Whether it's for short-term stress or long-term mental health struggles, therapy can be a corrective and life altering experience.
However, the shared journey with your therapist is intended to have an end.
Most therapy begins with a set of clear goals. Once these intentions are met, you and/or your practitioner will initiate a decision to terminate or reduce sessions.
Leaving behind therapeutic compatibility and rapport is challenging but our priority is to equip you with the resources, perspective, and self-confidence to navigate life’s obstacles on your own.
Below are a few tips for effectively ending and maintaining outcomes after therapy:
1. Identify your “why” for deciding to leave.
Sometimes, abruptly ending therapy is an attempt to avoid hard subjects or conflict. Instead of ghosting your therapist, identify if you feel stuck, not ready or like you’ve accomplished your goals. Luckily, therapists specialize in endings, beginnings and processing next steps.
2. Explore a potential sense of loss.
You may feel as though you’re losing a friend/confidante after a season of therapy. Process those feelings of grief or relief as meetings come to an end. This can provide valuable information about your interpersonal/therapeutic needs and requirements moving forward.
3. Focus on gains and new patterns.
Noting the positive changes you’ve made/experienced throughout therapy is essential to keeping your momentum. Create a binder with important reflections and resources to reference when you inevitably hit rough patches.
4. Inquire with your therapist about referrals, quarterly check-ins and protocol for rejoining therapy.
Most practitioners are open to maintaining a therapeutic relationship, providing resources and re-integrating sessions as needed. Your therapist may even offer booster sessions every few months to monitor progress. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions and advocate for yourself.
Whether ending or beginning therapy, remember that all things in life are seasonal.
Your time in therapy is intended to plant seeds and pull up weeds, but there are many ways for you to continue to grow and blossom!