In a way, these three words seem to be synonyms. However, they are not. During psychotherapy, it is important that you choose to be A Client. Otherwise, it will not work. Why may you ask?
It goes about the level of your activity and responsibility you are ready to take.
Recall the last time when you were a customer. Probably, you were buying something, picked up your stuff from the dry cleaner, changed tires on your car, enjoyed your dinner in the restaurant, had a manicure done, etc. What did you expect then? To be served, to have things done. If everything went well, you could think about “good customer service.” If the customer service provider was not good enough or unreasonably slow or inattentive, then you might be irritated with the bad customer service. Maybe, next time you will go to another place.
It’s a different story in a medical setting. Suppose you are sick – the doctor knows how to cure you. You rely on the doctor’s expertise. The doctor diagnoses and prescribes medications or procedures. And the most suitable thing to do in this situation is to follow the prescriptions and suggestions. It is your chance to recover or even to survive. As patients, we are passive. We obey. Doctors do not try to please us. The doctor is fully responsible for the diagnosis and prescription, and we can only choose to follow them.
A Client is not one who passively follows or obeys. A client is a side of the communication and a competent partner in a dialogue. There are two participants in the psychotherapeutic process: a psychotherapist and a client. If they are you and me, my part is to apply all my knowledge, experience, and empathy to help. It is my expertise – to hear you, to ask ‘good questions,’ to attract your attention to the details you never considered important. At the same time, they are decisive and explore your resources with you to make alternative behavioral strategies possible. However, our meetings have a chance to be useful under the condition – if instead of looking for suggestions or instructions, you actively participate in the discussions, try to process questions, take responsibility for your input into the therapeutic dialogue, and make efforts to apply discoveries of the sessions for your daily life.
Psychotherapy is a two-sided process; it is communication between the therapist and the client when each performs equally important roles. It matters if you decide not to be a ‘customer’ or a ‘patient’ but to be a ‘client.’
If you are looking for therapy where you communicate side by side with a therapist, then the Family Enhancement Centre is the right place for you.