How to end relationship counselling

Been attending relationship counselling for some time and starting to feel it is time to end? Before you do decide to leave, there are a few points worth pondering on:

  1. Have you achieved all your goals? Has relationship counselling helped you progress in the way you had hoped when you first started?
  2. Are there any issues on the back burner because you had to prioritise more urgent problems? What has happened to those issues? Are they still relevant?
  3. Has relationship counselling identified issues that you were not aware of? Have these been addressed satisfactorily?
  4. What learning do you take away from relationship counselling?

Exploring the above questions with your therapist will help you understand if you are ready to end. relationship counselling.

Sometimes couples end relationship counselling sooner because they are running out of money or because the alliance with the therapist has broken down. Let’s take a closer look at both instances.

Money & relationship counselling

Money surely is an important factor in therapy and it can be tempting to end sooner particularly if you have had lots of sessions and you feel you want to invest in other aspects of your life. However therapy is exactly that, an investment.  As with any investment it is important to commit the right amount of time and resources to it. Stopping your investment too soon can save money it the short term but how will it affect growth of your existing wealth? Similarly in therapy, how will the decision to end relationship counselling affect the growth/development of your relationship? If there are still issues on the back burner how will they impact you in the long term? Sure, it is always possible to resume relationship counselling at a later day. However re-engaging with therapy can take time.  Clients sometimes take several sessions before getting used to the process again. There is a good chance that if you end early, you may end up spending more money going back to therapy later on. Your relationship too, might not unfold as well as you might have expected following your therapy.

Ending because you are annoyed with your therapist

If you are wanting to end relationship counselling because you are annoyed at your therapist or feel hurt by them, then discuss this with them first. Raising issues you have with your therapist can be very empowering and often can contribute towards resolving the very same issues that brought you to therapy. If you leave without addressing what angers or upsets you then you will most likely loose an opportunity to learn about your relationship patterns not to mention the fact that the same issue is highly likely to reoccur with another therapist. Why then spend more money starting afresh with a new therapist when this issue can most likely be resolved in your current therapy? Save yourself time and make the most of the money you have invested so far by being up front with your therapist. If you are afraid remember that therapists are trained to listen and not to take things personally. If your therapist starts to become defensive about your feedback or your decision to leave then you are definitely right to move on. Have you reached the stage where your therapeutic relationship can no longer be repaired? Feel free to contact me today to discuss your concerns.

How much notice to end relationship counselling

There are no hard or fast rules about how much notice you need to give to end relationship counselling. It mostly depends on what you agreed with your therapist when you set out your contract during the first session. Most relationship counsellors will ask for at least one week’s notice. In some instances that is sufficient and at other times more than one session may be needed to ensure that you can make a good ending. As a rule of thumb you may want to give one week notice for every twelve sessions. This allows all parties involved sufficient time to review the work, summarise the learning and prepare for the ending. It will also give your therapist an opportunity to get your feedback. Lastly, in case you are worried that they might try to persuade you to continue, remember that counsellors and psychotherapists have an ethical duty to respect the autonomy of their clients.


Please click on the following links to find answers to the most frequently asked questions about relationship counselling.

What does relationship counselling involve?

What happens in relationship counselling? What is it like?

What does relationship counselling do? What are the benefits?

How can it help?

How much does it cost?

How long does it take?

Who has relationship counselling?

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