© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
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:
- If the therapist’s office calls to confirm your appointment, return the call. Keep track on your own calendar.
- Be on time and be ready. Park 5 minutes ahead of your appointment time and pop a breath mint.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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