A potential client made an appointment a couple of weeks ago, She then cancelled and rescheduled the appointment for a week later. I had not yet received her contract and confidentiality agreement the night before the scheduled consultation, and advised her of this and she then cancelled the appointment again due to ill health. I then explained that she ought to have cancelled in advance and that time is in fact the only commodity we never get back. I did not demand payment, in fact did not even mention money (since she has not signed a contract and is not in effect a client.)
This morning I receive an email from her son stating that i am greedy, money grabbing, non -empathic and that he is so glad his mother dodged a bullet by not coming to see me…. he gave some details as to his mother’s poor health and recent hospitalisation (information I hadn’t been privy to since forms were not completed and her original presenting problem only mentioned getting over her divorce. Her son demanded my bank details since I was clearly (in his, not so humble opinion) only after money. To this young man (and people like him)…. just because I am in a caring profession does not mean my time has NO VALUE. Just because I am an empath and make my living by helping people, doesn’t mean it is a voluntary service. My worth is determined by the value I put on my time…. the fact is your mother had not cancelled her appointment, and in fact had I not contacted her w.r.t. the forms which hadn’t been submitted, would she have even bothered to cancel at all? Your personal message attacking me shows disrespect and contempt. I chose to delete and dismiss your message, since you are not a client either.
Yes people who see me are often in crisis, and crises sometimes arise in life which mean appointments need to change or be rescheduled. I had not been aware she had been hospitalised, this was only brought to my attention in retrospect. Her presenting problem, had nothing to do with her health. Any way it makes no difference since she could and should, having realised how ill she was, have cancelled in advance so I could have filled her slot.
For the record I knew almost nothing about your mother or her circumstances, expecting me to have empathy is a tall order, especially since she in turn had shown zero respect for me and my time and my services because she hadn’t even bothered to cancel her appointment (for the second time!).The therapeutic relationship is based on MUTUAL trust and respect. It is also one subject to confidentiality - so despite your mother not having yet completed any forms, I still would not engage with you w.r.t to your mother and any ongoing possibility of counselling or coaching.
My value and self worth are about my TIME - time is the only single commodity that we never get back…. each second takes us a second closer to our inevitable demise. Your comments insinuate that I cannot be an empath, compassionate or caring if I put VALUE on my time, by charging for it. You seem under the illusion that my work should be a “love” job and that I should suck it up if my client’s issues, illnesses and crises take precedence over my time and living my own life. That is not how it works. I have spent my time and my money investing in all my qualifications. I choose where I volunteer my services and time… and I have done MUCH of that throughout my life. However walking on the dark side and going where angels fear to tread, guiding, empowering, supporting, and travelling a part of a journey with my clients is where I earn my living. My fees are in line (and in fact on the cheaper side) of what my colleagues charge. I am charging for my time, qualifications, experience and therapeutic skills including empathy. Having empathy and charging for my services are not mutually exclusive. If a client does not cancel timeously, as per my contract, I have every right to charge for my time, just as every other professional does. I charge for my time because MY TIME HAS VALUE.... it has nothing to do with my capacity for empathy. That said, I did not even request payment from your mother since I do not view her as a client as she has not yet even completed her forms…. It has also become clear that she has no respect for my time that I put aside for her, since she had not even bothered to cancel her appointment…. and I feel zero remorse or guilt for having informed your mum that my time has value and that I value my time!!! Am I sorry she is going through a terrible time…. yes of course - I do NOT wish that on anyone - even someone I haven’t met and know next to nothing about!!!!In the meantime, I shall continue to do the good I do with the people who VALUE my time and service… those that I do have that beautiful connection with!