Patient or Client?

philosophy Aug 20, 2020

In the profession of being a homeopath, we usually engage our services with an exchange of money. Often, we call this business a "practice." It holds by definition but also there are other definitions that I prefer. I do not want to refer to my profession as a practice. I have trained and done my "practice" and now am a professional that is engaged with my clients. They pay me for rendering a professional service of homeopathy. They do not want me practicing on them. This would not be fair if I were still learning yet calling myself a professional. Not that I will ever stop learning homeopathy but I prefer to call my professional work just that; a professional work or business.

When I engage in my business, I refer to everyone who engages me for my professional services as a client. This is what they are. It brings with it a certain responsibility on their part as well as my own. I try to never refer to the client as a patient. By definition to be patient is "to bear pain or trials without complaint, showing self-control." I know of no person who is suffering that wants to be patient. Everyone wants to heal and put suffering away as quickly as possible. To refer to my client as "patient" would ask them to release the responsibility of their healing to the provider of professional services (homeopath). I want my client to be as actively participating in their healing as I am engaged in my profession.

I realize that this may seem a little trivial and just a play on words. But the human mind is very smart and knows all word associations. I prefer to let the mind of my client know that I recognize that they have engaged my services to help them heal. I realize that I am not the healer but the facilitator of a very precious process that happens for the client. I take this very seriously. It is my responsibility since they have entered into a contract with me for my professional services that we each have a role to play. This engages them to assume more responsibility for their healing and, ultimately, I am just a part of the most incredible process that happens to living organisms.

Contemplate what this means for you as a homeopath. What seems like innocent ways of referring to someone who has trusted their process to you may not serve them very well. You will do you both great respect to honor yourself by recognizing your professional business and respecting their wanting to engage in your services by calling them your client. Don’t practice on them or expect them to be patient. Good luck!

Keep the conversation going! I would love to hear your questions and thoughts below!


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