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Page Contents: Terminating psychotherapy.                    


I have been in individual and couples therapy for close to two and half years. I (and my partner as well) feel like we would like to terminate the relationship for a number of reasons. Can you provide some guidelines as to what and how is the best way to communicate this desire? I don’t want to get into some battle or confrontation or upset my psychotherapist.

We can get to the answer to your question by asking another question. Why does anyone go into psychotherapy and couples counseling in the first place? Well, it should be to learn how to encounter life with emotional genuineness and honesty so that all of your relationships can be open and clean.

Most of us are held back from such honesty by unconscious conflicts—usually deriving from childhood emotional wounds—about resentment and anger; we fear that if we do allow ourselves to be open and honest with someone, all of that hidden resentment will erupt to the surface like a volcano and we will end up in some sort of battle or confrontation. So, out of pure fear, we end up using all sorts of perversions to distract us from—and to avoid—the real issue: the dark and ugly side of our unconscious.

Now, the sad thing in your case is that, despite having been in treatment for two and a half years, you are still terrified that emotional honesty will lead to “battle and confrontation.” Clearly, something has been missed in your psychotherapy. Instead of terminating, you might consider getting to the real issues about the unconscious resentment you have been avoiding all your life—and are avoiding even now in psychotherapy.

Unfortunately, you also have a “partner” who is being shown here as a “partner in perversion,” encouraging you to avoid the real issues. Most likely, this person is primarily concerned about protecting his or her own self-interests and is terrified that if you do encounter your real issues in psychotherapy you will develop some self-confidence, see perversion for what it is, and will then end an emotionally stifling “partnership.”


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