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Page Contents: When your psychotherapist is always late for sessions.                    


Each week I rush to get to my therapy appt on time. It has been very difficult, but I have never been late. Each week, my therapist calls for me about 10-12 minutes late. Yet, at the end of the session, she only goes over about 5 minutes, which results in me losing about 5-7 minutes each week. Should I complain about this? It really is helpful for me to continue our sessions, yet I think she should be more considerate of my time. I have asked her if I can start coming 15 minutes later that way I would not have to rush so much to make it on time and also maybe she would be on time. She said if I come 15 mins later, she would still end our sessions at the same time and I would lose 15 minutes. I refused to do that. What do you think?

I think your psychotherapist needs her own psychotherapy. She is actually treating you the way some parents treat their children: unable to accept responsibility for their own behavior, they unconsciously make the children feel shame and guilt, and so the children spend the rest of their lives believing that something is wrong with them.

Now, in your case, your psychotherapist has been cheating you of time. Ethically, if a psychotherapist is late for a session, he or she should either extend the time at the end of the session or give you a partial refund of your fee.

To your credit, you have refused to participate in a fraud. Congratulations. It shows that you are more ethically astute than your “therapist.” So leave her and find a competent psychotherapist who can help you accomplish what you really desire.


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Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
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