Can You Disappoint Your Therapist? Only In This One Way!

Guest blog from Dr David McPhee, Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Minnesota

Oh, yeah, you certainly can disappointment your therapist!

It’s 9:51 AM. My 9 AM person has left.

You’re scheduled for 10 AM. I start thinking about you. I generate caring curiosity about you and your life and your therapy work, and fresh eagerness to know what you’ll bring to the session today. I send a few blessings your way.

I finish my short break at about 9:59 and walk out to the waiting room to get you.

You’re not there. Maybe you’re not going to show up at all.

I go back to my office and sit there, doing my best to sustain that unconditional positive regard and warm care and compassionate curiosity, and honestly, I am fighting disappointment. I may notice even a twinge of anger I have to address and deal with.

At about 10:20 it becomes apparent you’re not going to appear. I consider you may have had an accident or something worse, and now I deal with that bit of fear and worry. I text you but get no reply.

By 10:25, I’ve let go of it. I write NSNM (no show, no message).

I go get coffee, colleague says “no show?” I nod, colleague says “ugh, sorry.” I chuckle and say “I was really ready for this guy,” take my coffee to my office, and start my warmup for the next person.

Point: If you show up, both figuratively and literally, it’s impossible to disappoint me. Together we can deal with anything, including your slips, your crappy week, skipping your meds check, your anger with me. All of it!

You have no responsibility to make me happy. None. But since you asked, that’s how patients disappoint their therapists.

Please note: You can avoid disappointing your therapist by giving us 48 hours or more notice if you need to cancel or reschedule. We have a $115 late cancel / no show fee to cover our expenses.

Call 07 3726 5595 to cancel or reschedule or contact your therapist directly.