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I’m hoping to show what contributions we can make when we have the necessary assistance and also the cost to society, ultimately, of refusing it.
If I can do this with at least 20 ‘case studies’ as it were, I believe I could produce a powerful report.
It is clearly a joke, and her missed appointment this day is a clear aberration. But here I am, 17 years later, a therapist myself, who is earlier into treatment with some clients who do not yet know or trust that I will be there for them.
When we make mistakes as therapists, how do we convey both our regret, and the reassurance that this is not typical.
And, more importantly, despite the fact that (hopefully) mistakes of this nature are atypical how do we position ourselves to be fully available for the range of our client’s feelings, whether they be rage, despair, sadness, or blame over the fact that we have let them down?
Then there are those moments when perhaps we fail our clients by not responding in the moment in the way the client might desire.
Top it off with having a few people needing to meet at different times.
Add to that one way I manage client confidentiality: putting client names into my hard calendar (which I do not carry about with me) and then transcribing the sessions later to my i Phone calender simply as “client,” to preserve confidentiality in the event that my phone is lost or stolen. I mistakenly transposed a client session time from my hard calendar to an hour later in my phone. A client arrived at my office, waited in the waiting room, perhaps knocked on my door, wondering about my whereabouts, and I wasn’t there. After eleven years of becoming accustomed to some clients not showing up, some clients canceling last minute…this was new.
I look for the first time into her living room…forbidden territory which I’ve never had a real glimpse of before. This seems such a unique opportunity to learn more about her, but the thought of being discovered wandering around her home is a strong deterrent.
I scan the room, taking in all I can from my vantage point in the doorway, looking at signs of her lived life: a blanket on the sofa, books and magazines on the table, pictures on the walls, a coffee cup on a side table. I slowly leave her house, get back into my car, and drive home.