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Is It Time to Break-up With Your Therapist?

Amanda Ann Gregory, LCPC, EMDR Certified Therapist 

Everyone breaks up with their therapist at some point. It’s rare to participate in therapy with the same therapist for your entire life. The decision to end the therapeutic relationship can be made by the client, the therapist, or both, and it is made for many different reasons. 

Are you feeling that it may be time to break up with your therapist? Consider these reasons: 

You Don’t Have a Good Relationship With Your Therapist 

One of the top indicators of success in therapy is your relationship with your therapist. Therefore, your relationship with your therapist is one of the most important parts of your therapy. Do you feel safe with your therapist? Do you trust them? If not, you need to consider finding a new therapist. Remember that not every therapist is going to be a good match for you, and that’s ok. 

You Are Not Making Progress 

If you’ve had multiple sessions with your therapist and you do not notice any changes, then that might be a sign that it’s time to leave. Of course, it’s important to remember that therapy is a process that takes time, and you might be making progress that you are not aware of. However, I suggest discussing your lack of progress with your therapist in order to better determine whether or not your lack of progress is indicative of a poor fit with them. 

You’ve Achieved Your Goals 

Congratulations! You’ve achieved your therapeutic goals, so it might be time to end therapy. Talk to your therapist about discharging. You might feel anxious about leaving your therapist, but know that many therapists allow previous clients to return to therapy when needed. In fact, many of my previous clients enjoy coming back for a few sessions now and then for maintenance. Talk to your therapist about a maintenance plan. 

Logistics Have Changed

Something has changed that makes it difficult for you to continue to see your therapist. Here are some examples of possible logistical changes:

  • You or your therapist’s schedule/availability has changed.
  • You’ve moved and your therapist is not licensed in the state in which you live, it’s no longer convenient to commute to their office, or they do not provide telehealth. 
  • You switched insurance providers and your therapist is no longer in the network. 
  • You can no longer afford your therapist’s rates. 

Such logistical challenges are not insignificant,  as they can make therapy stressful. 

Your Goals Have Changed 

At any point in therapy, your needs can change. You might begin therapy addressing a certain goal (such as anger management), and in working with your therapist you might discover a need to address additional issues, such as trauma, substance abuse, or an eating disorder. Moreover,  you might discover that you need a different therapeutic service, such as individual, family, couples, or group therapy. Your therapist might be able to provide treatment for these additional needs, but they may not. When additional needs arise, ask your therapist whether it makes sense to continue your treatment with them or whether they can provide you with a referral for another provider who can help you address your additional goals or issues.  

You Just Need a Break 

If you’ve been participating in therapy for a while, or if therapy has become overwhelming, you might need a break. Therapy usually gets harder before it gets easier. But, that’s easy to say. If you are not making progress because therapy feels overwhelming or onerous, then you aren’t getting the full benefit of therapy. Talk to your therapist about your experiences, and see if they can accommodate a less demanding schedule or if they are open to letting you take a break with the option to return if needed. 

If you are interested in participating in therapy, consider Symmetry Counseling, which provides individual, family, and couples therapy with therapists trained in many specialties. Contact us today to get paired with a Chicago counselor.

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