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All About Breaking Up with your Therapist

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All About Breaking Up with your Therapist

Therapy is a great tool for some people. Many will attend therapy all their lives or huge portions of it, while many others will only attend for a short while. No matter your situation it’s okay to end your therapeutic relationship  AT ANY POINT.

There are a multitude of reasons why people stop attending therapy, along with many ways to end it. There are also a few things to keep in mind, specifically for for LGBTQIA+ folks.

Here are some reasons why people end the therapeutic relationship:

  • You no longer need therapy
  • Your therapist does something offensive or traumatizing
  • You no longer need this kind of therapy
  • Your financial situation has changed
  • You feel like you can’t open up anymore or it’s not a good fit
  • You want to take a break and just have fun, avoid your problems for a little while
  • You’re emotionally exhausted and need a break
  • You want to try a different kind of healing (life coach, acupuncture, etc.)
  • You’re moving

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What’s the best way for you to break up with your therapist?

Here are a few ways you can choose to breakup with your therapist.

In person

If you have had this relationship for some time and want to end on good terms with your therapist, then it might be best to let them know in person that you won't be scheduling again.

Over the phone 

If you have their number and have only been with them a little while, then calling isn't a bad option. If you’re too nervous to end the relationship in person, then calling or texting can be easier.

Over e-mail 

E-mail might be best for short relationships, or ones where you didn’t get along with them personally and just want to let them know you are done, without leaving them hanging.

Cancelling or not showing up 

This is best for one time sessions, or a therapist that didn’t treat you right. Most likely you will be charged a fee if you do not cancel ahead of time, and often times it's not covered by insurance. It can be helpful for therapist to hear why you’re leaving, so they can improve their practice and know you are safe. If you aren’t able to do that, that's okay - your safety and comfort are the priority.

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Ideas for How to End Your Therapeutic Relationship

Here are some of the many ways to say you don’t need this therapy anymore, in person or over the phone:

  • "I'm not sure if I'm getting what I need from this therapy."
  • "I think I can handle things better now and no longer need to attend."
  • "I'm not sure we click."
  • "I think I need to switch to a therapist that specializes in [your needs]."
  • "I think I've done all the work I can do here."
  • "I believe I'm good for now and no longer need to come in."
  • “Your approach to this isn’t working for me.”

Ending a therapeutic relationship over email is just about the same! You may wish to put the normal formalities of emails, but that is entirely up to you!

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Things an LGBTQIA+ Person Should Keep in Mind

It can be helpful to meet with a new therapist before leaving your old one to make sure they are LGBTQIA+ friendly. Telling your therapist that you are leaving because they were not affirming of your identities can help you obtain more closure and help them become a better therapist.

If you are only going to a therapist to get a letter for gender affirming hormones or surgeries, you do not need to continue therapy. You can simply get the letter and stop going.

Lastly, if you receive pushback from your therapist about leaving you don’t have to listen. Make sure to stand your ground! You know what’s best for you and if that is leaving then do so!

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Resource designed by Kiandra Powdhar