Leaving Therapy

By Will

I will always remember these words from my first therapist “You begin to live when you leave therapy.” I like to think that you can also live when you are in analysis as well, but if you are like me, you may carry your therapist around in your pocket some of the time. So how does that enable you to be free? Having this little thinking and reflecting ‘action man’ with you at all times can be both comforting and irritating. If you have experienced some extremely emotional situations with your therapist, and you have felt comforted by him, you may tend to elevate your analyst to a God like status as they become the Master, the Knower or the Buddha. This can put you in a juxtaposition and in day to day situations you may be influenced by your therapist, and you may judge many of your actions and thoughts with him in mind.

The thought of leaving therapy can be daunting. What will happen to me when I leave? Will I be able to cope? Is our work really finished or is my ego forcing me to end the relationship? Is my therapist trapping me? You may be reluctant to leave therapy as you do not want to hurt your therapists feelings. These are vital issues that require working through and together you both may reach a better understanding. It is almost impossible for both Therapist and Patient to collectively feel that therapy is over simultaneously, so one person as in all relationships, may feel at a loss. When we leave therapy knowing we have not addressed all our problems we may be mindful that we will always have problems and issues to solve as this is part of being human. We can cling to all sorts of illusions and justifications in regards to ending the theraputic relationship but I guess the obvious reason for leaving therapy is that you want to.

We may sometimes loose sight of the fact that therapy is self-centered and your therapy is about what is good for you. After all, your therapist has worked on themselves and should be able to digest the loss and work through it alone or with supervision.

“Intimate knowledge creates vulnerability. Where intimate knowledge is asymmetrical, vulnerability is also. Whoever is known most about is usually the vulnerable one, for multiple reasons. In psychotherapy, this vulnerable one is the client.”

*Quote by ~ http://sleightmind.wordpress.com


Filed under My Experiences On The Couch

9 responses to “Leaving Therapy

  1. Diana

    very nicely put.

  2. I cannot think we are the only ones to feel that way Will, but I certainly understand what your saying. My counsellor enjoyed our sessions because I loved to talk about myself, and that I was a thinker and not everybody is. I miss the sessions also.

  3. Larry Wasserman

    No one should endure the pain of analysis or the insincerity of analysts. Unconditional love is really nonjudgmentality which in turn means “I don’t really care.”. Save a fortune and go on some very nice vacations. Or spend a fortune and pay for the analyst’s — laughing at you all the way.

  4. I am in the mental process of leaving individual therapy. I am in a group therapy as well (with the same therapist) after 6 years it is time to leave individual. I just can’t pull the trigger on it and he doesn’t think I am ready. can anyone give some advice?

    • Hi Chris, first of all many thanks for commenting. Obviously it is difficult to comment with such little info but having the same therapist in group therapy, as well as individual therapy, may create extra weight in your work with your therapist. The dynamics in the group may leak over into your individual work. In regards to individual therapy I do find it interesting that you… “can’t pull the trigger on it” its as if you want to shoot at the situation. Also I find it interesting that you’re therapist does not think that you are ready, as this is something that you have to decide for yourself. I am nearly 5 years into my second therapy so I do understand your frustration. It’s difficult to get into therapy and also difficult to get out!

      Many thanks


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