Thecognitive treatment approach is used to facilitate a collaborativerelationship between the counselor and a client. The therapist helpsthe patient develop skills for identifying and changing distressingemotional responses and problematic behavior (McCarthy& Archer, 2013).Accordingly, the treatment can take on a skill-building approach,where the counselor helps the client learn and practice helpfulskills independently so that he or she can continue to apply themonce the therapy is terminated. The process can also be onproblem-solving oriented, which is often focused on the currentsituation the client is experiencing.
However,this treatment can affect the termination of the therapeutic process.Cognitive therapy must be based on a trusting relationship becausethe counselor has to make the client feel valued unconditionally. Thepatient may become too dependent on the therapist thus, he or shemay be reluctant to end the counseling (McCarthy& Archer, 2013).For this reason, the client may feel anger towards the counselor andperceive the termination as a form of abandonment. Besides, thepatient may be anxious at the thought of having to handle thingswithout the support he or she had found in the therapeuticrelationship. Therefore, the attachment the client forms with thecounselor makes termination process more complicated and challenging.
Insome situations, the patient can initiate the termination process ifhe or she determines that the agreed-upon objectives have not beenmet or when he or she no longer experiences the problematic symptoms(Griffin,2011).Furthermore, if the client is not pleased with the progress of thetreatment, he or she may terminate the counseling sessions. In such acase, the patient may be unsatisfied by the therapist’s approach orwhen the patient believes that he or she has made all the progressthat can be achieved with that counselor. As a result, the clientmight stop attending psychotherapy or seek treatment with anothertherapist (Griffin,2011).Then again, lack of the proper boundaries between the counselor andthe patient can influence the client’s decision to terminatepsychotherapy. For example, if the patient experiencescountertransference where the therapist is always talking about hisor her life, the client may lose confidence in the counselor’sability to help.
Onthe other hand, the therapist can terminate the process if he or shesees that the client has made the desired progress towards achievingthe goals, the client no longer exhibits behavioral symptoms, or thepatient has gained enough insight to deal with similar problems inthe future (Griffin,2011).Additionally, conflict of interest can influence the counselor’sexperience of termination. In some instances, a therapist can engagein some activities or relationship that hinders his or her ability toaccomplish the professional duties to the client. Consequently, thetherapeutic process is terminated, and the counselor provides thepatient with appropriate referrals (Griffin,2011).Nevertheless, termination should be a time to evaluate the workaccomplished, examine if the set goals were achieved, and explore anydisappointments with the process.
Griffin,M. (2011). Parting Ways: Anticipating and Avoiding Problems WhichCommonly Occur During Termination. TheTherapist.Retrieved fromhttps://www.camft.org/ias/images/PDFs/AttorneyArticles/Mike/Parting_Ways.pdf
McCarthy,C. J. & Archer, J., Jr. (2013). Theoriesof counseling and psychotherapy.San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.