How to end therapy well
There will come a time when you know you want to end therapy. Perhaps you want to pause for financial reasons. Maybe you want to try something different. But hopefully it is because we have helped you with the issue you came in with, you’re feeling better and we have given you some tools to go on with. Either way, you’re faced with ending therapy. But how to bring it up with me? Here’s my guide on how to end therapy well:
Firstly, tell me you want to end therapy
Tell me your reasons why you want to end therapy
Firstly, tell me straight out that you think you want to end therapy and why. You can be honest with me. I want to know if we didn’t achieve your goals and you’re feeling frustrated, that way we can do something about it. I also want to know if we DID achieve your goals and you are feeling much better about yourself – let’s celebrate that!
Give yourself time to work through any difficult feelings
Sometimes people want to end therapy when difficult feelings start coming up. This is often a turning point for people. A chance to break free of negative patterns that have no longer been serving you, but you need a little helping hand to get through this. So tell me what is going on for you and let me help you through this.
An opportunity to try out a different way of behaving with no risk
Depending on your prior experiences in relationships ending, and your attachment style, this may be challenging for you. You may have feelings of anxiety come up, perhaps a worry of disappointing me or letting me down. Perhaps you’d rather just ghost me and disappear into the ether, but that can bring up feelings of guilt and shame, and you don’t get to speak your piece. However, I am not your friend/family member/partner – I am your therapist and this is a therapeutic contract. You get to try out a different way of relating to someone, in a neutral environment with no risk.
So let’s talk about a way to end therapy well so that both parties can walk away with clarity and feeling positive about the situation.
Decide on a potential end date and plan a closure session
Plan a closure session
Let’s plan a session (or maybe two depending on how long we have been working together). You get the chance to explore why you are leaving and feel good about leaving. You get a chance to speak up for yourself.
An opportunity to bring up any negative feelings
If you have negative feelings towards either me or the therapy we have been doing, you get the chance to air those feelings and be really heard. If you are not happy, I want to know. How many times outside of therapy do you get the chance to bring forward negative feelings to the other party in such an empowered way?
Review your progress and celebrate your growth
Equally, we can talk about the progress you have made, how your life has been positively affected and how you feel you have changed. Sometimes people appreciate the growth so much that they decide to stay or come back. We may have given you tools to reduce your initial issue, but are there other things you want to work on?
How this benefits you
An opportunity for healthy closure
Most relationships often end with a rupture of some kind. Something has gone badly wrong and either one or both parties decide to withdraw. Sometimes both parties will be aware, but other times it will be a one-sided breakup with one party unaware of what they have done wrong. This is painful and can cause significant emotional distress.
Learning an empowered, positive way to end a relationship
This is your chance to change that pattern, getting closure. Taking the opportunity to end therapy well, leaving you feeling positive and empowered. This may be your first experience of a healthy closure. A clean, healthy goodbye. Learning a skill that you can then take out into your other relationships when needed.
Leave feeling good about yourself
So don’t be afraid to tell me that you want to end therapy. This could be a positive experience for you if you get to end therapy well.
If you would like to ask me what Counselling or body psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session by phone for new clients. You can also book this online by clicking the button below.