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How do you know when it is time to terminate therapy?


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In the past two or three years since I've started with my current therapist, the state of my mental health has improved greatly.  For the last six months or so whenever I go see him, we just sort of chat as if we were friends, not really working on anything.  

 

I am planning on moving to a new city in June.  I may start up therapy again after moving... but I'm thinking of stopping therapy until then.

 

But part of me feels like, as soon as I terminate therapy, something is going to happen so that I'll feel like I "need" therapy again.

 

Although I can always start up again if that happens?

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Yeah, I don't think there is any requirement as to how often you go as long as you are doing ok.

 

Edit: Why don't you ask your therapist what he/she thinks? The only concern that I have is that you don't burn any bridges.

Edited by jt07
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On the one hand, you could continue with this therapist and space out your appointments more, so that you do have the safety net but are not meeting regularly.

 

On the other hand, there is the opportunity to wrap up a successful therapeutic relationship if you really do not feel it is useful anymore.  Ending therapy is as much a part of the process as any other part.  It affords you the opportunity to review your progress, give you some closure, and test the waters going without therapy.

 

Both are valid options, and the choice is really dependent on how you feel.  I cannot say what would be the best for you, but I imagine that this tdoc will leave a door open for you, no matter what you do decide.

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I ended up leaving therapy because I just didn't have time to go anymore (good self-care, Para... Not :P ).

 

However, I did email my tdoc and let her know how I was doing, and she said I could see her again any time. We kind of ended things over email, discussed how well I was doing, my plans for the future and she assured me that she would be there for me if things got hard again. 

 

By the time I stopped seeing her, I was down to going twice a month, but could have gone once a month. I haven't had therapy for about a year now, and while there have been times I've felt I could use a tdoc (and probably should have contacted her), I have gotten by on my own. Like Lifequake said, it's possible to test the waters of what it might be like to go without therapy for a while. For me, it's been good. What I've learned is that I SHOULD contact my old tdoc when I'm going through hard times. But otherwise, I learned a lot from therapy that I still use all the time and, it's kind of nice to see myself use the skills all on my own. 

 

Definitely don't burn any bridges. And I'd recommend talking to your tdoc about what they think. That way, you can kind of wrap up your relationship for now, if you so choose. 

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I quit therapy in mid 2012.  I'd been seeing the same tdoc for years, and I felt we'd reached the stage where I'd hashed out all my really big issues, and the appointments were starting to feel pointless and repetitive (and in fact chatty, similar to what you described is happening in your sessions).  I had also reached a really good level of stability with my meds, and monthly appointments with my pdoc were (and are still) meeting my needs sufficiently.  However, I didn't burn my bridges with her, and the option of going back at any time still remains.  

 

Before simply cutting all contact with your tdoc, I'd suggest discussing your current headspace with him.  You could space out your appointments more, or mutually agree to terminate the relationship, but I think it's important that you talk it out.  The only warning flag I see in your initial post is that you're planning on moving cities in June.  Relocating can be extremely stressful for anyone, but especially for us crazies, so you may want to keep your options open with your tdoc in case you find yourself needing additional support around that time.

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