Post # 1
Hi Bees – can you please let me know if you think this email from my therapist is harsh considering the circumstances, or if I’m just being sensitive? Just some background, I see my therapist once a week after work but not until 7:30pm (their only after-work appointment) so I have to stay at my office close to 2 hours late on the days I see them (I have a long commute). They have a strict 24 hour cancellation policy, which I have always honored. I have probably canceled about 3 sessions (not including longer periods of time I’ve been out of town, which I’ve always told them in advance) for either a work event or because I was going away for a long weekend and realized I needed more time to pack (again, always giving 24+ hours notice). Now, I just canceled my appointment this week with them because I’m going away for a long weekend (DH and I are trying to keep ourselves busy so we don’t feel too depressed about his health crisis), and I also reminded them of my need to cancel for the following week so that I can be in the hospital with Darling Husband while he undergoes cancer surgery. Darling Husband and I are only in our 30’s and the cancer diagnosis came about quickly and has of course been a huge shock. My therapist knows this. This was their response to my email:
“Okay, that’s fine. I totally understand about DH’s surgery etc but in the future cancelling appointments should be pretty rare, for your therapeutic benefit. Also, you have a slot which most clients want and I hold that for you on a weekly basis so I really do need a weekly commitment on it (obviously emergencies happen but for the most part) in order to continue holding your spot.”
Now, if it wasn’t for DH’s upcoming surgery this email would be totally justified. I just think it’s insensitive considering the circumstances. Other times I’ve canceled appointments they’ve responded “sure no problem” so I didn’t realize how important it was to them I try as hard as possible to keep the weekly appointments. So, I guess this cancellation of mine was the last straw. Again, I do understand but I just think the timing of the message was poor and also their lack of expressing any kind of good wishes for DH’s surgery.
I welcome your thoughts and advice (just please be kind). Other than this, I do really like my therapist, even though the time slot is somewhat inconvenient for me (but I understood that was their only available timeslot that I could do). Is this a sign they’re not a good fit? I’m based in a very fast paced city where people (including myself) travel often and have things come up. thanks!
Post # 2
rusticchic212 : weird looks like my autocorrect expanded the “DH” lol
Post # 3
Your therapist does have a point and I don’t think the email was worded too harsh. I think you already have a lot going on so it hit you harder than it was supposed to hit.
Can you go back to being comfortable with your therapist after that email? If you can’t then you might need to find another one who you can be completely comfortable with. Can you move to a different time slot or is 7:30 your only option?
Post # 4
It would have been nice for her to wish you good luck on the surgery. But I agree she’s got a good point… when a client cancels two upcoming sessions in a row, that starts to send a message that you’re not invested in it or the time doesn’t work for you in a larger sense. (Even if that’s not true.)
Post # 5
Sansa85 : thanks, yeah I can see how it probably hit harder than it’s supposed to. I think I can probably feel normal with them again after this. Honestly, the timeslot is very inconvenient for me, but it’s the only one after work hours that they have available. I have to pack dinner on the days I see them. It tough because it’s taken me a while to find a good therapist who takes insurance (a lot of the therapists in my area only work with insurance companies as out of network so there’s a high deductible).
Post # 6
rusticchic212 : The weddingbee algorithms now automatically expand certain acronyms.
Firstly, I’m so sorry you and your husband are going through this, and best of luck with the surgery and recovery.
Secondly, that email is highly unprofessional and inappropriate. Especially so given the profession this person is in and the relationship she is supposed to be cultivating with you.
I would feel incredibly hurt by her prioritizing her bottom line over my own mental health and well-being at a time like this. So much so that I wouldn’t be able to trust her moving forward.
I would probably reply to the effect that she can have that time slot back for other patients, as I will no longer be seeing her. Then I would leave a few reviews online in all the typical places so that other prospective patients would know what they were getting into.
Post # 7
I dunno, the point the therapist is making is fair, but I would have expected them to be a tad more gentle in getting this point across given what you’re going through….which I assume is something you’ve discussed in therapy. This is a therapist after all! The way she worded it, “with the surgery etc” just seems a bit cold given everything, and then the guilt trip about the inconvenience your cancelling puts them through. I’d be bothered too.
Post # 8
duchessgummybunns : thank you, and good to hear another perspective (since I can understand where the therapist is coming from I just think the timing and wording are harsh). Good point about their profession. If it was an accountant or personal trainer or something I don’t think I’d think much of this (besides just feeling bad about canceling) but yeah, as a therapist I would think there would be some more caring there.
Post # 9
How long have you been seeing this therapist?
Post # 10
tiffanybruiser : thanks! yeah if they had made this point a previous time I canceled I wouldn’t be bothered at all. They know all about the health crisis and I’ve cried multiple times in their office about it (only times I’ve cried in sessions with them).
Post # 11
rusticchic212 : I don’t think it was particularly insensitive or harsh. My therapist and I have a really good working relationship but I am the type of person that never misses appointments. And she will ask me to reschedule if she’s sick and I have the done the same thing a couple fo times.
We skype though. And it works out marvelously. No driving.
SO, that being said, would they be willing to do skype with you? You could get home earlier and not have to ‘hang out’ at work for 2 hrs. Just a suggestion.
Another suggestion is to find a therapist that has more flexibility.
Good luck to you!
Post # 13
Keep in mind that many of the things that already annoy you about the therapist— they don’t have a lot of regular slots for you to choose from, you have to take dinner to work with you since it makes for a long day, it’s hard to find a therapist that takes your insurance– are not the therapist’s fault. It’s normal when our lives get turned upside down as with a cancer diagnosis, that we want to find something/someone to lash out at, but I don’t think the therapist has been insensitive or done anything wrong in sending this message.
Post # 14
I’m so sorry you’re going through this, my heart goes out to you and your husband. I hope and pray he recovers completely. A person in my family has also recently been through a terrible health scare, so I know how everything happening in your life seems more even stressful and amplified. People sometimes don’t have compassion. I would find a new therapist. What she emailed might be understandable, but it was also very insensitive under the circumstances.
Post # 15
I would be bothered by that email. It’s very cold, as PP stated. If you’ve been a long-term client with few cancellations, I can’t understand why they would respond to you in this manner. I’d probably start looking for another therapist because I would feel as though mine doesn’t genuinely care about my well-being.