I hope you’re all doing well. I wanted to open up a discussion today about the topic of terminating therapy. I wanted us to think about when and how to end the therapeutic relationship.
For those who might not be familiar with the term, terminating therapy, or therapy termination, refers to the process of concluding therapy sessions and saying goodbye to your therapist. It’s a crucial part of the therapeutic journey, but it can be quite a complex and emotional experience. There are various reasons why someone might choose to terminate therapy, such as feeling like they’ve reached their therapy goals, financial considerations, or simply feeling ready to move forward without therapy.
For some people, when they have made significant progress in therapy, they wonder if it might be time to wrap it up. The idea of ending the relationship is both exciting and a bit daunting.
So, I wanted to ask for your thoughts and experiences on this matter. Have you ever terminated therapy, or are you considering it? What were the factors that led to your decision? How did you navigate the process emotionally, and do you have any tips for those of us who might be in a similar situation?
Here are a couple of questions to kick off the discussion:
How did you know it was the right time to terminate therapy, and what advice would you give to someone who is unsure about when to end their therapeutic relationship?
Did you experience any mixed feelings, anxiety, or uncertainty when it came to terminating therapy? How did you manage these emotions, and what helped you transition out of therapy smoothly?
I’m eager to hear your experiences and insights!
Terminating therapy is a significant step in our mental health journey, and it’s always helpful to learn from one another’s experiences. Thanks for sharing, and let’s discuss this important aspect of our personal growth and well-being!
this topic hits deep cause I never had a termination that was my choice, it was due to circumstances such as my therapist resigning and one of my most painful experience was my therapist terminating my case cause she told me that I wasn’t “ready for”/ receptive to therapy. (it’s a pretty long complicated story).
Thanks for throwing the question back! This is a pretty interesting one from the therapist’s perspective, but again I am speaking from my experience personally and not on behalf of other therapists
When my client is ready to “graduate” from therapy, I feel a mix bag of positive emotions! Like happiness, pride, relief, and a lot of “Yay!” and “Woohoo!” in my head too. I think generally when a client is ready to terminate, it tells me that they’re ready to go back into the world without my support, which shows that they’ve found some coping strategies to help them manage! And I feel immensely proud of them for graduating, it’s like watching a plant grow, it may have taken a lot of patience but it’s so worth it!
If my client has graduated and they realized they were not ready/started struggling, I would welcome them back to therapy any time for support. Support doesn’t end when they graduate. Sometimes they would text me for an ad-hoc session in the middle of the year, sometimes they would need regular sessions for a short period of time to try to align back again. But the main point is that, it’s okay to struggle again - because life will throw us a lot of curve balls, and we can’t dodge them all. So I would expect any of them to come back any time for extra or extended support, and it’s totally okay! I welcome them anytime.
Thanks for allowing me to share my personal experiences as a therapist! It’s always fun to share these ideas together. Share with us your thoughts too!
As I share above, I actually never had a termination by choice, it was usually because of circumstances so I can’t really share on the 1st question.
But cause it’s not by choice, it was really hard for me cause I struggle with having to say goodbye but usually my therapist will try to handover to another therapist to ensure that I’m continue being supported.