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Reasons why people quit therapy

therapist session with client

Reasons why people quit therapy

About half of people who begin therapy quit before ever meeting their mental health goals. But why? Is it because they got busy or distracted?

A new study shows that's not always the case. The therapist can often be the reason why a client quits therapy.

Emily Janes of Texas Tech University, alongside other researchers, conducted the study by analyzing several TikTok videos of people speaking about their experience at therapy.

Whether you're a provider or a potential client, you'll find the information helpful.

5 common reasons people quit therapy

  1. Invalidation by their therapist
  2. Therapist talked excessively, making the client passive
  3. Religious mismatch between therapist and client
  4. Being doubted by the therapist
  5. Therapist not acting professionally

While the TikTokers recounted a variety of negative experiences during therapy, certain ones pretty much stood out.

One of the foremost reasons people quit therapy is invalidation by their therapist. Some of the TikTokers believed their therapist downplayed their issues and invalidated their identities like they weren't substantial enough.

Some creators also opened up about how their therapists talked too much without allowing the clients enough opportunity to express themselves without interruption. More like, the clients became passive spectators.

For others, the therapist imposed their religious beliefs on the client even though such beliefs were miles apart from the client's views, making treatment impossible. Of course, for therapy to work, both parties must be in tune, working hand-in-hand.

But even more concerning was that some of these TikTok creators referenced how their therapists responded to their story of trauma with disbelief like the patient didn't know what they were talking about. One of the creators quoted their therapist as saying, "I know you said you were sexually abused by a family member, but are you sure? I don't really think he would do something like that."

One thing is clear in all of these: the therapists didn't act professionally.

Therapy sessions should be a safe space where anyone should be free to express their concerns without fear of judgment or mistrust. While we all have our beliefs and biases, professionals should understand that imposing their beliefs against the client's wishes will not foster an atmosphere where healing can take place.

For therapy to work, the patient has to be in the driver's seat. The therapist's job is to guide the patient, to help them uncover the source of issues, and to recommend -- not impose -- possible solutions.

Take a step today

If you've stopped therapy because of a negative experience with your provider or are afraid to try because of these fears, you can take a bold step. All it takes is to find a true professional.

At Hope Mental Health, we put you in the driver's seat. Here, we believe in diversity, and while we can suggest different treatment measures that suit you, it's up to you at the end of the day. We will never impose anything or demean your concerns and beliefs. We only want to help you get well again.

Contact us today.

Author
Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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