It happens to every practitioner — patients feel you’re not helping them and drop out of treatment. But this shouldn’t become a pattern. If it does, take prompt steps to stop it.
• Analyze The Problem
Find out why patients feel unhelped. What do they say? Some practitioners don’t ask because they really don’t want to know. Start by being able to answer this question. You’ll get best results if you address early indications that a problem exists, such as when patients start missing sessions, stop paying as they receive services, and insist that they don’t have much to talk about. Discussing these problems will uncover concerns and enable you to address them. But use outreach, surveys or other evaluative procedures too to follow-up with those who’ve ended treatment even under positive circumstances, so you can learn what’s working in your practice and what’s not.
• Listen To The Feedback
Once you learn why patients have self-terminated, learn from this! There’s no wonder they feel your services aren’t helping them when they complain that you’re late for appointments, engage in lengthy phone calls during sessions, and ask them the same questions over and over. Some will say that you’re not a good listener. Others will opine bluntly that you’re not a good therapist
• Consult With A Colleague
It can be tough to objectively identify the best corrective action plan for persistent treatment failures, so let a colleague assist you. He or she can help you review the drop out data you’ve collected or confront you if you’re avoiding this problem. Sometimes you only need to make small behavioral, clinical, or business changes. Continuing Education training helps too. But if you need to spend more time in collegial consultation or need to seek therapy yourself, do so. To stay in business, you must be good at what you do!
No one likes treatment rejections, but drop outs will occur. Take action to improve the effectiveness of your services so that both your patients and your practice can thrive!
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
Money Smarts: Put More Profit In Your Private Practice!
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Your Success Psychologist!
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317