Sunday, April 17, 2016

"I should sell tickets to everyone who wants to see my patient"...

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine, who is a psychotherapist, told my colleagues and me about a patient of his, because he needed some help with questionnaires and other things. 

He had to treat this patient because of our supervisors wish. However, he personally thought that his patient was totally crazy proceded to explain why. Due to his explanations some other people wanted to see the patient, and he joked he should sell tickets and get rich by showing the patient to others. When he left he mentioned that it’s just not possible to have empathy with someone like that, because he can’t put himself in the patient’s position. Everyone agreed.

While this may be the most insulting (that’s my opinion, obviously not the opinion of others) thing I’ve ever heard here about a patient, it happens quite regularly that people are making fun of or laughing about patients (not everyone! But some people.). Mostly (again, my opinion) for really minor things like talking too much or misunderstandings. I’ve always felt really uncomfortable with that.

However, what irritates me is that he mentioned that he just can’t have empathy with the patient because of the patient’s behavior. That may be. I can’t understand the patients behavior either, but my understanding was, that that is (in part) why it is a disorder and not just perfectly reasonable and understandable human behavior?

Sometimes I get the feeling that psychologist as well as doctors just "understand" situations (behaviors, thoughts, …) that seems to some degree reasonable to them, and, at best, perfectly fit the diagnostic criteria for a disorder.

I don’t understand any better. But I don’t understand the slander either.

What is your opinion on this?