How does counseling end?

How does a counselor decide when to end counseling sessions or to terminate working with a client?

Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

This is a question that is very specific to each person. There are definitely some variables, but I can give you some general ideas for when counseling might end:

  • When a client has met all of their goals, at least to a degree when they feel that they no longer need to work on them with the assistance of a counselor
  • Sometimes a decision is made that a client is no longer benefiting from counseling at a certain time
  • Sometimes clients have to remain in counseling in order to receive medication. This depends on agency policy, but sometimes it is a requirement. If the medication is necessary and cannot be prescribed by a primary care physician, frequency of sessions is usually decreased greatly

I'm not sure why you are asking this question, but it is also something that is often discussed at the beginning of treatment. Oftentimes "discharge goals" change as treatment progresses because more is known about clients, their goals, changes in their goals, and many other things. Changes are normal, but your counselor probably has discharge goals in mind, at least generally, from the beginning. I strongly encourage you to ask about it!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

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