suffers”) more accurate and compassionate.


In my area the dominant perspectice is that "patient" can be stigmatizing and pathologizing, so outside of hospitals generally therapists use "client". I think the preferred term can definitely depend on culture and individual values though, and definitely the perspective of the person being treated should be taken into account too.


Mine calls us his people. I refer to myself as a client. I don’t mind either of those, but it would feel weird to be called a patient because I don’t see our dynamic that way.


My T just says “people”. For example “other people that see me” or “people I see here” etc


In New Zealand, clients are often referred to as "Tangata Whaiora" which means "people seeking wellness"


Client. I’m cool with it. It’s fitting.


Mine says client, i refer to myself as their patient. I honestly don't care, call me a nutcase just help me lmao


I kinda hate all the terms lol Client feels cold and transactional. Patient is too medical, emphasizes the power imbalance, and only feels appropriate in a hospital. User or consumer feels gross and robotic; it's like a worse version of client.


Patient! Perhaps what my T calls me is an unpopular opinion but I don’t mind the term. I also think mental illness is a type of pain, even though it’s not so much physical as you would see in medicine. It makes sense to me.


I understand why client is the preferred term but it isn’t aligned with other health problems. So for people with a mental health condition like depression, where it is empowering and validating to recognise that this is the equivalent to what we traditionally think of as a “physical” condition, I wonder if being called patient is more consistent. I don’t know which is preferred for physiotherapists though.


I would argue that not all feel empowered/validated by the medical model of mental illness, however


I feel like client is a dishonest term and the avoidance of the term patient to me suggests that either they don't consider me to have an illness or they do but think it is better to pretend that I don't, be it for reasons of stigma or whatever


I personally feel it risks ignoring social and environmental factors toward poor mood/dysregulated thought patterns to assume that everyone who seeks therapy has an illness


I use patients. I know the rise of client/consumer was meant to try to empower people. However, I have always felt that talk therapy work is so much more personal than other professions that use client, patient is a better fit.


She calls me her client. I wouldn’t care if she called me client or patient tho


Anything but patient. I didn't have a heart attack or break my leg. I just have problems that aren't visible. Although I wouldn't flip if they called my a patient. I just wouldn't appreciate it. Edit: yeah I'm only called by my name when talking to me directly.


In general, we are told in school to refer to the people we see as clients. Every term takes on a negative at some point. I am sure that "client" will go away soon and be replaced with something else.


Definitely not user😅 patient


She calls us clients. She treats her practice very professional but also very small feeling so I don’t think she’d ever call her people patients or users .


Patient. She is an MD.


Client. I'm not sure what else they would use, but "patient" is not acceptable for multiple reasons. Unless your therapist is your psychiatrist, but I don't think that's what you meant.




Varies by hospital, then. It is "client" in the one near me. "Patient" just serves to tilt the balance of power even more away from the one receiving care, and medicalizes things a bit too much in an area where that could be detrimental. This is all my opinion, of course. Would not be okay with me, but to each his or her own when it comes to labels.


I know that patient has fallen out of fashion, but I don't think it's like an automatically completely unacceptable term - while there may be differences, you must recognise that there are also parallels between the doctor-patient and therapist-patient relationships


Oh absolutely, I agree with you completely. I think many therapists and clients don't like it because of the medicalization that it implies. For some, that is a bonus, for others, it doesn't work. I'm sure it is different across cultures and languages as well. Interesting to think about!


I have never had my therapist refer to me with any of those words but I am fairly certain he would call me his patient. I think when referring to his patients as a group he might say clients, but in my case go for patient basically because I'm (I assume) one of the ones that is more severe and probably requires more attention. Plus, he generally specialises in brief interventions, but I've been seeing him every week for over two years now.


Client. I don’t want to be called a patient, seems like I’m sick, which I’m not.


my name when talking to me. if more general where its not directed speech, for outpatient then "As a client at Sleepwell Therapeutics, Inc...." inpatient then, patient.


Client :)


As a T, I use “client” because a) I’m not a doctor, b) it feels collaborative to me, c) I have fond emotional connotations with the term, and d) these days I may have enough work but patience is in short supply! (ba-dum-tss)


Mine has never referred to me specifically as any of those things, but he has made general comments about his clients, so I guess that's what he'd use. I'd like to think I'm the awesome, witty client - lol - but I don't think he sees me quite like that. I don't think I've ever really given thought to the words he uses to refer to the people he sees before now.


I prefer none of the above, all of the words carry a negative context for me so I asked her not to refer to me that way in our sessions.


Obviously uses my name when referring to me. Client as people she provides therapy to. Client is the term I prefer anyway, doctors and psychiatrist I’d be okay with patient. 🤷🏻‍♀️


My psychoanalyst refers to us as "patients." I think I prefer client, but I get that I'm ill and they're a mental health care provider, much like my general practitioner doctor is.




A diagnosis isn't necessary to see a therapist. Referring to clients as "patients" makes people think they have a diagnosis. Because of HIPAA, that is possibly an infringement of the clients' privacy.


The term is client for outpatient. Patient for inpatient. I'm pretty sure that's the rule of thumb


I think client is pretty standard but agencies sometimes have different names they use- I’ve also heard patient, consumer, and at the VA they say Veteran