How to Break Up With Your Therapist

If you’ve ever been in therapy, you know that the relationship is unique. You might tell your therapist things you wouldn’t share with your loved ones. “It’s the most intimate professional relationship you’ll ever have,” said John Norcross, a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton. So what should you do when you’re ready to move on?

Even when people feel as if they’ve gotten what they need from therapy, leaving can bring up anxieties, Dr. Norcross said. And while clients are the ones to initiate most therapy terminations, not everyone goes about it in a healthy way, he explained.

It may be tempting to ghost your therapist once you realize you’re through, said Dr. Norcross, who has researched the ways people end therapy. But that’s not the most productive way to handle the situation.

Ending therapy is an important part of treatment, said Derek Seward, an associate professor of counseling and counselor education at Syracuse University. It provides an opportunity to use the tools you’ve most likely strengthened during your sessions, he said.

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