I have a few clients who don’t show up enough to get the results they desire, also one that used to come consistently but stopped showing up completely, giving me a new excuse before each session three times a week. How do you handle this population that doesn’t truly understand the value in consistent exercise?
That can be a difficult situation. At some point in our careers we’ve all had situations like that arise. Its easy to put the blame on the client. They’re canceling their sessions. They’re not following the homework. They have no motivation.
I agree with Karin, that it takes increased communication and Karin offers a great and effective way to have that difficult conversation. Another way to bridge the gap, is with an email. You can accept some blame, even if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. A simple apology goes a long way. As in: “Dear….., Over the last month, you have missed, canceled, arrived late to …. sessions. I’m sorry if I have done something to offend you or there is something that you have an issue with. Please allow me the opportunity to correct it. At our next session, we can take some time to discuss any issues you think we may be having to help you reach your goals. Then we can see how we can resolve these issues, differences or I can apologie for anything that I may have done that wronged you.”
That’s just an example, but I have found it useful in opening up the lines of communication with a client without seeming confrontation. Most clients are more than willing to tell you the concerns or issues they’re having, giving you an opportunity to find resolutions.