Time to Say Goodbye

Oct 25, 10:13 PM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

I fired a client today. I felt an enormous sense of relief afterward, so I know I did the right thing.

The client in question had a long standing pattern of continually cancelling and rescheduling appointments. On average, she maintained 4 to 5 cancellations for every one appointment she actually kept. Although most of her cancellations normally fell outside my 24 hour limit (albeit barely), they weren't due to emergencies or work conflicts. Most simply involved "forgotten" or last minute social commitments with friends. When she did show up, my former client seldom arrived less than 15 or 20 minutes late for appointments. The woman was both physically and emotionally toxic, and it was not unusual for me to become physically ill after a session with her.

On several occasions in the past, I had asked her to be more considerate of my schedule, to no avail. This last time around, I responded by writing a polite but firm e-mail, acknowledging the cancellation, giving an optional date to reschedule and asking her once again to be more respectful of my time. In return, I received a nasty and threatening reply.

I cut her loose with my best wishes.

Clients like these are unprofitable. They are a financial drain on your business and an emotional drain on your person. They take up space that could be better occupied by someone you enjoy working with. Someone who appreciates what you have to offer as a practitioner, who expects your best work and who is open to a therapeutic relationship that will result in their improved health and happiness.

I'm able to breathe freely tonight. And I'm holding a space open for that someone with ease.


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