Try as you might, sometimes it just doesn’t work out with your care providers. Working with a professional to help manage social anxiety – or a team of professionals, including but not limited to a therapist, psychologist, case manager, and pharmacist – should be an empowering, pleasant experience.
Unfortunately, not all care providers are created equally and sometimes you’ll need to sever ties to seek out options that better suit your needs. Instead of panicking over the thought of confrontation, handle your breakup professionally and with grace.
Speak Firmly and Courteously
Even if your care provider is horrendous, speaking calmly, levelly, civilly and professionally to them and their staff can circumvent any issues. By maintaining your calm, you’re likely to get better results and leave things on civil terms should you need to re-contact them for any reason (like obtaining your records). If you don’t feel as though you can do this in person or over the phone, send a letter to the provider’s practice stating your intent to discontinue your professional relationship and a request for records to be sent to you or to your new care provider.
Take it as an Opportunity
Instead of looking at breaking up with your care provider as a negative experience, look at it as a chance to put into practice the coping skills you’ve learned in your social anxiety journey. You’re recognizing that you’re in a disadvantageous relationship, you have a plan to remedy it and you’re advocating for yourself. Be kind to yourself and congratulate yourself — there was probably a point in the near past where you wouldn’t be able to do that. And progress is always a cause for celebration.
Ask Your New Care Provider for Assistance
If you truly cannot stomach the thought of gracefully severing ties with your care provider, ask your new provider for assistance. The staff at your new provider’s office is likely more than happy to help you request your old records, and your new professional can help you think of the words to say to make the transition easier and calmer – and help you explore why you feel so nervous taking on this task and support you as you do so.
Remember your Care Providers Work for You
It can help to remember that your care providers work for you. You’re paying them for their guidance and services and if it isn’t working out, then you have every right to “fire” them from your team. Handling the severing of ties like the end of a business relationship can help you approach the situation with calm and grace – nobody wants to be fired by an upset boss, so give your care providers the same treatment you would wish to receive when leaving a job. By looking at the end of your professional relationships this way, you may feel empowered and better able to handle the situation.
Leaving Your Care Provider Gracefully
Sometimes it just doesn’t work out with a certain care provider — and that’s okay. But it’s better to at least attempt to let them know rather than ghosting from the practice. Calmly and civilly explaining that you’re seeking out other options can help ease the fear of confrontation and empower you by proving you can advocate for yourself – a victory along the road to living with social anxiety disorder.
Have you ever broken up with a care provider? How did you handle it?