It’s bound to happen. You and your therapist may live in nearby communities. Here’s what to expect if you run into each other.

You can pretend you don’t see them.

Your therapist will not approach you. if you like, you can pretend they don’t exist, that you don’t see them, and that you don’t know them. You can opt to give a knowing nod from across the room. It’s up to you, but rest assured, your therapist will not approach you.

You can say “hello!”

You are welcome to approach your therapist and say hello. But remember, once you acknowledge that you know your therapist, others may realize how you know each other.

Your therapist won’t lie.

If you choose to acknowledge your therapist by approaching them, do not ask them to participate in a story about who you are and how you know each other. In other words, don’t introduce your therapist to your friend as a long-lost cousin; they won’t play along.

Other people can hear you.

If you choose to say hello, know that others who are around will hear you speaking to each other. Do not discuss private matters in public with your therapist, save that for your next appointment.

Keep in mind…

If those around know what your therapist does for a living, they will make the connection that you are a client.

If someone is accompanying your therapist, you will not be introduced, but that person may be told the two of you know each other from their work.

If you don’t want others to hear how you know each other, it is best to simply pretend you don’t see your therapist.

Don’t worry, you can talk about it in your next session.