Coping with the stress of modern life isn't easy, especially when you're trying to do it alone. Therapy can be the biggest missing link to finding purpose, passion, and meaning in life again. However, not all therapeutic relationships work out for the best, leaving clients wondering how to terminate therapy sessions in a way that doesn't burn bridges or create further emotional or psychological harm. This episode answers the question: how do you break up with your therapist, nicely?
Divorce. Death. Loss of a job or trouble with the teenage kids - no matter what, life is filled with change and challenges. Coping with the stress of modern life isn't easy, especially when you're trying to do it alone. Therapy can be the biggest link to finding purpose, passion, and meaning in life again. However, not all therapeutic relationships work out for the best. Furthermore, life changes and people change which means our goals in therapy can change too. This episode provides gentle guidance on how to terminate therapy sessions in a way that doesn't burn bridges or create further emotional or psychological harm for either party involved.
Additional Support for Helping Put Therapy Back In Therapeutic Services
4 Characteristics Of a Healthy Therapeutic Collaboration
According to the American Psychological Association, key components of a healthy therapist-client relationship include:
Collaboration: Therapists should work closely together with their clients on the treatment process.
Goal consensus: Therapists and clients should agree on the goals and expectations of therapy.
Empathy: Therapists should be sensitive to the client’s feelings and struggles and should try to understand the client’s point of view.
Strong feedback: Therapists should appropriately engage the client to understand how they are responding to treatment.
Positive affirmation: Therapists support their clients regardless of their behavior, attitudes and emotions to help improve the therapeutic relationship.
8 Signs That It May Be Time to End A Therapy Relationship
Self-reflection Questions For Finding The Right Therapist
What do I want to explore or gain better understanding of in therapy?
How often do I want to meet with a therapist?
Do I just want someone to talk to each week or do I want feedback, resources, and help developing new coping skills?
Do I want to focus on intense symptoms affecting my life?
Do I want to focus on a particular emotional issue?
Do I want someone to restructure and modify my thinking or behaviors?
What particular style of therapy do I want to explore?
Questions to Ask During An Introductory Session With A Therapist:
What type of therapy do you specialize in?
What’s your general philosophy or approach to therapy?
Are you more directive or guiding?
How long have you been practicing?
What is the framework that you work with?
What will we cover in a typical therapy session?
What is your preferred method of communication -- direct in sessions? Email? Text?
What licenses and certifications do you have and which professional organizations do you belong to?
How many clients have you had with symptoms, circumstances or diagnoses like mine?
Do you ever collaborate or do peer consults?
How often do you anticipate we will have sessions and for how long?
How often do we set up goals and review them?
What is a typical session like?
What kind of 'homework' do you give patients in between sessions?
How do I prepare for each session?
How do you end therapy with your clients if / when it's not a good fit?
5 Possible Openings For The Break-up Conversation
“I want to end our work together because I have different goals right now.”
"I really appreciate the work we’ve done together. I’m realizing I need something different now, but I appreciate your willingness to help me when I needed it most."
"I think we've made a lot made a lot of progress in our time together, and I feel that it’s time for me to move on.”
"I'd like to use the next session to talk about ____. I'm feeling like I'd like to end our work together and I want to share that with you."
"I'm concerned about _____ and at this time I don't feel it's best for us to continue working together."
Resources for finding a new therapist:
Therapists Spill: Their 12 Favorite Therapy and Self-Help Books
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