Before I start, I would like to address I am not name and shame. By sharing my story, I wish to start a conversation on how mental health professionals could be more empathetic. Everyone is welcome to share their similar experiences. PLEASE still be respectful and DO NOT mention any information that could lead someone to be identified here.
It starts with my relapse into depression in September. As a result, I missed some university work, so I was advised by my course coordinator to apply for special consideration. I have my psychologist, who was an excellent counselor at the clinic of my university and has been nothing but empathetic towards my situation. However, she was fully booked until mid-December. So, I decided to book for a quick triage session at the same clinic, to seek some general advice and counseling instead of sitting idly home. It has never been my intention to have to obtain a support letter through a new psychologist who only happens to work for triage that day. However, once I finished telling him what happened to me, it seemed that he immediately assumed that I was only there to 'force' him to give me a medical certificate. Under that assumption, he just behaved in such a way as if every question from me was an argument directed against him for not giving me the document. In the end, he only said something along the line of "I am sorry, but I have to be that guy. " Although I looked calm, my anxieties have been through the roof for a while now, and I have no one but mental health professionals to share my feeling with cause I live alone in a city far from my hometown. Throughout the session, he never even asked once, "how are you feeling now?". In the end, I wasn't even assisted by him to be booked in with my psychologist, which is precisely the purpose of the triage service.
I understand time could be tight in a short session. Still, I would feel much better if he had taken 2 seconds to ask me about my feeling instead of giving me an apology that I never asked for. I wish more mental health professionals to be more aware that your assumptions on clients significantly impact how you interact with them. Your personal frustration would easily drive your clients away. In my case, I would definitely avoid this particular psychologist in the future.