How does counseling end?

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

David Klein
David Klein
Humanistic, LGBT-Affirmative Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples

As a therapist who believes in client self-determination above most other elements of the process, I want to as much as possible leave it up to the client to determine when they are finished. In the case of a termination because a client's distress has resolved, I might periodically check in with the client about how therapy has been going, and if we want to re-evaluate where we are.

The more unfortunate situation would come about if I felt that I wasn't the best fit for the client. I would offer that in words, and ideas of therapists (with names) of who I thought might be a better fit and why. It still is up to the client whether to continue, however should they want to keep seeing me, a part of the work would be about that want (to see someone who professionally doesn't believe they can help as much as someone else.)

I also find it perplexing when I hear a client (or on a personal level) tell me that their therapist said they "didn't need therapy." I don't know that I buy into that scenario all that much, because I do believe that yes, not everyone NEEDS therapy, but that everyone CAN benefit from therapy and I don't believe it is the therapist's job to deter someone from ever seeking out help of any kind.

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 or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

View 21 other answers

More Answers