Dealing with no-shows and cancelled appointments

Being self-employed in a private practice setting has its ups a down. One of the main problems that we deal with and is a constant challenge is attendance. Being in a helping profession and running a business is a difficult balance, on one hand we want to be compassionate with our clients and try to understand why they cancel or no show, the same time we depend on them showing up for revenue.

Setting boundaries is an important tool for our clients to learn.

If we teach them that our time is valuable, and the importance of respecting it, we can be role models for them. Attendance can also be an acting out behavior for our clients, for example if they’re avoiding coming in, it could be that they are resisting or avoiding some aspect of their treatment. Encouraging a client to reschedule will let them know you care about their feelings and also help address what their resistance is important help them through it.

No-shows are a bit different. If they don’t have a valid reason, the message they are sending may be that they don’t value your time, so holding them accountable is really important. Letting them know in advance, that they may be charged for late cancellation or no-shows will encourage them to be more responsible and to acknowledge that your time is as valuable as theirs.