How Does Therapy End?
Have you ever wondered how therapy actually ends?
It’s a question I tend not to get asked very often, but one that sticks out to me either way. As with any journey, the destination matters, and it’s important that you understand what happens when you no longer need to attend therapy. Although there is no definitive one-size-fits-all answer, there are steps that you can take to prepare yourself and ensure you feel confident and comfortable with the full process.
Many conditions and situations require more time than others. For example, therapy for depression will be different to anxiety, an eating disorder, or even a phobia. So, to get a detailed plan for ending therapy, it is best to discuss it with me during a session, as every person will need a slightly different approach.
Is it normal to worry about therapy coming to an end?
Worrying about therapy coming to an end is a completely natural occurrence. You could be thinking, ‘How do I end therapy?’ or ‘How does a therapist end therapy?’, and the simple answer to that would be to talk to them. Speak to your therapist and get to grips with what you have accomplished over the course of your therapy sessions. Is there anything else that is left withstanding? Do you have things you still have not felt comfortable discussing?
A client with anger issues, for example, will know when therapy has reached its goal when they have identified triggers and developed effective strategies to help deal with their rage, essentially understanding the root cause. Sometimes though, it can be important to stay in touch with your therapist for advice even after the main problem has been resolved. However, this situation can be compared to growing up with your parents – at a certain point, you should have the tools necessary to live your own life.
Your therapist will be happy to organise any future therapy you may possibly require, and it is generally not the end of your professional relationship. Even after you finish attending regularly, the door is often open if you ever need more support. In some ways, therapy never truly ends. It will always be there when you need it the most.
Ways to prepare yourself for when therapy ends.
- Make sure all your goals have been met.
It’s best to know what you have achieved during therapy, as you may find out that there’s a goal or two which hasn’t been met yet. When you are near the end of therapy, you need to be confident about the future. Otherwise, you may struggle to cope without the guidance of your therapist. Be 100% certain before going any further and overcome every challenge you are facing first. If you are unsure if you are ready to finish attending regularly, just ask your therapist. They will be able to help you decide. But make sure that you make the final decision, not them.
- Put your strategies into practice.
Have you put your strategies into practice yet? Do they work as intended? If not, then it’s best to go back to the drawing board to come up with a solution to your problem. Knowing that the strategy really works before ending therapy sessions is key to moving on with your life. If you are still struggling, it is worth continuing with therapy until you are feeling more stable.
- Plan the final course with your therapist.
Phasing out therapy by reducing the intensity of sessions and their frequency may sometimes help your therapy to end on your terms and at a comfortable speed, but it is also invaluable to address what feelings arise as you approach the end of your therapeutic journey. Your therapist will offer advice and recommendations on how to do this and allow you to have the final say. Different therapists will have different ways of doing this, so plan it all out with them thoroughly.
Is there anything I should remember when I end therapy?
- Your therapist’s door is always open.
Just because you’ve ended your regular therapy sessions doesn’t mean you can’t come back for more appointments. Therapists always leave the door open for you to return when a new problem arises or when you need some helpful advice regarding a situation. Independence is vital, but having that option will make it easier for you to move on, safe in the knowledge that if you start to struggle, you have a familiar and friendly face waiting to support you.
- You will be fully equipped.
Therapists will know when you are ready to leave therapy as they can see if you are fully equipped with the skills necessary to deal with your problems. They have to be certain that you are able to put into practice the techniques that you have learned, or they would recommend you continue to attend more sessions. Your therapist’s main concern is your mental well-being, and if they believe you are ready, then you should feel positive and prepared.
- Your life will start to improve.
During your time in therapy, you should start to notice improvements in your quality of life. This shows that the therapy is working and that the strategies are effective. The goal of therapy is to help you understand and overcome your struggles, and once you are feeling more positive and able to address difficulties head-on, it may be a sign that you are ready to handle them alone.
Who to turn to for therapy in Warrington, Cheshire.
Therapy can be scary, but it’s incredibly powerful and effective nonetheless. Visit my website today to learn more about my Zoom or in-person appointments. Whether it’s Anxiety, Trauma, Abuse, PTSD, or something else entirely, I am here to provide you with the support you need to lead a happier life.
Get in touch to book an initial consultation.