What is a Two-Way No-Show Policy?

What is a Two-Way No-Show Policy?

Tired of illness and weather canceling your sessions? It may be time to try a two-way no-show policy.

Wish people would show up for their online sessions or shoot you an email the day before?!

Yeah, us too!

Through a series of conversations, we heard of a friend who establishes a two-way no-show policy.  At the time of our discussion she couldn’t recall a single no-show. Sounds like a dream world, right?!

So What Is a Two-Way No-Show Policy?

A two-way no-show policy is simply a policy where you openly agree to the same terms you have asked of your client. Policies often include notification requirements for cancellation, such as notification by phone or by email or both at least 24 hours before the appointment. Many providers agree to remind their client of the upcoming appointment a certain amount of hours or days before the appointment. Policies also include consequences for when either party fails to meet those agreed upon requirements. Consequences could be a percentage of the session fee, the full session fee, a free session, or a percentage off the next session. They can be whatever you and your client choose!

Are Two-Way No-Show Policies Effective?

Here are three ways we’ve seen two-way no-show policies be effective:


Chances are you don’t offer free counseling sessions?  Why?! Because you know that if your client is financially invested they’re more likely to show up and complete the assignments you might give them.  

It boils down to commitment.  We want to work with people who are committed.

Well, guess what?!  So, does your client.  

When you openly agree to the same terms you have asked of your client they are fully aware of your commitment to their sessions.  You’re not just someone just doing their job and checking their session off as money earned.


Therapists are nice people.  Too nice sometimes. So they back out of their no-show policies.  But when you have put your own skin in the no-show policy you will be more motivated to follow through, not only that, but more often than not your client will be more compliant in honoring the policy.  

Again, it’s the two-way street that gives your client confidence knowing that you have made the same commitment to them.


One of the greatest benefits of the two-way no-show policy is early communication.  You’re both committed to these sessions so specify how many days in advance rescheduling needs to happen without it being considered a cancellation. We recommend rescheduling being required 3-5 days in advance so that you have the opportunity to fill their slot.

No-shows are no fun.  You’re good at what you do and you’re committed to seeing your clients thrive.  Establishing a two-way no-show policy has the potential to not only decrease your no-shows, but make your commitment more evident to your clients.  

Here’s to more clients and fewer no-shows!

Wish scheduling, re-scheduling, and accepting payments was easier! We’re committed to making your practice as simple as possible so you can spend all your energy on the things THAT transform lives. Schedule a call to see if we can help you free up any time or brainspace (because you know you’re using the best HIPAA compliant resources)!


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