Cancellations are costing us all.
As I discussed in my previous post, many of the problems we encounter in our lives arise because we don’t commit ourselves in the right way to things we need to commit to. When you enter therapy, it is not the techniques that you learn that lead to change; change is experiential, meaning that is should be experienced in the real situation from being in therapy. And practice of committed is a part of the “experience” to create change.
I usually tell my clients that they can learn all the techniques they want from reading books, listening to podcasts, or doing an online course. All of those would cost them far less than coming to see me. But I know that the reason they are seeing me is probably just that: either none of those self-help books have helped, or they haven’t been able to commit to those guidelines. Either way, to create a different experience, we need to practice things in a way that is novel and challenging. A part of this involves making a serious commitment.
If you think about it, your therapist will rarely, if ever, cancel your appointments. Therapists are also people and things come up in their life. But they usually work everything around their clients’ appointments. As a reference, in the last four years, I have had fewer than three days sick leave. And I have never cancelled clients, except in exceptional circumstances such as when a client’s life has been at risk.
One of the reasons I have managed to maintain so committed to my clients, I think, is thanks to my own experience of remaining committed to therapy. I would not trade the benefits I have gained from the many many therapy sessions, with anything! And it has made all the money I paid for, to be worth it!
Now, you don’t need to be in therapy for 100 sessions to achieve your goals. We want therapy to be useful for you, based on what you can afford. We respect that everyone is limited in their resources.
With this in mind, we would like to let you know that we have changed our cancellation policy. In principle, we discourage you from cancelling any appointment. We would like you to think of your appointment as a serious commitment – a practice that will help you to achieve what you are seeking. And to help you with this commitment, we must take our cancellation policy seriously too.
For many reasons, cancellations are counterproductive to your success in therapy:
- When you book an appointment and then cancel it, in a way you are creating yet another example of a promise you made that you haven’t kept. This is counterproductive to therapy.
- The frequency of your appointments matter. It is critical that you keep your appointments in order to get the most benefits out of your therapy.
- When you take your appointments seriously, you are practicing something that is beneficial in all corners of your life. This is therapeutic on its own.
- When you see your therapy as a commitment, you will then spend some time reflecting on things discussed in your sessions. In this way, therapy becomes an ongoing practice – something you do even when you are not with your therapist – and you will make much more progress.
- When you book an appointment, we can offer that time to another patient. By cancelling the appointment, the patient who could benefit from the session and could plan for it will have a lot less chances to make a booking and benefit from their session to the best capacity.
- Last but not least, your therapist prepare for your session sometimes in a week in advance. When you cancel your appointment, this will cost your therapist, which in turn impacts your therapist’s ability to provide the best service.
- There are so many other reasons that will go beyond the scope of this blog, but I will create a video on this which I will share with you later.
In summary, we would like to encourage you to think of your appointment time, as a commitment you have made to yourself and your family. We would like you to prepare for your appointment, to reflect on discussions in between appointments, and remember that taking your appointments seriously and consistently will help you progress.
You can read our cancellation policy below.
We know that the keys to achieving the best outcomes from therapy are commitment and consistency. We take your appointments seriously. We would like you to take your appointment seriously too. That is why we have introduced this cancellation policy.
When making a booking, please ensure that your appointment time does not clash with your other commitments such as school events. You might find it helpful to schedule regular appointments. Please feel free to speak with your therapist about this.
Once you have made an appointment, we ask you to review it and notify us if there are any problems. Reminders will be sent to you as courtesy. Appointments are considered confirmed regardless of reminders being sent or not.
If you wish to change an appointment without charge, you will need to give us one week’s notice. That is, an appointment can be cancelled without a charge if you notify us by email no less than one week (7 days) prior, by close of business. For example, if you wish to cancel an appointment that is scheduled for the following Monday, you can let us know by 4pm Monday the week before, and you will not be charged.
Cancellation requests received between one week (7 full days) before your appointment time, until 4pm 2 business days prior your appointment will incur a fee of $50.
Cancellation requests received by 4pm 2 business days prior your appointment, until 4pm the business day before your appointment will incur $100 fees.
Any cancellation request received after 4pm the business day before your appointment will incur full fees.
Our business days are Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. Any notification that is received on the weekend, or on a public holiday will be regarded as “received the next business day”.
Notifications will need to be sent via email (please email email@example.com). Please do not call the clinic for cancellations. Our receptionists attend to emails first and pone message might be received with delays, hence email is our preferred method of communication.
What if my child is sick?
We understand how difficult it is when children become unwell. But unfortunately, since we are a child and family clinic, we receive many cancellation requests because of sickness. If your child becomes sick, we encourage you to keep your appointment and attend a parent-only online session with your therapist. Much of the work with children will depend on the best parenting practice, and parent sessions are a core part of therapy. You can even ask your clinician to use the time and write you a letter or a handout. We reserve the right to continue adhering to our cancellation policy, regardless of the reason.
What if I am sick?
We still would like you to keep your appointment as Telehealth.
We will only waive fees for cancellations due to sickness in certain circumstances and at the discretion of management.
If you believe that attendance is not possible, please write to the clinic and explain your circumstances and these will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The fees might be waived in certain circumstances. We maintain the right to request a medical certificate in some situations.