Today I met with a new therapist. And I really like her. So my second impression is great!
My first impression wasn’t so good. My appointment was at 9:15am. I got there at 9:00am in case there was additional paperwork. Though the hours listed on the door said the office opened at 9:00am, no one arrived until 9:05am, and it was another therapist. She commented that it looked like everyone was running late. There was no receptionist, so I held on to my intake forms.
I entered the waiting room with another client, after signing in on the clipboard. My phone rang – a “No Caller ID,” so I didn’t answer. I’ve been getting lots of robocalls, so I tend to let them go to voicemail, if they even bother to leave a message. I then turned on Do Not Disturb, so my ringer didn’t go off during my appointment.
The therapist who had unlocked the doors came and took her client – the other woman in the waiting room – back to her office.
I checked my phone, and the caller had left a message so I clicked voicemail. It was the therapist, telling me that she was running 15 minutes late, and that the receptionist was out this morning. Good to know – at least I was assured that she was on her way.
I dropped my Starbucks cup into the bathroom’s garbage can. There were scraps of paper towel on the floor, and the can was overflowing, though I pushed it all down.
As I sat back down in the waiting room, I noticed a wear mark on the opposite wall where a chair had apparently worn through the paint. There was a small table with crayons and paper, and toys nearby. I looked at the artwork on the walls, which was a hodgepodge of pictures. There was no pattern to them, but each picture was pretty and relaxing. Maybe that was the theme – calm!
My therapist arrived at about 9:35am, and took me back to her large overflowing office. I think she is the owner of the practice – her name is first on the letterhead. She’s a very busy woman – owner of this practice plus another office in a nearby town plus teaching at a local college. Given her many commitments, I was impressed with the time and attention she gave me.
She asked great questions – there’s lots to share as we get to know each other. She was open with me about her personal faith in Jesus, which is really important to me in a therapist. She was friendly, kind, genuine, and has a wonderful smile which reaches her eyes. Her schedule is very full, but she found a slot in which to schedule me next week.
I’m excited to see her again. I won’t let those first impressions darken my judgement. My best friend reminded me of my “lateness factor in our relationship” and she “loves me still.” So I’m extending that same grace to this new therapist’s office. And now that I realize how busy she is, I’m all the more grateful that she’ll take me as her client!