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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

UpBeat Living, therapist, professional ethics, patient ethics

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons-Lucas

With a holistic healing practice and professional training business for over 20 years, I have learned how important it is for therapist/doctor/counselor/coach and patient/client to have a healthy relationship.  It’s crucial to be responsible and timely, and to treat each other with healthy boundaries.  The more you like your therapist/doctor/counselor/coach, the more important it is to take these tips to heart without exception:

  1. If the therapist’s office calls to confirm your appointment, return the call.  Keep track on your own calendar.
  2. Be on time and be ready.  Park 5 minutes ahead of your appointment time and pop a breath mint.
  3. Smile and be pleasant, at least until you are in the treatment/counseling room.  No complaining until you get through that door.  Then open with a summary.
  4. DO NOT ASK THE THERAPIST HOW S/HE IS.  THIS IS A PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENT, NOT A FRIENDSHIP, AND YOU ARE PAYING FOR IT.  People in counseling, medicine, and physical medicine are always reflexively responsive.  S/he will attempt to answer you genuinely, and if s/he is not having a great week, s/he will be conflicted.  Skip this whole dynamic and say warmly, “[S]o good to see you!”  If the office gave you a last-minute appointment, say warmly, “[T]hank you so much for seeing me today.”
  5. DO NOT TRY TO BECOME FRIENDS.  Your doctor/dentist/LMT/PT/coach is seeing you in their professional mode.  During your appointment, they are relating to you from a small slice of their overall personality, their professional self.  While you may LOVE their appointment persona, you might not enjoy their overall personality and interests.  Some healing/helping professionals may dislike a patient, or all patients, while still being able to be very pleasant and effective while performing your service/appointment.  Some are depressed or have someone they take care of at home, with a severe medical condition; this is private. Take what they have to offer professionally and leave it at the door, while wishing them well.
  6. DO NOT BRING SUGARY SNACKS AS A GIFT UNLESS YOU KNOW YOUR THERAPIST LOVES A CERTAIN ONE, OR THEY HAVE A COUNTER CANDY DISH.  Many people are going off sugars altogether, and many people left wheat, yeast, and gluten (i.e., cupcakes, bagels, and donuts) behind long ago.  Better gifts are: unscented flowers (they may have patients with allergies, so no fragrances), nuts, fruits from your trees, nutritional dried fruits such as dates.  Gluten-free treats may be good IF the therapist has been discussing them.
  7. If you really want to do something for your therapist, refer friends and post glowing reviews on Yelp and similar sites.  If the therapy office has testimonials on their website, email a glowing testimonial they can post.  Email them specifics of great results you have had from their practice; tell them whether your name should be used or not.

Want to get the best services?  Share the love with your therapist/provider—by being a great patient or client.



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● Kebba Buckley Button is a Master’s Degree scientist, a minister, and the award-winning author of  the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core (http://tinyurl.com/abd47jr), and also Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br).  She also has a natural healing and stress management practice and is a celebrated public speaker.


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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .