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Is ‘You’ll know when it’s the right time to end therapy’ just a big myth? (And how do I unattach from my therapist to end therapy?!)

I felt all these things when my therapy was ending. I had to face that my child parts loved her and didn’t want to let go.
Can I ask - how did you go about your therapy ending?
Did you find a way to make it feel less painful in terms of the attachment/loss? Or is it just that you've got to suck it up - it will be painful, but you know you'll survive, so just get on with it?!
 
I was on my way to ending and then she was retiring so I had no choice. But I had to suck it up too. She gently laughed at me sobbing on the last day and reminded me how far I’ve come. I’m still allowed to reach out to her but no more sessions.
 
Omg, I feel totally the same.
I wrote in my diary that the thought of putting that laptop down for one last time seems SUCH an anti climax to a wonderful relationship.
What an odd, lonely, dispiriting way to say goodbye.
But......exploring that with her might be really good. I've not explored that yet with my T. Half of me wants her to suggest she would do an in-person last session. But another part thinks that would be so weird and embarrassing as I wouldn't know how to be in person with her.

Either way, it would be good to explore with her. She does these goodbyes so she knows how to help navigate them.


You are not alone in how you feel about this at all. And it's entirely reasonable.

Maybe there is a way to do a virtual hug goodbye? Idk??
Yeah...it's a strange way to wrap up a longstanding relationship that's been really important....pressing 'leave' on a zoom call!

In terms of exploring this with her...it sort of feels like there isn't really an in to talk more about ending therapy with her...because, whenever I've brought it up, I always just get the same thing: it's my decision, whatever I decide and whenever I decide it, she will support me....if I leave, she will miss me but that is for her...and it can be fluid and flexible and if I want to see her less regularly, pause, or stop altogether, she will always be there if I ever want to schedule a session/sessions at any point in the future...

She doesn't seem to lean in to what I'm actually saying about my feelings about it. I'm quite reigned in about it....can't bring myself to actually say how much I'll miss her...but I've said that, just the thought of it feels painful and makes me feel teary.... But her response to that is to say the above....not to really try to explore the feelings. I think she thinks reassuring me that I can have a session anytime in the future even if I have 'ended therapy' it will soothe anxiety about stopping...but the pain and the loss and the sadness....she doesn't really seem to engage with that....she doesn't really invite more of a discussion around it.

A virtual hug goodbye...? Hmm... I don't know... Not sure what/how that would be...?

Tbh, I don't even know if I would want/feel ok with having a hug in person anyway. I've been thinking about that since I posted about it earlier - trying to see, if we were still meeting in person, do I think I would be up for that. And, if so, does that mean I am ready to end? But I'm just finding it really intangible to think about...I suppose because I know that's not what we're doing...I'm just not finding it possible to imagine the 'what if?'
 
can't bring myself to actually say how much I'll miss her...but I've said that, just the thought of it feels painful and makes me feel teary.... But her response to that is to say the above....not to really try to explore the feelings. I think she thinks reassuring me that I can have a session anytime in the future even if I have 'ended therapy' it will soothe anxiety about stopping...but the pain and the loss and the sadness....she doesn't really seem to engage with that...
This seems like an opportunity to work together. This is real work which can benefit you, especially in regards to sharing stuff with your friends.

When I got to the end I said to T, “But I never told you how much you mean to me!” She said I told her many times.
 
I was on my way to ending and then she was retiring so I had no choice. But I had to suck it up too. She gently laughed at me sobbing on the last day and reminded me how far I’ve come. I’m still allowed to reach out to her but no more sessions.
Oh sorry, I think I already knew that, that your T retired. Sorry!
 
This seems like an opportunity to work together. This is real work which can benefit you, especially in regards to sharing stuff with your friends.

When I got to the end I said to T, “But I never told you how much you mean to me!” She said I told her many times.
I think if I bring it up again she will just repeat her usual about it's my choice if I want to continue or finish, and that she will always be there if I want to get in touch...she just doesn't really say anything when I say about ending therapy being a painful loss and difficult for me to think about... She just sort of smiles and nods as if she knows...but

That's sweet that she said you had told her....I wonder if you had literally told her...or whether it was implicit....that other things you'd said meant that she knew that's how you felt. I'm sure my T knew that I was expressing that I'd miss her, even though I don't think I actually said that. I'd feel too mortified to say that.
 
I think I feel embarrassed by it as it sounds like a childish, simplistic - and perhaps romantic - notion of ending therapy.
Pfft. Nope! It’s neither childish, simplistic, nor romantic. It’s a very reasonable goal… now somewhat thwarted… leaving a void wanting filled.


Of both how I’ll know.
And how it will actually be.

If you haven’t done it before? How on earth could you have any faith in it? Faith is built by experience, and later by expectations (experience) being met. It’s 100% natural for your mind to be spinning possibilities. To be uncertain. To not know “how”, becuase it hasn’t happened… yet.

***
I used to end therapy, all the durn time, not because I was “done” but because I was moving. So it created a very solid series of expectations / I had total faith in the process.

You haven’t had that. You’ve had ONE person, for TEN years, and zero experience transitioning.

It’s new. New things are hard.
 
Pfft. Nope! It’s neither childish, simplistic, nor romantic. It’s a very reasonable goal… now somewhat thwarted… leaving a void wanting filled.




If you haven’t done it before? How on earth could you have any faith in it? Faith is built by experience, and later by expectations (experience) being met. It’s 100% natural for your mind to be spinning possibilities. To be uncertain. To not know “how”, becuase it hasn’t happened… yet.

***
I used to end therapy, all the durn time, not because I was “done” but because I was moving. So it created a very solid series of expectations / I had total faith in the process.

You haven’t had that. You’ve had ONE person, for TEN years, and zero experience transitioning.

It’s new. New things are hard.
Thank you, Friday… I hadn’t thought about it this way but what you’ve said makes sense.
I’ll try to remember it!
 
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