How a simple change in language can build better relationships

It can often be very difficult for people accessing our services to feel part of society. That difficultly can come from a fear of being labelled. Labelling of someone as a homeless person or a client or service user often creates a power imbalance between those accessing a service and those providing it.

For someone a person going through tough times, it can be a horrific experience to be defined by something such as your housing situation as it represents an idea that everyone is perceiving you by something that is a negative point in your life. In addition to this these; terms often carry a lot of stigma attached to them, treating someone with preconceptions can often lead to damaged self-esteem and a power imbalance.

At the Brick we decided to do away with these labels, we see no need to group people together as clients or service users. Instead, we decided to see people as people. We make every effort to get to know people on a first-name basis and try never to define the people we work with, in a way that creates a negative perception.