Termination of psychotherapy: a training perspective

J Psychiatr Pract. 2000 Nov;6(6):334-40. doi: 10.1097/00131746-200011000-00004.


Given the constraints of the prevailing mental health system in the United States, it has become very challenging for psychiatrists to offer psychotherapy services to patients in need of this modality of treatment. In spite of this situation, the profession has made a consistent effort not only to retain this type of psychiatric care but also to train psychiatric residents in this psychiatric intervention technique and its appropriate indications. In this article, the authors highlight a very important aspect of psychotherapy treatment-the termination phase. They review relevant literature on this subject, discuss some of the most common problems faced by psychiatrists, especially psychiatric residents, when addressing the termination phase of psychotherapy, and then present two cases to illustrate these issues.