My first negative review on Yelp. I would be lying if I told you it didn’t sting. Unlike other business owners who may respond to their Yelp reviews, as an LCPC I must provide confidentiality to my clients. That means I am restricted from responding in any way that acknowledges whether someone has been in my care.
The reality is that it is statistically impossible for me to be a good fit for each person that comes into my office, and it’s okay if a client and I just don’t click. Because therapy is most dependent upon the therapeutic relationship, this “click” is crucial.
Before I see my clients, I send them a description of how my practice works, what therapy will be like, and what to expect. But even with this preparation, a client and I can meet and it won’t be a match. When that happens, the client can simply say, “I’m not sure if you’re the best match for me—I’d like to sleep on this and get back to you if I feel I want to continue.” I can totally understand that! When a mismatch occurs, I can provide referrals to another professional who might be better suited.
Sometimes, my ethical obligations to the profession preclude me from treating a client and this is described in my introductory packet. That ethical conflict doesn’t always come to light until we meet face to face. This is can be a difficult situation for both me and my client, as the client can sometimes feel rejected. I can imagine how hard it is to hear this from a therapist, and it isn’t easy for me, either. Adhering to my profession’s code of conduct and ethics can present unwanted challenges, but it is necessary to protect my clients.
Yelp provides a challenge for professionals as our reputation is at stake on social media. But that’s just a part of the world we live in. Regardless of that challenge, I promise to my clients to do my very best. It is always the client’s choice to determine which therapist and interventions work best for them, and I remain respectfully honored to meet them where they are and join them on their life’s journey.