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It’s Okay To Get Fired

Sarah Putt, MA, OTR/L

Yep, I said it.

Actually, if I’m being honest, I’ve been fired many times by a client before.

When I first started practicing as an occupational therapist, I remember working with a family and knowing that something seemed off during our sessions.

There was a disconnect between me and the family, there was constant frustration, and every session caused me a lot of stress because of this.

Then one day, my boss at the time pulled me aside and told me that the family had requested a different therapist to work with their child.

I was heartbroken. I was defeated. I felt like I had failed as a practitioner.

Fast forward to now and getting fired has become a normal part of practice. Sometimes the client’s and their families fire me and sometimes I realized that I need to walk away from certain cases and find another therapist who can better support the family.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. I no longer am heartbroken when this happens. I am no longer defeated and I no longer feel like I have failed.

Because of my experience, I now know that not every client is gonna see eye to eye with me and my methodology. I know that my personality, my therapeutic use of self, and my energy is not the best fit for everybody.

And that’s okay. While it’s taken time for me to get to this point, I’m so glad that I know this now because it’s bound to happen to any practitioner out there. And I want you to be ready for when it does.

So if/ when you get “fired” from a case, I know it will be hard, but remember this. Learn what you can from the experience. Realize that maybe it wasn’t the right fit or maybe the wrong time. Recognize that you are still 100% capable of doing your job. And remember that this just means that you can go help someone else who needs your expertise.

Have you been “fired” by a client before? How did it make you feel?

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