How to terminate a counseling relationship

Termination: 10 Tips When Ending Psychotherapy

how to terminate a counseling relationship

Termination is the final stage of the counseling process but is not something that how the client will handle the conclusion of the counseling relationship, and. Standard , Terminating Therapy, requires that the psychotherapy relationship be ended when the client is not benefiting from treatment, is not likely to. Termination refers to ending the therapeutic relationship with a client. One of the main issues that the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and.

Termination and Abandonment

A question to ask prior to the final one, which may help to prepare clients for the reality of the end, is "If this were our last meeting, how would that be for you? This is a good way to wean your client of the relationship and foster in them a sense of confidence in their ability to handle things without seeing you on a weekly basis before the relationship abruptly ends.

Review the progress that you and the client have made during your sessions.

how to terminate a counseling relationship

Very often, clients will forget the advances they have made, or neglect to give themselves credit for their accomplishments. Doing this with them can instill confidence and provide them with a positive perspective on what counseling helped them to do.

Ending counselling

Ask your clients what they learned, what they intend to do with what they have learned, what they found helpful about their sessions and how they felt about their participation in the process. Allow clients to talk about their feelings surrounding termination. They will likely have many emotions to work through and time should be spent acknowledging and processing them.

TERMINATION OF COUNSELING - School of Education - Syracuse University

Be aware of your own feelings surrounding the termination process. It is normal to feel many emotions when ending a relationship with your clients.

Acknowledge your feelings, your ambivalence about termination, etc. Always keep in mind that your ultimate goal as a counselor is to "put yourself out of business. They will have the tools to help themselves. If possible, have an open-door policy.

  • Ethical Requirements for Psychotherapists
  • Ending the Psychotherapy Relationship

Once termination has ended, clients may want to return a few months or years later to refocus or to "check-in". This is often impossible in the training setting, but something to keep in mind for your professional career.

It may be initiated by mutual agreement, by the psychotherapist, or by the client.

how to terminate a counseling relationship

Termination by Mutual Agreement Sometimes, due to the nature of the treatment, termination occurs when the treatment process is complete Joyce et al. This may occur when the agreed upon treatment goals have been achieved or when treatment is time limited and the agreed upon number of treatment sessions have been provided. Psychotherapist Initiated Termination In keeping with Standard A range of issues may also result in the psychotherapist initiating treatment termination such as a planned retirement from practice or leave of absence, or if the psychotherapist will be at the treatment site for a limited period of time such as a trainee on internship.

The Ethics of Psychotherapy Termination

Additionally, as is highlighted in Standard The client may move from the area such as due to a job transfer, retirement, or seeking employment opportunities elsewhere. Landmark legal rulings such as Capps v. Valk and Collins v. Meekerand reaffirmed in Sparks v. Hicksset a legal precedent on termination and abandonment. What the clinician must do, however, is to take necessary actions to help ensure that any ongoing treatment needs the client has are adequately met.

Thus, this standard of care requires that clients not be abandoned but that any ongoing treatment needs be openly discussed as a part of the treatment process and that relevant referrals are made and adequate time is given so that the client may obtain needed treatment.

Termination: 10 Tips When Ending Psychotherapy

As is stated in the ruling of Capps v. Recommendations for Ethical Practice Include discussions of treatment termination and possible interruptions of treatment, to include emergency contact procedures and treatment coverage arrangements in ongoing informed consent discussions. Be sure that ongoing treatment needs can appropriately be met either personally or by those to whom you delegate this responsibility and inform clients of these arrangements in advance.

Include processes and procedures in employment and practice contracts that ensure that client treatment needs will be met should you leave the practice setting or be otherwise unable to provide needed treatment.

This will help both psychotherapist and client determine if goals were successfully met. Consult with colleagues to obtain a second or third! If treatment needs to be ended when ongoing client needs exist, discuss this openly with the client, offer referral recommendations, and provide some reasonable period of time for the client to make contact with and arrange for treatment with another psychotherapist.

Document all these discussions and actions. Make a reasonable good faith effort to contact the client and go on record with your recommendations for any ongoing needed treatment and the reasons why. Sample letters that may be modified by psychotherapists to fit individual situations and then be sent to clients to fulfill this obligation may be found in Barnett, MacGlashan, and Clarke and in Barnett, Zimmerman, and Walfish Remember that ideally, termination should be planned for, discussed openly in treatment, and be an essential aspect of the treatment process that assists the client toward effective independent functioning.

It is also important to emphasize that termination is not absolute; it should be made clear that clients may contact you if difficulties are experienced in the future and they would like assistance in addressing them at that time.

A proactive approach to ethical practice.