How Do I Know When I Have Finished? When to End Your Counselling.

Posted by: Maritza Rodriguez on October 13, 2011 12:05 pm

You have been engaged in therapy and have made gains in your insight and have changed the behavior that wasn’t in your best interest. You are very pleased with your progress and are feeling good about yourself and your abilities. You have also established a trusting, therapeutic relationship with your counsellor and eagerly look forward to the exchange during psychotherapy sessions. You have reached the point where you are starting to contemplate wanting to handle your life situations on your own with your new tool box of skills. But it is a bit scary to let go of the safety net. Now what?

The transition of ending counselling can bring with it some fear and anxiety along with excitement and a sense of power. You have reached a point in the therapeutic process where you are consciously aware of your strengths and abilities to not only cope with life’s challenges but to also thrive and grow under the circumstances. What an empowering place to be! Simultaneously, you might be experiencing the anticipation of separation anxiety from your counsellor or maybe you are afraid you might hurt his or her feelings by ending therapy.

These are normal responses when ending any process and/or relationship. Most people do not like to come to the end of anything, especially an intimate relationship. This is the time to bring up your thoughts and feelings with your therapist and to process them openly and receive non-judemental feedback that is in your best interest. This is a critical element to the psychotherapy process. Review how you have gained knowledge and put to action the tools to deal with this transition. Discuss your growth and process how to effectively transition to the end of this process.

When acknowledged openly, the realization that the therapeutic process has come full circle is an enlightening experience. Also realize you always have the right to end the psychotherapy when you are ready. Ending counselling is a normal and anticipated part of the process. How you chose to handle it will bring you the empowerment you have been working on or can be a continuance of the avoidance of past behaviors.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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