the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

I Missed My Therapy Session


Last Tuesday, my writing partner, Ron, and I were working effectively on our film story — and I was staying at his place — so I cancelled my therapy appointment for that day.  It was the first time I had ever cancelled.  I called Brenda on the phone and left a message on her machine, apologizing.

After I hung up the phone, I remembered a discussion that I had with Brenda a few months ago.  She was explaining that sometimes, a client loses interest in therapy.  The client starts cancelling.  This happens just as the client is learning important information about himself, and his defense mechanisms want to block his growth.  I called Brenda again to assure her that I was just busy, and that there weren’t any “hidden meanings” to my cancelling therapy.

A few moments later, I remembered my first “informational” session with Brenda.  She told me that unless I canceled 24 hours before the session, I still had to pay.    I immediately sent her an email, acknowledging that I understood that I was still paying for the session, even though I wasn’t showing up.  I suggested that since I am paying for the session anyway, she could use “my time” to browse through my blog, picking up some insights on my personality.

I tried to go back to work with Ron, but I was distracted.  While I talked about my blog with Brenda during previous sessions, I’m not sure Brenda actually read the posts I wrote about HER.  I wrote these posts before I began to take therapy seriously, so the writing is jokey and silly, including the one where I fantasize about making love to my therapist in her comfortable leather “therapy” chair.

I sent another email to Brenda, reminding her that many of the posts mix fantasy and reality, and that she shouldn’t psychoanalyze every single post as “meaning” anything.   I was tempted to ask if she was wearing one those colorful sleeveless knit jersey wrap dresses that she looks so nice in while she sits on her chair with her legs crossed, but then I decided not to, worrying that she would just “analyze” that as well.

All this back and forth with Brenda ended up taking more time and energy than if I had just driven to her office for a therapy session.  And all that angst set me back weeks in my growth as a self-actualized man.

From now on — no more missed therapy sessions.  It is way too traumatic.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Nominee of 2007 Nobel Peace Prize


  1. Finn

    Still co-dependent I see. But that’s why I love you…

  2. Dr. Leah - Transformation Revolution

    Oh my Gosh. Crack me up funny.

    I adored your post on Obama vs. Clinton (and have since switched back to Crest from the sample tube of Colgate that the dentist gave me last visit – just to prove my Obama loyalty.)

    But this is so much more than hilarious. Perhaps it is that I have spent my time in each of the therapy chairs – long ago client and long time psychologist (retired from doing therapy at age 38). I know all to well the second guessing and mental machinations on each side of the process. You capture it well.

    Sorry for your angst. Let’s just hope she takes whatever she reads in stride.


  3. Hilly

    Oh my. That sounds like something I would do.

  4. ellediem

    Hmmmm… this was quite an interesting display of the defense mechanism know as Deflection… which is a method of changing a subject that is or might be painful by using humor or anger. You have clearly mastered this with humor.

    Professionally speaking, I’m thinking it’s time to increase therapy to once a day.

    hee hee…. xo

  5. Dingo

    Too funny. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who does these sorts of things.

  6. Danny

    Oh that’s funny. I shudder to think of what my therapist would make of those messages and emails—that would fill at least two sessions—especially the one telling her what to do during the time she would have been with you since you’re paying for it anyway! Does she really read your blog?

  7. Rhea

    I know what you mean. I think canceling a session is not worth all the angst.

  8. Not Fainthearted

    Outstanding! I’m sure she got plenty of “you” from the whole exchange…maybe as much as if had you sat face to face with her!

  9. Annie

    Again you made me laugh out loud, I always make sure I don’t have anything liquid in
    my mouth when I read your posts :-). I would have done the very same thing.

  10. Neil

    Danny — I know she has clients befor and after me. I felt bad, visualizing her sitting there for an hour with nothing to do. There’s not even a TV in the room!

  11. Kimberly

    So funny. I recently thought of sending my therapist a link to my blog. I now see how this could lead to many, many more sessions.

  12. HeyJoe

    Very funny. And as it turns out, you didn’t miss therapy, you just had a “single-handed” session instead.

  13. Karl

    It’s totally normal, all this fantasizing about your therapist. I myself dream often of making love to Brenda.

  14. brettdl

    A therapist with nothing to do, Neil? Hah! She just picked up a copy of Neurotic Today!

  15. bookfraud

    as i follow this, you need therapy from the therapy regarding your posts on therapy.

    that’s kind of gay.

    but very funny.

    this reminded me of a song by a lounge singer named elvis sinatra called “i lie to my therapist.” he also sang a song about kicking his dog, but never mind.

  16. di

    Giggling, just giggling … you lovely plonker.

  17. sizzle

    When I canceled on my last therapist, I was trying to bow out. I just didn’t click with her and didn’t have the guts to tell her. I was such a chicken!

  18. Mr. Fabulous

    You are such a lovable mess. You make me smile.

  19. Turnbaby

    This made me giggle sugar. You are so sweet.

  20. suze

    LOL – I’m glad to see someone’s as neurotic about missing their therapy appointments as I am…

  21. Loralee

    I just adore you.

  22. nancypearlwannabe

    Even your emails need therapy? Hilarious.

  23. Brené

    sometimes a cancellation is just a cancellation? I’m pretty sure that’s true, but your post rings so true. I’m cracking up.

  24. katie schwartz

    You are hysterical.

    Okay, time to confess: I canceled last week and this week’s sessions with my psychiatrist. He said something that reminded me of my father and it creeped me out, so I needed to break up with him temporarily.

    Still. I have guilt. The shame of it.

    PS: I just started blogdating CitizenoftheMonth. Do you spin a lot of shrink yarns?

  25. alejna

    You are so funny.

    I hope you’ll let us know how she reacts to the onslaught of messages.

  26. gorillabuns

    For some reason, this incident reminds me of a scene in Swingers where the main dude left 40 messages on a voicemail.

  27. better safe than sorry

    i’m sure your therapist is ok with you cancelling an appointment, it’s so obvious how much progress you’ve made:)

  28. cruisin-mom

    Neil, I think that this one post pretty much let’s your therapist know everything there is to know about you. I also notice how you were able to get all of your co-dependent readers to tell you how funny, hysterical, lovable, and sweet you are…hmmmmm, that’s interesting.

  29. HRH @ June Cleaver Nirvana

    Your self awareness is acute. Do you really NEED therapy?

    This was really funny maybe you should still go…

  30. -RM

    I am also intrigued at her reaction.

  31. Diane Mandy

    Your funny! I stayed in therapy a year longer than I needed because I hated having to break up with my therapist. I enjoyed our visits that much!

  32. Atomic Bombshell

    That’s funny. When I cancel an appointment I don’t fret nearly as much over it as you just did.

  33. melanie

    thats the way the consciousness crumbles… yes. always better to go and not have the “guilt” wheel running in your head.

  34. kanani

    I don’t know why, but this just seems so… well, a perfect thing to happen to you!

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