To be listened to…

To be listened to and witness being heard is a way to empower clients. If you don’t want me to feel like a prisoner let me be heard.  Even if what I say makes no sense, I will feel like a human if I know I have been heard. My voice may be the only shred of control I have. I may be experiencing symptoms that sometimes scare, worry or interfere with how I might otherwise be. If I can have control over more of my present circumstances I can at least take comfort in that. If you let me experience life while still allowing for safety, I can better navigate the world when I experience symptoms on the outside.

This may lessen the problems with disempowerment among mentally ill patients. I will see you as an equal who is a professional with skills that are meant to help me. If you treat me with respect you will not be that nurse or that doctor you will be someone who I can trust. If I trust you I will be more co-operative in my treatment lessening the need for coercion or even force. If I can trust one person I will not feel as isolated as I may be. Sometimes you will be the only one that I have much hope of receiving respect from.

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