Should I Continue Therapy if I Think I am Done?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am a 19-year-old girl and for the past four years I suffered from at first anorexia and then later bulimia. I was already seeing a therapist and a nutritionist before college. My bulimia got really bad when I left to go to college and I would binge/purge anywhere from 4-5 times a day. I also was cutting myself. I hid it for a long time but I came home on spring break and my parents and therapist found out and I had to stop. I am now 3 months into recovery and I do not intend to go back to my eating disordered ways. I don’t ever feel the urge to cut myself or b/p anymore. I am loving life and I feel recovered. My parents however do not want me to stop therapy. Every time I bring it up they freak out and act like I am crazy for even considering it. I want to feel normal again, I do not want to have to go to therapy anymore and I do not feel like there is anything else in my therapy sessions that I can do. Every goal my therapist has set for me I have accomplished and I want to stop. How do I approach this?

A: I’m very happy to hear that you have done so well! Perhaps the best thing is to negotiate a termination plan with you therapist. Rather than see this is a black-and-white dividing line between therapy or no therapy, perhaps cutting back if you were going weekly perhaps shift every other and as you continue to do well find ways to move it to monthly.

The important thing here is that you have people in your life love you, care about you and want you to succeed. I would talk to the therapist about negotiating a plan so that termination of therapy is a success.

I talk about how important termination in therapy is in this blog. Although this article is about group therapy, many of the same principles apply to ending in individual.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jun 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Should I Continue Therapy if I Think I am Done?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/29/should-i-continue-therapy-if-i-think-i-am-done/