Therapists’ cancellation policies/Ts&Cs…

joeylittle

Administrator
And if I email again to just say ‘when are you next available for a session?’ it feels really odd. Because it feels like the important think I first emailed about that was important to me…if I just email again trying to schedule another session without getting response from her on the first one…it feels like I’m saying the important thing I emailed about doesn’t actually matter now.
FWIW? I think getting into session is what will let you discuss that first email - whereas, waiting for her to engage over email is something that she's demonstrated a pattern of not doing. I don't think it signals anything - you're the client, the ball is ALWAYS in your court.

I also think it's a great idea to tell her outright that you either need her to acknowledge receipt, or you need to not email her anymore, and instead write your thoughts and bring them to next session.
I don’t want to terminate our work together because of a miscommunication about cancellation policies! And I want to pick up on what we were doing before, because it felt like we were getting somewhere. But when she doesn’t reply I find it incredibly hard to find a way forward to get back into session and feel ok enough with her to dive back in.
I really do hear what you're saying - again, my opinion is: yes, it feels hard - but getting back into session is actually the only way to resolve the unfinished communication that is just floating out there over email. And the more you get into the habit of getting back into session, the easier it will get.
But then, we find ourselves back there again. So, I think I have some frustration about that…that we don’t tend to ever get into digging into the stuff that’s actually about me, rather than the bits that are about the head and now of us (eg a miscommunication between us)
That's a very good observation, and a really good note to give her. She can help in re-directing the focus back to you. And she might not know that you don't want to be focusing so much work through this transference.

Really - get on the schedule and get back in there; it's the action that you can take, and it stands a chance of providing some relief. Waiting on her is disempowering yourself.

I'm pulling for you - and of course, am supporting you no matter what you decide to do.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Or phone her, but I don’t tend to phone her.
Maybe you could phone her this one time to discuss this with her? I would anyway, if that was the only way to discuss it with her without paying first and she isn't answering by other means.

Again, maybe I'm just being cheap. It's the 'been paying bills since I was 12' brain, but I don't pay for something I knew nothing about and didn't sign for. If I signed for it and just forgot, cool! Show me the signed paper or that I signed I read something and I'm happy to pay. Otherwise, nope! And I'm sure she's happy to discuss it.

How do you guys typically make appointments? Does she typically reply to your email or?
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Pre-Covid when we met in person I generally had a set session time and we’d block book in for a couple of months or so at a time and just text/email if either of us needed to change our regular time. Since working from home and meeting on Zoom, I haven’t had a set time and we tend to just arrange our next appointment at the end of the session. Hence, I don’t have anything in the diary now as we didn’t end up having a session last week.

She doesn’t get into ‘therapeutic topics’ on email. So, in the past, if I’m emailed about something to do with our work/session content, she usually just acknowledges the email, thanks me for sharing it and says we can pick it up next time, which I’m totally fine with.

But if I email about something like this (ie something that hasn’t landed well) I tend not to get a reply at all.

For other stuff, like logistical stuff, she replies.

I get why she doesn’t want to dive into addressing any of the points I made on email. I wouldn’t expect her to do that and don’t think it would be ideal if we were just going back and forth on email about something that’s annoyed me. But the total lack of acknowledgement when I’ve shared something important and difficult is what pushes my buttons!
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Pre-Covid when we met in person I generally had a set session time and we’d block book in for a couple of months or so at a time and just text/email if either of us needed to change our regular time. Since working from home and meeting on Zoom, I haven’t had a set time and we tend to just arrange our next appointment at the end of the session. Hence, I don’t have anything in the diary now as we didn’t end up having a session last week.

She doesn’t get into ‘therapeutic topics’ on email. So, in the past, if I’m emailed about something to do with our work/session content, she usually just acknowledges the email, thanks me for sharing it and says we can pick it up next time, which I’m totally fine with.

But if I email about something like this (ie something that hasn’t landed well) I tend not to get a reply at all.

For other stuff, like logistical stuff, she replies.

I get why she doesn’t want to dive into addressing any of the points I made on email. I wouldn’t expect her to do that and don’t think it would be ideal if we were just going back and forth on email about something that’s annoyed me. But the total lack of acknowledgement when I’ve shared something important and difficult is what pushes my buttons!
Then it sounds like calling is the only other option. Unless you can text or something, letting her know you'd like to set an appointment time to talk about this.

Sort of a not great way to set up appointments if you ask me because it inevitably ends up in an appointment hole like this but she's the clinicians. It's on her to make those appointments. But she has given you a few ways to make those appointments it sounds like. So, at least how I'm reading this, you may just need to take one of the other avenues.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
I emailed a couple of days ago asking for her availability this week and we’ve made an appointment for this week. I haven’t paid the invoice for the cancelled session as yet, want to talk to her about it first. Not sure how the conversation is likely to go. Dreading it really, even though I know it has to happen…
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Thanks @scout86 and I’m sorry you’ve had a similar situation recently. And yes, often the dread and anticipation is worse than the actual event and I’m hoping I’ll be feeling much better about things afterwards. But sometimes these kinds of conversations don’t go the way I hope. They can be a bit unpredictable. Fingers crossed indeed!
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Had our session. It was all a bit weird, quite confusing and very draining. But:
- she told me not to worry about paying the invoice
- she didn't say much at all in response to my email or what I said about the situation today. In fact, when I mentioned that I wanted us to talk it through, but that I still thought and felt the same as what I'd written in the email, so I didn't have anything new or different to add...she asked whether we should just draw a line under it and move on and talk about something else. Which threw me a bit. Especially as there's this unpaid invoice of hers floating around, which she hadn't mentioned!
– towards the end of the session, she did apologise for the fact that this has had an impact on me. And, when I asked if she understood why it had had an impact on me, she said that she did understand. And she acknowledged a couple of things to show that she understood why and how it had impacted me.
- I still have no idea why she decided to invoice for this one having not for the last 8 years – I mentioned a couple of times that it would be helpful for me to know what was different but she didn't say anything about that. And I still don't have real clarity on what to expect going forward. When I asked if she could clarify what the policy will be from now on, in terms of what will or won't be billed for, she looked a bit blank and asked if I could give her some time to think about that, and that she would let me know sometime. I have no idea whether she will come back to me on that or not. I suspect she won't...unless I force it by bringing it up again.

So...it was a bit frustrating and strange....but she did acknowledge a couple of things, which I appreciated. But I'm still feeling confused about the whole thing really. So, need to just try to draw a line and let it go.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
That does feel a mixed bag.
It's really great she apologised and took responsibility for it. And that she took back the invoice. So go you for raising it and getting that outcome.
But also I can understand your confusion and frustration when she is being clear about what her policy is. Clearly she doesn't have one then? Which is odd? I'm sorry you are left with that.

I'm trying to see if there are different ways to look at it that might give you total closure to it, but I'm stumped!
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Yeah, mixed bag sums it up really. I felt like getting any acknowledgment from her was like getting blood out of a stone. She wasn’t very forthcoming until towards the end of the conversation.

And then we finished 10 mins early as there wasn’t really anywhere else to go with it and I wasn’t really in the headspace to shift gears and talk about something different and meaningful for 10 mins. So, I just said let’s leave it there today.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Bizarre.

But you did a great job handling this, @barefoot -
towards the end of the session, she did apologise for the fact that this has had an impact on me. And, when I asked if she understood why it had had an impact on me, she said that she did understand. And she acknowledged a couple of things to show that she understood why and how it had impacted me.
This seems like the biggest positive to have come out of it, in terms of her regaining some part of a therapeutic alliance. I agree, it would be great if she could articulate a policy - but the bigger issue under that was the experience of being addressed by her in such an unexpectedly abrupt and strange manner (invoicing you for the missed session in the first place, at a time when you had a legitimate crisis).

Now, you and she have established a common ground about how her actions affect you. Hopefully you won't need to call back to it, but if you do - it's there.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I still have no idea why she decided to invoice for this one having not for the last 8 years – I mentioned a couple of times that it would be helpful for me to know what was different but she didn't say anything about that. And I still don't have real clarity on what to expect going forward. When I asked if she could clarify what the policy will be from now on, in terms of what will or won't be billed for, she looked a bit blank and asked if I could give her some time to think about that, and that she would let me know sometime. I have no idea whether she will come back to me on that or not. I suspect she won't...unless I force it by bringing it up again.
I think you handled this beautifully!

Me? Like I said before, I'm cheap as hell! If I don't sign something that I understand and agree to a policy and when I ask, I dont get any clear answers in anyway, I dont pay. Just saying. She had a chance to make this clear for you, you asked for it to be clear and it just wasn't.

Good job though! The way you handled this was awesome to witness!
 
Top