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Knowing When to Part Ways with Your Therapist

Explore the Signals and Steps to Transition from Your Current Therapist for Better Mental Health Outcomes

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Breaking up is hard to do—especially when it involves your therapist. But just like any relationship, the fit between a client and a therapist might not always be right forever. Whether your goals have shifted, progress has stalled, or you simply don't click anymore, recognizing it's time for a change is crucial to your mental health journey. Here’s how to know when it’s time and the best way to approach this transition.


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Recognizing the Signs

It's not always obvious when the therapeutic relationship is no longer beneficial. However, certain signs can indicate it might be time to consider a switch:

  1. Progress Plateaus: You feel like you're not making the progress you anticipated, despite giving therapy your best effort.

  2. Mismatched Goals: Your therapist’s approach no longer aligns with your evolving goals or needs.

  3. Lack of Connection: You no longer feel understood or supported by your therapist.

How to Break Up With Your Therapist

Once you've decided it's time to move on, the next step is to plan your exit respectfully and professionally:

  1. Communicate Openly: Be honest about your feelings and why you think it’s time to end the therapy sessions. Most therapists are open to feedback and appreciate closure.

  2. Plan Your Next Steps: Before ending your current therapy, research and identify another therapist who seems like a better fit.

  3. Manage the Transition: Ask your current therapist for a referral or for their help in transitioning to someone new.

Open Lines of Communication

Jane, a 29-year-old software developer, realized she needed to change therapists when sessions with her current therapist became more frustrating than helpful. “I felt stuck, and my sessions became a routine rather than a relief,” Jane shared. After discussing her feelings openly with her therapist, they agreed it was time for her to move on, which she describes as a “liberating decision.”

Changing therapists can be a big step, but it’s often a necessary one for your mental health. If you’re experiencing signs that your current therapist isn’t the best fit anymore, trust your instincts. Need help finding a new therapist or want more tips on ending things on good terms? Check out these resources for more information and guidance: American Psychological Association | Talkspace | Therapy for Black Girls.

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