You’re at a restaurant with coworkers when you run into your therapist.
Keep in mind that counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists―indeed most medical professionals―have an ethical obligation to be discreet. They probably won’t speak to you outside of their offices or even acknowledge knowing you unless you initiate contact, says Fitter Sloane. And they won’t be offended if you decide not to engage in conversation with them.
That said, if you’d like to say hello, have a follow-up question at the ready that will steer you away from awkward territory, says Pachter. (This holds true for any uncomfortable encounter.) For example, you could ask, “Have you eaten here before?” or “How are you liking the weather?” which may sound obvious, but if you’re someone who gets flustered easily, even simple niceties can escape you. Take a moment to collect your thoughts and choose an opening line―before opening your mouth.