November 21 2017 0Comment

Not Labelling People

In the medical model the DSM V (five) manual is the diagnosing Clinician’s bible.  “Patient’s” symptoms are collected, analysed and compared to descriptions in the manual.  Some of these symptoms can be ticked off and a diagnosis formulated. The true medical model. The only solution that the DSM V manual suggests to the diagnosis is the prescription of psychotropic drugs.  This thus serves a commercial business process of shifting medicines off the chemist’s shelves and shovelling the money into Pharma Company’s pockets.  The drug companies have vested interests therefore in being featured in the Manual. 

I have no doubt that in some cases medication can be helpful if not essential to stabilise conditions which have arisen for people presenting with extreme conditions either through anatomical problems to environmental deprivation or life events  However, I do find that the medical model in essence misses the person in the process.  The client (labelled as patients because there is “something wrong with them”) is recognised as thinking in the wrong way and they would be told that there is a better more effective way of thinking. Labelling clients as patients is in my view unhelpful. I have known of numerous examples where clients have been diagnosed with, let’s say, Mild Bipolar type 2, whatever that means, have been asked to leave their job as a result of sharing that with their employer.  Diagnosis is a label, and in some cases not a label that is particularly helpful. It can lead to extreme employer reactions being directly discriminatory,if not unlawful. Diagnosed mental illnesses are currently protected under the Disabilities Act in the UK but not so in countries like the United States.  I also wonder in this popular elitist political climate, whether such protection will remain in place for much longer.    The diagnosis of the problem in fact can give another problem and valued staff who have formerly been valued have found themselves without a job or denied employment.  The knock on effect of this of course is that it prevents some who are in need of help to seek it for fear that it will have a detrimental effect on their career.

Counselling offers an alternative approach, does not look to label people and helps them move forward with their lives, to formulate and realise their goals or process life events.  Research suggests that the most sought after end result of a counselling intervention is that the person experiencing the therapy is better able to formulate their own individual and unique achievable goals, and not to be told how to think or to accept labels.


Write a Reply or Comment