That leads to the question—When should I charge my clients for canceling their appointment? Here’s some common sense guidelines to follow.
It Begins With Your Cancellation Policy
At the beginning of every therapeutic relationship, you need to communicate to your clients what you are going to expect from them, and what they can expect from you.
They can expect that you will be available and on time, and you will expect that they actually show up for their scheduled sessions.
When it is laid out in clear, direct terms, they will understand that you consider your time valuable. And when you value your own time, they will be more likely to value it as well. That means they are more likely to keep their appointments.
Cancellations I DON’T Charge For
As a rule, I don’t charge clients for things that are out of their control:
- Traffic Accidents or unexpected road conditions
- Cars breaking down
- Physical accidents or emergencies
- Child care emergencies
Cancellations I DO Charge For
These tend to be the things that are within my clients control:
- Forgetting about the appointment
- Getting the time wrong
- No Showing
- Over sleeping
- Forgetting to reschedule their work
- Not arranging for a ride
An Important Caveat
Clients who have a consistent track record for showing up without a lot of personal emergencies are given the benefit of the doubt.
Clients who has an emergency every other week are experiencing the consequences of their chaotic life and their ability to keep their appointments needs to be addressed within the therapeutic context.
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