I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist and social worker for treatment. Is the social worker being unprofessional? - AgingCare.com

I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist and social worker for treatment. Is the social worker being unprofessional?


My narcissistic mom died last May at 97. I practically had a breakdown with caregiving. No dementia. She knew everything she was doing to undermine her care. Now, I have a question regarding my treatment to regain my own life back. I’ve been seeing the counselor for about 7 mos now. I see her every week for private pay and am her first appt in the morning. I try to get to my appt. about 10 min. early. She is rarely on time and I usually have to wait until 5-10 min past my appt time. At my last appt., I waited 20 min and finally left because it seemed unprofessional to me. Even the usual 5-10 min late was getting annoying.
I then spoke to her later on the phone and she told me that she would usually charge me a no show fee but would let it go this time. I’m learning to be assertive again and to believe my feelings matter, so I told her that I was there and SHE was the no show.
She said that I know she is always late and that is the way it is. If I don’t want to wait as long, I shouldn’t arrive in advance for my appt. She also said that if I start with a new time, she will probably be late for that too.
I’ve benefitted from the counseling, but my husband and daughter say I shouldn’t go back. Any thoughts? Of course, I can’t make a decision.



I agree, time to cut the strings. In 7 months you should have been given the tools to work thru ur problems. I think telling her how you felt was a starting point. Do you go to a phychiatrist for meds? I would tell her what the counselor said.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29

That is unacceptable on your therapist’s part. In essence she’s validating that’s “how she rolls”- always late, guess what - bye bye to that therapist. That’s not only unprofessional but rude and inappropriate.
I would find another - but try to keep going in therapy. Getting a new therapist can be a time set back for you.
It is not acceptable your therapist be consistently late & expect you to deal with it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Shane1124

Over the first two years after the end of my marriage I saw 4 different counsellors. If ever any of them were late for an appointment, they apologized to me.

Years ago when my ex and I were seeing a marriage counsellor, he got stuck in traffic and did not make it to the appointment. We were there waiting (cell phones were not common then). He gave us our next appointment for free.

I would report your counsellor to her professional body and go look for a new one.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Tothill

Bin the therapist!

Do it all the correct way. Terminate whatever contract or agreement you have. Do it in writing and by SAVED email.

Now go get yourself a REAL professional.

You are doing so well and you are not going to let such bad, unprofessional conduct ruin that for you. ARE YOU? Your answer in NO I AM NOT!

Go girl go.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BuzzyBee

That is very unprofessional. Your time is just as valuable as hers. I would seek another professional for your counseling.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Becky04473

Did I read that wrong? What JeanneGibbs wrote?
"Either take a break from therapy, or find another therapist. Your mother may have trained you that your time and feelings are valuable, but you know by now that is not true!"

You must have known what she meant....Your time and feelings are valuable.

Your improvement in therapy is obvious to me. Maybe you have learned all you can from this 
social worker/therapist.

And yes, you CAN make a decision.  You made a decision to seek help on here, that was a decision.
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Reply to Sendhelp

Thanks so much to everyone for your suggestions. I’m the type to stew about things when I am treated badly and feel unable to change things (such as Mom). Another addition to the problem is that we live in adjacent neighborhoods and have the same 10-15 min distance to drive to the appt. I will be terminating and continue with my psychiatrist for now.
I’ve been a physical therapist for about 40 yrs and have learned so much from everyone here. I worked in acute haspitals and rehab and was essentially ignorant of what happens when someone is discharged. I would recommend rehab, NH, or instruct the family in home care and never see them again. I really wasn’t aware of so many things and am thankful for all the info you have given to me and all the support you give to everyone “in the trenches”.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Sandra2424

As a professional, she has an obligation to be on time for her appointments. Time is money in her book. Your time IS valuable. You show respect for each other by being on time. I agree with everyone else, either find a new therapist or take a break and see how you feel.

It sounds like you're figuring out that YOU are valuable and your time is too. That's a pretty terrific realization for someone raised by a narcissistic mom! So you're definitely making some great progress!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to blannie

Maybe you are used to people not respecting the value of your time, since you cared for a narcissistic mother. But I think it is time to demonstrate that you've learned something since your mother died. Sever these ties. "I need a therapist who respects the value of my time. I will be finding another one." Ask your psychiatrist for a list of possibilities.

If this appointment were immediately after another one, and that session turned out to be a crisis situation and she needed to stay with that client until she calmed, OK, that kind of late once in a while is acceptable (in my mind.) If there was a highway accident and she was stuck in traffic, that is understandable once in a while. But being late just because "that's how it is" is absolutely not professional and not acceptable.

Do your sessions then run late, to make up the time? Therapy hours are 50 minutes. Starting 10 minutes late is losing 20% of that time. If she is 20 minutes late, that is 40% of your appointment! This is simply not professional. And not ethical.

Either take a break from therapy, or find another therapist. Your mother may have trained you that your time and feelings are valuable, but you know by now that is not true!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to jeannegibbs

You know I always screw up so it is up to you make allowances for me... BTW that'll be $100. Hm. I wonder what her advice would be if you tried that line? (I do hope she extends her time with you and you aren't short changed?)

If you like her otherwise I guess you could just start showing up 15 - 20 minutes late and save yourself the frustration (I used to be a chronically early person too so I know how hard it is to break that habit). Personally I think that 7 months is probably long enough to figure out some of your life issues, therapy isn't meant to be a lifelong commitment. I would take a break from therapy and see how it goes, you can always go back to it at a later time.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to cwillie