When a client cancellation is a good thing
Healers, could client cancellations sometimes be a good thing?
As anyone in the service field knows, clients cancel. If you are lucky, they give you 24-48 hours notice, but in extreme cases they just don’t show up. One day I was at my hair stylist, when she received a cancellation for an appointment that was scheduled in ten minutes. When I commented “how inconsiderate,” she replied, “It’s OK. I am used to it. Often I will wake up with a set schedule and in a matter of an hour my entire day will change. The younger hairstylists often get upset, but I’ve been doing this for so long that I feel no emotion when this happens.” Words of wisdom, don’t you think?
Depending on what profession you are in, you may have a policy to charge a deposit or a fee if a client cancels last minute. Of course, such a policy would have to be clearly stated and spelled out at the time of scheduling. I love the policy that my psychotherapist friend has because she assigns the same level of responsibility to herself as she does to her clients. She makes the following agreement with her patients: Payment is taken at the time of booking. If a patient cancels in less than 24 hours, she keeps half of the payment. If she cancels in under 24 hours, then the next session is half off.
Those of us whose financial stability depends on having a certain number of clients per day may find cancellations stressful. However, a cancellation may actually be a good thing. It may increase your success rate by keeping away those clients that are not ready to work with you. It may also mean that an energetic shift in the client’s life already started to happen but the client is not ready for it. So they cancel (we sometimes call this self-sabotage). Let me explain.
I am an Energy Healer. This means that I work with the human energy system to bring about changes in a person’s thought patterns, career, personal life, health and so on.
The actual healing begins the moment the person books the appointment and continues for about 72 hours afterwards. This means that if a person books an appointment with me two weeks in advance, for the duration of the two weeks, things start to shift at the energetic level. Usually the client will feel the change coming, either consciously or subconsciously. If she is not ready for this change, or is not prepared to do the subsequent work, then something will come up. It may be a scheduling conflict, feeling under the weather, money issues, an increase in her workload, a babysitter cancelling, or she may even forget that she had an appointment. Whatever it is, if she is not ready for her life to shift, SHE WILL CANCEL. And that’s OK. Because to me, as an energy healer, it means that the work that I do is effective. A shift had started in her life and she was not ready to follow through.
Here’s an example of when a person was clearly not ready:
Wendy called me last week. She said she was looking for a hypnotherapist to “make her” stop a 40 year smoking habit. She said she was having serious health issues and her doctor told her that she must cease smoking ASAP or risk further health complications. The doctor told Wendy to see a hypnotherapist, she asked around for a referral and her friend recommended me. Here was my conversation with Wendy:
Wendy : “I need to stop smoking. Will you take away my cravings?”
Me: “The way I work is that I look for the energetic cause(s) of smoking and then we work together to relieve those cause(s). Smoking cessation happens as a byproduct of removing the causes.”
Wendy: “How long will it take? I need to stop smoking now. Is one session enough?”
Me: “Your success rate depends on what we need to work through and how much effort you are willing to put in. I cannot tell you how many sessions it will take nor can I guarantee a specific result.”
Wendy: “I thought you will put me under hypnosis and then snap your fingers and I will not want to smoke?”
Me: “No. That is not how I work, healing is joint effort. Think of me as holding your hand and giving you directions as you climb a mountain rather than climbing a mountain instead of you.”
Wendy: “Well I need to stop smoking now so put me down for an hour next week.”
I have seen enough clients to know that Wendy did not hear me, and although I explained how the process works, she still expected me to take away her cravings without much involvement on her part. The next day I wrote the following email:
“Dear Wendy, It was nice speaking with you yesterday. I’d like to explain the process that I use to help people to make sure that your expectations are correct and that I am the right person for you.
In addition to being a hypnotherapist, I’m also an intuitive reader. What that means is that I look inside of your energy and “see” what is going on. My job is to look for the energetic cause of smoking and heal that.
For you it will be a process of self-exploration and growth and the outcome will depend on you. It may be uncomfortable because you may need to look at things within yourself that you have been hiding through smoking and forgive. It is very powerful and effective work, if you are willing to do your part.
My specialty is to help people learn about themselves, release, heal and grow. I don’t work directly on the symptom, I work on the cause. If you are looking for a more traditional hypnotherapist who can “put you under” and take away the smoking craving, then I am not the right person.”
I followed this with an invitation to look at my website and then let me know if she would like to work together. I also texted her asking her to check her email.
Fast forward to this week and no reply from Wendy. This morning I texted her again asking if she had a chance to review my email and if she still wants to keep the appointment. Her reply: “What was this for?”
She FORGOT what the appointment was for! I think she may have even forgotten that we spoke last week. She felt the energy shift and since she was not ready for it, she completely blocked me out of her mind. Once I explained who I was and what the appointment was for, she texted me back: “I’m under the weather so I will call you when I feel better.”
I was so glad she cancelled. I felt that Wendy expected me to perform her journey to healing for her, whereas I had no such intention. Had she kept the appointment with her current way of thinking, she would have been extremely disappointed and most likely would tell people that the work I do is ineffective.
If she had not cancelled, I would have probably asked her to hold off seeing me until the time that I was certain she understood her role in the process. But I wanted her to make the first move, to take responsibility for her own progress. This she did, by cancelling.
This happens quite often, not to the extreme as with Wendy, but it does. In ninety-five percent of cases, the client will eventually come see me, it may take a week or a year, but whenever she is ready, she will come. In some cases though, I realize and accept that I am not the right healer for the person and I may never become the right healer for her. I have to let her go, hoping that she finds someone more appropriate to help her (see “When to Refer Clients Out”). I thank the universe for bringing me the best clients, for showing me that the healing begins before the actual session and for once again, allowing me to see how powerful this work really is.