Ending counselling – How clients can complete the therapeutic relationship in a healthy way

How often do you get an opportunity to end a relationship well?

Whether you come to counselling for a few weeks, a few months or a few years, one day you will decide you are ready to stop.

Like all good relationships, your relationship with me will include mutual trust and respect. Ending your therapeutic relationship with me (or any therapist) will ideally reflect this mutual trust and respect. This means discussing and planning the ending together.

Part of my job is saying goodbye to clients. I welcome these milestones, and I ask you to give me the opportunity to share them with you.

Occasionally clients stop coming to their sessions without warning. This is one way to end therapy, but it’s not the best way. An intentional completion to the end of the counselling relationship is usually in your best interest.

Sometimes clients are ashamed to miss a scheduled session without notice, and they avoid coming back. I charge for missed sessions because it is a sustainable business practice, but also to keep the slate clean. Virtually all longer-term clients miss sessions at some point. They pay for their missed session, and we move on. It’s no big deal. Please don’t let missed sessions get in the way.

If you must end our therapeutic relationship without warning for some reason, I will not hold it against you. But I ask, if at all possible, please allow us the chance to collaborate on an ending that feels good and honours us both.

Thank you for your consideration.

All my best,

Campbell River Counselling - Justice Schanfarber - Hakomi