During therapy

I want to stop therapy – I keep going but I don’t want to

I was offered 10 sessions and felt I had to attend them all or she would tell my GP that I didn’t really want things to be different.

Sometimes clients have reported continuing with therapy when it is no longer providing any benefit. 

If therapy has got to this stage you may no longer be deriving any benefit but have some concerns about what you will do after therapy, or have some thoughts about your therapist’s situation (particularly financial) if you start reducing the number of sessions, or stop going. Here we would encourage considering your own experience and choices, rather than your therapist’s. If your therapist has suggested that ending or reducing therapy will have financial consequences for them, we would urge you to consider the issues of power raised in (“I keep doing what the therapist says but I don’t want to”), and suggest that they may be practicing unethically, as covered in What should not happen in Therapy

Below, we’ve set out some questions that are typically asked when considering the costs and benefits of a course of action, along with some other things to consider when ending therapy. 

Questions to ask yourself

What are the benefits to me of keeping going to therapy?

“I rang my therapist after the session and told her it is not what I need right now”

  • Are there any costs of continuing with therapy?
  • What are the benefits of me ending therapy?
  • Are there any costs to me of ending therapy?
  • Based on the above, what’s the best course of action?
  • Is it possible for me to ask my therapist for a plan for ending therapy?
  • What’s my own plan for ending therapy?
    • Do I want to end completely?
    • Do I want to increase the length of time between sessions (see my therapist less frequently)?
    • Do I want to decrease the length of time each appointment takes? 

Questions to ask your therapist

  • Can we consider the costs and benefits to me of continuing with therapy or ending?
  • Can we develop a plan for ending therapy?
    • Can we increase the length of time between sessions?
    • Can we decrease the frequency of sessions?
    • Can we decrease the length of time each appointment takes?