I took a significant step in the mischief department. I fired the professional who gave me the assignment.
A moment of background for those of you new to this conversation. I had reached an impasse in my business a month or so ago and asked a very successful friend (I’ll call him Mark, though not his name) for a recommendation. Mark has had a lot of activity in his business and is thriving.
He referred me to Janet (not her real name). I made an appointment with Janet who charged me a whopping $450 for her intake session of two hours. After that, she explained, sessions would be $250 each, a hefty amount, but one that I was willing to pay for valuable insights and guidance. I did not see this as a lifelong commitment, but an opportunity to get out of the trough I was in.
I thought our initial session went well and that she sized me up accurately. She gave me the provocative assignment to do something mischievous daily as a means of flexing a muscle I would need if I were to step further into a more glaring spotlight of attention. We had two more sessions at $250 each, so I was surprised when the charge came through as $600 instead of $500 for our time together.
I promptly sent off an email inquiring about the $100 overcharge. “I’ll call you,” Janet responded. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of conversing with her on the matter. It seemed very straightforward to me and required only a simple apology and refund. Instead Janet asked me why I didn’t wait until our session to ask her about it. She explained that because Mark had referred me, she’d given me a discount from the $700 she normally charges for the first double session.
This was news to me as I had no knowledge of this pricing or that she had given me special consideration. None of that had been mentioned in our initial calls and email. In fact, I would not have signed on at that price. Also, she explained, her rates had gone up to $300 per session since we began a month or so ago.
This pronouncement went right to my gut. Uh-oh. There goes my trust.
It so happens that I was with very good friends in Florida when this transpired, so I got to run it by them. “This feels off to me,” I said. “How can I trust this person under the circumstances?” They validated my sentiments and mentioned a wonderful therapist we had all benefited from back in Connecticut. I called Gloria (not her real name) who was delighted to set up an appointment with me.
When I got back to NY from my quick stay in Sarasota, I heard from yet another inspiring woman whose workshops I’d attended many years ago. After seven years on a personal exploration journey, she has relocated to rural Massachusetts and is offering sessions by skype. I’d already called Gloria, but reached out to Cathy (you guessed it, not her real name) and told her that her email was a day too late, but that I was glad she was back and available again.
The very next day I received a message from my coach who has been through a daunting health journey and had been on hiatus from her practice since last June. She wrote that I still had one session I’d paid for almost a year ago and would I like that time with her or a refund.
I jumped at the opportunity to talk to her again. We had our call on Monday afternoon, and I feel like I’m exactly where I want to be with whom I want to be working.
It felt like a miracle. I needed help. I went to trusted sources. I trusted my own inner wisdom in rejecting one practitioner. And the perfect match presented itself.
The through line here is action: asking for help, showing up, and trusting your gut.
But wait! There’s more. I had reason to call Mark (the friend who’d referred Janet) today on an unrelated subject. “Funny you should call,” he said after we’d addressed the reason I’d phoned him. “Janet called me out of the blue and said that ‘Jane is very angry with me.'” Just in case I wasn’t 100% clear on what my gut was telling me, the fact that this therapist had not mastered Confidentiality 101 further substantiated my decision.