How to breakup with your therapist? This a very legit question most people are afraid to ask. It can be difficult to decide to stop seeing your psychotherapist. You could be anxious about saying something that would upset your therapist or you might just not feel comfortable saying Good Bye to someone you have shared your feelings with.
You and your therapist may have reached a point where continuing your relationship is counterproductive. Psychologist and Freeing Yourself From Anxiety author Dr. Tamar Chansky says;
“As much as therapists are absolutely human beings and can have their feelings hurt, [you can] shift the frame of what this is about,” Dr. Chansky further explains. “It’s not about hurting that person, it’s about what you need.”
So, when is it time to end therapy sessions? And what is the best way to go about it? Here read it all and we know by the end you will be all relaxed because you will have the right words to say to your therapist and end the relationship for good.
When Should You Breakup With Your Therapist? Some Reasons To Look For
Before moving towards the question of how to breakup with your therapist you must also know about when should your breakup with your therapist. Find below some red flags to look for in your therapist-patient relationship.
Your Therapist’s Thoughts Don’t Align With Your Goals
Feeling loved and cared for is crucial. Chloe Charmichael, a New-York based clinical psychologist, uses the scenario of a damaged relationship to illustrate her point: if your psychiatrist recommends breaking up with your spouse, but you want to work on saving your relationship then you must discuss this point with your therapist.
This type of dialogue allows you to check if you and your therapist are on the same page, understand relevant red flags he or she may be observing, and make sure you both agree about the direction your life is going on.
You Have the Impression that You are not Making Any Progress
The goal of therapy is to improve your way of thinking, the way you feel, and the way you behave in your daily life. Mollie Forrester, a professional and licensed social worker at UW’s Department of Psychiatry and Medical Sciences throws light on the importance of having a supporting and growth-oriented connection with your therapist.
If you’ve been going to sessions but don’t feel like you’re getting closer to your objectives, consider speaking with your psychologist about it directly. If even after talking to your therapist you don’t see any change or feel any progress then it is time to move on to the next therapist.
They Deny your Experience with Discrimination, Misogyny, Stereotyping, or Different Kind of Phobias
According to Kate O’Brien, a professional in New York, the time and effort you put into your therapy “should not be based on you explaining or justifying the things you experience.” She gives the following example: Consider a Black person telling their psychiatrist that they felt carefully watched in a mall, which might imply racism, and the therapist replies, “Well, I’m sure how that individual didn’t mean anything rude or what you were feeling.”
If your therapist dismisses your emotions in this manner, somehow supports the offender, or if you feel he/she moves to any kind of victim-blaming mode, it’s time for you to move on from this therapist. You are not required to explain yourself—”educating other individuals isn’t your duty.”
Your Therapist Cancels the Appointments & Is Frequently Late
There will definitely come a time when sessions need to be postponed or canceled. But, Sarah Rollins a therapist in Michigan, warns that if your therapist repeatedly cancels, it can affect your therapy.
Inform your therapist that you were hoping to meet once a week or at another predetermined frequency to address the issue. I’m observing that isn’t occurring, you say. Is it possible for us to schedule appointments more frequently? Rollins advises. Instead of directly criticizing them for canceling, which can make them feel defensive, doing that will probably be more fruitful.
Lack of Relevant Experience/ Your Therapist Don’t Possess The Skill Your Situation Needs
It could be beneficial to work with a therapist who has specialized training, expertise, and skill-based on why you’re seeking treatment. For example, in a TikTok video (which went viral) a woman disclosed that she suffers from complicated post-traumatic stress disorder (c-PTSD). A prospective new therapist looked through the patient’s records and informed her, “They put a ‘C’ beside your Diagnosis of PTSD. That must be incorrect because I’ve never heard of that. The two were obviously not a good fit.
According to Sarah Rollins, there is occasionally a misperception that psychologists are generalists like primary-care physicians. She adds that while it’s true that the majority of practitioners are capable of treating moderate cases of stress, anxiety, or depression, other disorders or symptoms demand someone with more specialized experiences.
How To Breakup With Your Therapist? Some Important Steps You Can Take
1. Reflect & Rethink About Your Reasons
You must pause and reflect on your motivations before deciding to quit your therapeutic engagement with your therapist.
Reviewing your relationship patterns can be beneficial if the disappointment, annoyance, or conflict you are currently experiencing with your therapist is similar to the sensations you subsequently encounter in your interactions with other partnerships, acquaintances, or close relatives.
We all have these preconceived notions about what to anticipate in relationships; some of these preconceived notions are beneficial, while others may be harmful to our relationships and our needs. It’s essential that you consider your tendencies in relationships and the potential influence of your blueprints.
You should be aware of these blueprints so that your previous experiences don’t dictate your present behaviors, even though you might bring them with you to treatment and occasionally apply those to your therapist as well.
2. Start The Breakup Conversation With Your Therapist
Try addressing the problems you’re experiencing rather than simply ghosting to determine whether you can find a solution before progressing to another person.
The opening line is that Dr. Amsellem, a Ph.D. A clinical Psychologist, proposes, “There’s something I wanted to talk about. My therapeutic goals are [describe what you are expecting from these therapy sessions]. We’re not meeting them all at once, which worries me. Is there a way we can assist me to come closer to achieving these objectives?
Setting incredibly specific development benchmarks that you’re hoping to achieve in a certain time frame as part of that discussion can be helpful in determining the question of whether you should stop visiting your therapist permanently. Depending on what is going on, you might prefer to do this in privacy or with your psychiatrist.
It’s acceptable to try to find a new therapist if your current one doesn’t seem to be interested in your concerns or if nothing seems to change after you raise them. Before leaving your current therapist, you may wish to secure another appointment depending on how urgent the challenges you’re working on are.
3. Do Not Counteract Your Decision
You shouldn’t go back to it or reconsider your choice, just like you wouldn’t go back to a failed romantic relationship. Professional advise that “Be solid in your determination to terminate the connection.”
An email is acceptable if you think you can’t break up in person
Write a nice email if having a one-on-one conversation is simply not possible for whatever reason.
If you are grateful for the period your therapist worked with you but still, believe it’s time to move on, you can write an email in advance of a session if you find it difficult to say it out loud, advises Viciere. You have the option of attending one final session or not. Be direct and concise in your email.
4. Tell Them both What Worked & What Didn’t
Inform your therapist if you experienced any successes. They are working hard, too, so any acknowledgment of your collaboration with them will be appreciated.
“I really like it when clients say, ‘I am doing so much better, and I accomplished so much, and I don’t feel I need to continue treatment,'” says a professional psychotherapist. So, it is okay if you are breaking up with your therapist because you think you no longer need more counseling or help.
Or you can just say that you achieve what you were looking for or expecting from this therapy and now you have other goals which you feel like you can’t achieve staying here. This will be more clarifying for your therapist and it will not make you feel embarrassed as well.
5. Plan Ahead Before Terminating The Relationship
Several mental health issues could necessitate continuing treatment. For instance, if you’re receiving treatment for depression and it’s still affecting your ability to function on a daily basis, you might want to find a new therapist before discontinuing your connection with your present one.
It’s crucial to keep taking your prescriptions even if you decide to discontinue your therapeutic alliance. This will assist you in preventing withdrawal symptoms and symptom exacerbation.
6. You Are Finding It Difficult To Be Vulnerable in Front of Your Therapist
You should feel comfortable sharing everything with your therapist. Moreover, you should feel at ease during your sessions expressing aspects of yourself that you might not have previously disclosed.
It might take some time to build that degree of trust, but if you feel that you can’t be open with your therapist due to mistrust or fear of judgment, it might be a hint that you should try someone else.
Final Words On How To Breakup With Your Therapist
Even though the thought of leaving your psychiatrist can make anyone want to crawl into the ground, making the effort to really engage in a discussion about why you’re doing it will only help you in the long run. Also, you’ll feel rather badass once you’ve completed it—I won’t say that you’ll feel as amazing as someone who has scaled Everest or anything, but close. Oh, and yes, you will feel so light after cutting down this task from your to-do list.