by, Bunny Young, MA, QMHP
Knowing when it is time to discontinue therapy can be a difficult decision. Similar to the decision to begin therapy, there is a transition that occurs from independence to admitting that you need professional support. Once you are accustomed to that professional help and are in a routine of having an individual that listens to and supports your thought patterns and decisions, it can be uncomfortable to begin easing back on the frequency of sessions. Or perhaps you feel like you are doing better and no longer need any sessions at all. We always recommend that you plan out a discharge from therapy in a way that both you and your therapist support. If you make the change too quickly, it can end up costing you precious progress that you have made in your mental health journey. Conversely, you want to ensure that you are still utilizing the support in a manner and frequency that is appropriate and necessary, and there are clear goals in which you are working on during each session. When you begin to “feel better,” discuss identifying new treatment goals with your therapist. Also, discuss the frequency at which you would like to continue seeing your therapist. Most important, know what the plan is if you begin to feel worse and think you need immediate or increased support.
Here is a short list of questions to support that conversation between you and your mental health professional:
1) Does your office have an after hours line?
2) Does your therapist have a same day appointment policy?
3) Are there online support groups or resources to support clients who are not seeing therapists as regularly through your counselor’s office or that you can identify with help from your counselor or therapist?
These are all wonderful things to ask know prior to making the decision to discontinue sessions at a regular increment as well as knowing when the right time is for you to make that choice. Do remember that at LCC, for the benefit of our clients and the community at large, we have many social media and website resources available to support your mental well- being and happiness. Share your “feel better” pics. with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.