This is part four of a four part series on how to find a therapist and make the most of your therapy sessions.
Therapy starts with the end in mind. The end begins the moment you make your first appointment. There is an end to the call and the end to the first session and eventually an end to treatment.
I recommend periodically taking the time to evaluate your goals within therapy with your therapist. What did you want to work on in the beginning and do you feel you have made progress? If not is it time to switch to a new therapist? Should you set new goals with your current therapist?
Ending therapy allows you to practice what you have learned independent of your therapist and to develop greater autonomy. Basically, emancipation is the goal. Ideally, a therapist eventually works himself or herself out of a job with each client.
Before leaving therapy, take time to talk about your feelings, fears, joys, and anxiety about ending therapy. Old issues will often come up towards the end as you look back. With looking back you can assess where you are now and where you want your future to be headed. You can look at ending therapy as a new adventure.
- Take full responsibility for the work you have done in therapy.
- Make a final appointment and leave with a face to face good-bye.
- Show yourself compassion if it is difficult to say good-bye.
- Be honest with yourself and your therapist.
- Allow yourself to feel the loss. You are gaining insight and wisdom.
- Make a clean break to allow yourself to feel your own accomplishments.