(Why Does My Therapist Charge for Cancellations? Help From a Raleigh Therapist )
You’ve got a conflict with your therapy session and can’t cancel because it’s under 24 business hours and you’ll be charged for the time anyway.
Darn! You find yourself really frustrated and wondering, ” Why is it that therapists charge for cancellations anyway. Don’t they know things come up? Am I being taken advantage of?”
I think this is an understandably touchy issue. Anytime you mix money with caring and feelings-it gets sticky. You don’t want to be taken advantage of but at the same time, you want to be fair. You want to know the reasoning behind your therapists’ policy.
To that end, here is my thinking. Some things may be obvious and others, well, not so much.
1-When your counselor schedules you, they block out that time to see you and cannot book other appointments at the same time. This may be in contrast to another health care professional who may have a looser schedule and a late cancellation or a no-show won’t throw off their schedule so much. They can just take the next person.
For your therapist, If you cancel with enough notice, it is feasible that they can offer the time to someone else. That is why they usually ask for notice of at least 24 business hours.
2-At the heart of the therapy is the relationship. This needs to be a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Setting time aside to focus on you is the something you both have committed to do. Like any relationship, it takes respecting the time you set aside for each other to work. I would say by the same token, a therapist who is constantly rescheduling you is not doing their part either.
3-The resistance or blocks to relating and exploring your stuff is always there. Therefore there will be times when you, “just don’t feel like talking” because of the resistance. At those times it is vitally important that your therapist not collude with that resistance part of you. Other times you…… had a meeting called at work and you just couldn’t get to therapy. Since your therapist can’t know which is which, he or she is best to lean on their policy. This means you may occasionally end up paying for time you can’t use.
It also can mean you get the signal to take your therapy and yourself more seriously. And that can pay dividends way beyond the cost of a missed session.
Last but not least …the therapist is a model for valuing yourself. Your therapist needs to show you what valuing your time looks like. They need to model what they preach.
The goal here is to be reasonable not overly punitive and not overly lenient. Believe me, most therapists want to generate good feelings and have no joy at charging you for a missed session with insufficient notice.
You want a therapist who can hold his or her own and while being fair.
Therapy is serious business and can offer serious healing. Chances are, the problems you find yourself having in life and relationships are reflected somewhat in your approach to time. Regarding your own time and that of others as valuable can jump start benefits in the health and happiness department that just might surprise you!