Should I ghost my therapist? Much like dating, finding the right therapist can be a game of trial and error, and many meet with a few before finding the right one. Perhaps you feel like you’ve gained what you needed from therapy and you’re ready to move on. There are many reasons why you may want to end this with your therapist. We’ll share our tips and tricks on how to “break up” with your therapist respectfully.
1). Don’t be ashamed it happens (often)
Making the decision to no longer see your therapist can be daunting, you may feel like you’re letting them down. Don’t be. You’re not the first to break up with them. This is their job, and therapists expect that they won’t be a fit for every client or that their clients may outgrow them and eventually move on.
2). Check in with yourself
Before actually breaking up with your therapist, make sure you’ve reflected over this decision. If you've only had one session with your current therapist, try giving it a few more meetings before stopping treatment. If you need help determining if your therapist is a good fit, check out some of our tips here.
3). Be honest
Whether it's a matter of simply outgrowing your therapist, fundamental differences or you’re finding it difficult to truly connect with them, make sure to be honest with your provider. Your honesty will help your therapist improve their service and they may also help you find the right care you need.
4). Try the following conversation openers
“I’ve been reflecting about our sessions and I’m thinking I’ll benefit more from _______”
Feel free to share if there is a different approach you prefer or perhaps a therapist with deeper understanding about a specific modality or your culture. Your therapist may be able to make a referral and help connect you with a better fit provider.
“I wanted to thank you for all the work we’ve done together, I feel that I’ve accomplished a lot of what I hoped for when I first started therapy. I’m in a good place now and I’d like to discuss ending our weekly sessions”
You may want to follow up and see if your therapist is willing to reconnect in the future if needed
If you’re more comfortable letting your therapist know by email, feel free to edit/use this template:
I wanted to thank you for all the work we’ve done together recently. I’m reaching out to let you know that I’ve decided not to continue with our sessions. I’ve taken some time to reflect and I __(insert reason)_.
Thank you again for our time together.
5). You’re in control
Ideally, the decision to end therapy is because you have received the tools you need to take on the world and your therapist will be happy for you. If for some reason that is not the case, you have complete freedom to walk away. You will make the most progress in therapy when you are in an environment and with a provider who is best suited for you. Like any relationship, you should never settle for a therapist for fear of hurting their feelings. Do what's best for you!
The process of finding the right therapist can be challenging, and each step you take in receiving the care you need counts as progress. If you don’t find the right therapist the first time, don't give up. Unmute aims to make this process easier by matching you with a therapist that meets your needs. If you’re interested in getting matched to the right therapist today, you can start here.
The author of this article, Patricia Cole, is an Unmute Therabuddy. Therabuddies are everyday people, many with lived experience in muted or marginalized communities who have experienced the challenges of finding the right therapist and want to help make it easier for you!