Restorations Therapy Blog

Knowing If, When, and How to Fire Your Therapist

by on Friday, August 20th, 2021

There are two reasons why you would consider firing your therapist: you feel you no longer need them, or you aren’t happy with the way your therapy is going with them. Neither one might be something that you’re comfortable discussing with your therapist, but each may be necessary after a certain period of time. 

You No Longer Need Therapy

You may be at a point in your therapy where you think it’s no longer necessary. That would speak well about the treatment your therapist has provided. It’s a goal every therapist wants to shoot for, even though for some patients, long-term therapy may be necessary. It all depends on the reasons you sought treatment and whether anything new developed during your treatment period. 

If you believe you no longer need to see your therapist, congratulations! Here’s how you can go about terminating the relationship in a positive, proactive way:

#1. Discuss your feelings and thoughts with your therapist and make sure they agree with your assessment. If not, this could lead to a different sort of conversation, but hopefully, you’ll both be on the same page.

#2. If so, schedule a final appointment, making sure to cancel any other subsequent appointments you may have on the calendar.

#3. In that final session, discuss where you started on your therapeutic journey and where you’re at today. This might include what things worked or didn’t work. It would also be wise to develop a plan for how you’re going to handle snags that may happen along the way and how you might try to avoid them or, at a minimum, prevent them from becoming a roadblock. 

You’re Simply Not Happy With the Therapy or Therapist

If you’re unhappy with your therapist, you’re certainly not the first patient or client to feel that way. Not every person is going to click with every therapist. It’s certainly your right to leave a therapist if you’re not happy. 

Before you leave, perhaps you owe it to yourself and the therapist to figure out why you’re dissatisfied. It might be one major issue, or there could be more than one reason. Sometimes little things add up to be a big problem. Reasons why you might be considering leaving could include:

  • They don’t ever say much during your sessions, or they never offer any advice or suggestions on how to handle specific problems or issues you’re experiencing.
  • You don’t think they understand you, or worse yet, they don’t seem to like you (or vice versa).
  • They may share too much about their personal life. Believe it or not, some therapists do this. Not only is oversharing unprofessional, but it also takes time away from you being helped during your sessions.
  • It’s also possible that you feel you’ve reached a roadblock with your current therapist and just can’t go any further.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave if That’s What You Feel You Need to Do

Sadly, there are patients who, despite not being happy or wanting to find another therapist, don’t have the ability to leave. They may not like confrontation, or they worry about hurting the therapist’s feelings. Those patients end up staying with a therapist longer than they wanted to or should have, which isn’t healthy and won’t benefit them in the long run. 

You should never stay with a therapist if the chemistry just isn’t there or if you feel the relationship simply isn’t working. However, there are some best practices to follow when leaving one therapist for another:

  • You should make some calls to other therapists to ask about their practice, what kind of treatment methods they employ, and what kind of diagnoses or illnesses they specialize in. You may even want to schedule a few appointments with other therapists to see how you like them. Make sure that there are no lapses in your treatment while “interviewing” other therapists. 
  • Plenty of information out there can give you tips on how to screen potential new therapists. These can help, but you’ll want to take the best ones and meet them in person. All the screening tools in the world can’t take the place of a face-to-face session.
  • Once you’ve settled on someone new, tell your current therapist you’re leaving. They may try convincing you to stay but stand your ground. Advocating for yourself is not always easy or comfortable, but doing so can be a real positive step in your overall therapy. 
  • Be honest and straightforward in explaining why you’re leaving. Be clear with them about what you think is missing or why you’re not happy. This information might even help them become a better therapist down the road. 
  • It may even be a good idea to tell your new therapist why you left the previous one. Doing so makes it less likely that similar problems will occur with the new therapist.   

Endings can be scary, just as beginnings can be, but you’ll feel better once you’ve left a situation you’re not happy with and you make new progress with a different therapist. 

If you have been seeing a therapist that you are no longer happy with, it might be time for a change. Your therapy and treatment should always be moving in a positive, forward direction. If it is stagnant or not progressing, or you are unhappy for some other reason and do not think it can be remedied to your satisfaction, you should begin taking steps to find a new therapist and cut ties with the current one. Every therapist takes a different approach, and your individual needs and wants during your treatment should line up with their approach. At Restorations Therapy, we have a staff large enough to not only meet your needs and expectations but exceed them. We do not offer cookie-cutter treatment. Instead, we develop personalized care plans that are tailored specifically to you and your needs. Call us at (720) 446-6585 to see the difference we can make for you.  

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