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to complain about my counsellor

(9 Posts)
FimbleHobbs Mon 20-Jul-09 16:26:27

I have been seeing a domestic violence counsellor about some stuff that has happened in the past.

She really is lovely, its the first counselling I've ever had in my life (I am much more of a put it behind me and never think of it again person)- so it took me a few goes to get into the opening up thing, and the sessions are very good and helpful.

However - she is really really unreliable. I have probably had more sessions cancelled than I have attended. Sometimes with very little, or no notice. So I get myself all psyched up ready to go, find an excuse to leave work for an hour at a seemingly random time of day, sneak over to where the offices are, trying not to be spotted by anyone I know in our small town, wait for someone to open the door, then give my name and 'agency' while they go and see if counsellor is there... I am so fed up with getting let down.

I think I only have a couple of sessions left and I'm not sure if I can be arsed with it now. Like I say, she is lovely, and I don't want her to get in 'trouble' - but this is all supposed to be helping with my self esteem and self worth and its doing anything but! But if I do say anything, its then going to make the sessions awkward, and then whats the point of them...

I understand I am not going to be a priority as I am not 'urgent' enough. But I'm still a bit fed up with it and wondered if anyone had been in a similar situation.

TheProvincialLady Mon 20-Jul-09 16:32:01

YANBU, that is really crap.

trampolinequeen Mon 20-Jul-09 16:34:43

Yanbu - turning up at the right time is the very least you should expect of any counsellor.

She is being very unprofessional and you should complain.

And I totally get what you're saying about being 'psyched up' to discuss difficult matters and then being let down.

It sounds as though she is not only unreliable but bloody rude too - she should've called to say if she couldn't make an appointment rather than just standing you up without a word.

Ooooh! I feel angry for you.

I've seen a few counsellors in my time (mad, but everything's fine now (tight smile)) and never experienced anything like this

barbigirl Mon 20-Jul-09 16:39:37

YANBU.At all. That is terrible. Don't let it put you off counselling.

Maya88888 Mon 20-Jul-09 16:43:10

Your counsellor should be there to support you - she wouldnt have taken on the job if she didnt want to help others.

You could approach it from the point of view of how much these sessions have helped you but that you need her to be more reliable.

Also ask her why she has let you down on some of the days - my guess is that it has to do with workload and company targets, and not her own personal choice.

The sessions are there to help you. More importantly, make sure you have a support group of family and friends who will make you a cup of tea when you need it most. smile

PommePoire Mon 20-Jul-09 16:43:18


You have the right to expect that your counsellor is there at the pre-arranged time. Is there a procedure in place for you, the client, to cancel? E.g. a number to ring? Because if so, the arrangement should be reciprocal, surely? I understand the need for confidentiality and that care must be taken that the address/telephone numbers are not inadvertently divulged to abusive partners, but it seems totally wrong that there isn't a way of contacting the client to say the appointment needs to be changed. I can only imagine that the counsellor has some problems of her own (health? dependent aged relatives? childcare problems?) that lead to her not showing up as arranged. Can you flag this up to a third party such as the 'agency' and have them ask your counsellor to stop this happening again and explain to her why it's so annoying and inconvenient?

FimbleHobbs Mon 20-Jul-09 16:49:42

Thanks all - I know that she has genuine reasons each time, and she does usually phone. But once it was half a session because the room was double booked, once she double booked herself (or did I get the time wrong??, once she left a message changing the time and would confirm, but never did, so I was waiting all morning to hear...

I have two DC, a busy job, etc etc so I do understand that things crop up - it just feels like its too frequent. Now I turn up thinking about whether or not I will actually have a session, rather than the session... I've got a bit cynical.

She can phone my mobile and leave voicemails if I don't pick up, but I don't have a direct line to her - just to her bosses, and I don't want to drop her in it and then make the sessions awkward, iyswim.

ReneRusso Mon 20-Jul-09 17:02:53

Completely unacceptable and unprofessional i'm afraid however lovely she is. You have every right to drop her in it, but fair enough if you don't want to. If she shows up next time, I hope you tell her much effort it is for you to turn up and how let down it makes you feel. Might make the session awkward but it has to be said. Better than you silently seething and her not knowing.

junglist1 Mon 20-Jul-09 18:45:52

What approach does she use eg humanistic, psychodynamic etc? Part of counselling is building a solid, trusting relationship, that's so, so important especially in humanistic counselling. Lack of respect is a big no no.

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