I, like many who visit this website, am a small business owner. We’re in a difficult position these days, having to choose between maximizing health and safety and earning a paycheck. Therapy practitioners have the added concern of how to ensure clients continue to receive what they need – which can be especially important in times of heightened social stress and anxiety.

There is no clear answer, and the best we can do is try to achieve balance in light of advice from public health experts. I decided to continue seeing patients, while implementing some new policies to encourage them to say home if they’re feeling ill. I also removed a classic impediment to staying home sick: the cancellation fee.

Here are the policies I implemented with my clients. I am sharing it with other providers looking for ideas to stay safe while also staying in business and in the service of our clients:

Dear Client,

I am writing you to tell you about precautions I am taking in the office to protect all clients and staff from COVID-19. Please read them and reach out to me if you have any questions.

  1. Please contact me prior to coming into the office if you are exhibiting any symptoms of an acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) or have a fever within the previous 24 hours.
  2. Please do not come to the office until you are free from fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines.
  3. I will NOT charge a late cancellation fee if you become ill within our 48 hour cancellation policy (but you must call or message me, I cannot waive the fee for no-shows).
  4. If you come to session and are exhibiting signs of illness, I will ask you to go home at no charge.
  5. I am set up to provide teletherapy within DC/MD/VA. If this is an option you would like to consider please reach out to me.

Please remember that there are people who come through the office that are immunocompromised. We want to do our best to ensure the safety of all.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels