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    MWR’s Ask Me Anything: What Does My Therapist Really Think When I Cancel?

    by Molly Martin

    What does my therapist REALLY think when I cancel my appointment?

    We understand that things come up! There are so many things that can interfere with your ability to attend a scheduled session – aside from illness, weather, and occasional over-booking, it’s normal for people to experience discomfort around coming to therapy at times. Even when you really want to do the work, the anxiety and dread that can come up around unpacking tough stuff can contribute to avoidance and cancellations. If this is happening for you, talk to your therapist about it! We want to help make the process feel manageable for you, and can work together with you on coping tools and develop the structure, focus, and timing of sessions that can help you tolerate the feelings that are coming up.

    We do always appreciate communication when you can’t make your appointment. If you’re running late or suddenly realize that you forgot about your appointment, call or email us as soon as possible to let us know. Canceling in advance of 24 hours provides us with time to schedule another client who would like to be seen.

    If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice, we do have a late cancellation fee we will change. This is not to be punitive or because we are mad at you! Maintaining clear and consistent policies supports our ability to continue providing mental health services without personalizing the decision. 

    If you have multiple late cancellations or no shows, your therapist will talk to you about your interest in and commitment to continuing therapy. Consistent participation in necessary for most people to meet the goals they have, so irregular attendance and frequent cancellations will impede your progress.

    If you have extenuating circumstances, talk to your therapist to develop a plan that works for you. And if regularly attending therapy just doesn’t fit into your life at the time, it’s okay to take a break – you can always return down the road.

    ~ Molly