Friday, November 15, 2013

How patients charm and manipulate

As a follow up to a previous supervision where we discussed a colleague who had an inappropriate relationship with a patient, I asked everyone to draw a time when they felt that a patient was trying to charm or manipulate them or "lure" them in somehow.  There were some general responses of feeling surrounded by tentacles or being tossed around on waves.  There were specific answers like a patient asking to be enrolled in all of one therapist's groups or how a patient will speak softly, forcing you to lean in to hear him.  Many times patients will compliment you or try to give you something, and oftentimes it's a way of grooming or testing your boundaries.  So, it's always good to be aware of different ways patients try to charm or manipulate in order to get their way. This can help staff defend against it and avoid complacency.