VIDEO: Ending Therapy: The Importance of Planned Termination

How to Ease the Transition Out of the Therapy Relationship

Of course, all good therapists want to bring their clients to a place where they’ve met their therapy goals and achieved the necessary growth to feel comfortable ending the therapy relationship. But therapists and clients may not always be operating on the same timetable—one may feel that it’s time to terminate therapy, while the other is sure that there’s still work to be done. So how can you make sure that you aren’t prematurely ending therapy with a client who isn’t ready to go it alone yet?

Lisa Ferentz—president and founder of The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc.—emphasizes the importance of making sure that any therapy termination is a planned one, and she has a helpful technique that she employs at the end of any therapy relationship.

Watch the clip below to hear Lisa talk about planned termination and learn about a simple homework assignment that you can start using immediately to effectively ease clients out of the therapy relationship.




Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

Lisa Ferentz

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, is a recognized expert in the strengths-based, de-pathologized treatment of trauma and has been in private practice for more than 35 years. She presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally and internationally, and is a clinical consultant to practitioners and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland. In 2009 she was voted the “Social Worker of Year” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. Lisa is the author of Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2014)Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing (Routledge, 2014), and Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch (PESI, 2017).