Working with clients in the community

This section is for questions relating to therapy, assessment, formulation and other aspects of working with people in mental health services.

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Working with clients in the community

Post by benbrand » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:33 pm

I hope this is the appropriate place to post this- apologies if not!

I work as a research assistant on a RCT examining cognitive remediation in first-episode psychosis. Much of my work involves meeting clients in their homes, assisted board & care, and in the community. So I met with a participant in the community at a coffee shop- just for context, this participant experiences his symptoms fairly acutely and tends to engage with voices when in public. After meeting with this participant the server came and sat opposite me and asked:

Server: what sort of work do you do?
Me: I work in research
Server: Because this guy, I see him in here walking up and down, pacing, talking to himself
Me: Okay
Server: Is he okay?
Me: Yes, I can assure you he's okay

I felt somewhat blindsided and didn't know how to respond- the server obviously felt fearful of this participant and my knee-jerk reaction was to want to provide some level of psychoeducation, but obviously this would allude to this person having a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

My question you all: How would you deal with this sort of scenario?

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Re: Working with clients in the community

Post by miriam » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:21 pm

Tricky situation. You are bound by confidentiality, but we are also human and the guy is expressing concern and compassion. I'd be tempted to say "It is nice that you are concerned. Yeah, he's okay, even if he looks a bit strange sometimes".

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