Why Do People Drop Out of Therapy Before They Are Ready?

Therapy can be a life-changing experience for many people. It gives you a safe and supportive space to explore difficult emotions, learn new coping mechanisms, and work toward personal growth. However, not everyone who starts therapy continues with it until they feel ready to end. Studies have shown that between 20-57% of people discontinue therapy before they are ready.

Reasons Why People Drop Out of Therapy Before They Are Ready

  • Feeling Judged and Misunderstood by the Therapist

To be able to open up and express their deepest feelings and ideas with their therapist, clients must first feel safe and at ease with them. If a client feels that their therapist is judging them or not understanding them, they may be less likely to continue with therapy.

  • Perceived Lack of Progress

Therapy can be a slow process, and it is not always easy to see progress right away. This can be frustrating for clients, and some may give up on therapy if they do not feel like they are making progress quickly enough.

  • Feeling Overwhelmed

Therapy can involve confronting difficult emotions and memories. This can be overwhelming for some people, and they may choose to leave therapy as a way of coping.

  • Financial Limitations

Therapy can be expensive, and some people may not be able to afford to continue with it. Insurance may not cover the full cost of therapy, and co-pays and deductibles can add up.

  • Negative Past Experiences

A person may be less likely to seek out treatment again if they have had a bad experience with it in the past. This could be due to a number of factors, such as feeling like they were not helped by their therapist, feeling like they were not taken seriously, or feeling like they were pressured to talk about things they were not ready to talk about.

Tips to Help You Stay in Therapy and Get the Most Out of It

Here are some tips for staying in therapy and getting the most out of it:

  1. Find a therapist who you feel comfortable and safe with. This is the most important factor in a successful therapy relationship.
  2. Be honest and open with your therapist. This can be difficult, but it is essential for them to help you effectively.
  3. Be patient. Change takes time, and therapy is no exception. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
  4. Do your homework. Many therapists will give you assignments to complete outside of therapy. These assignments can help you to consolidate what you are learning in therapy and to make progress towards your goals.
  5. Communicate with your therapist about your expectations. Let them know what you are hoping to achieve in therapy and how they can best support you.


Therapy can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It can help you to understand yourself better, learn new coping mechanisms, and overcome your challenges. However, it is essential to be realistic about what to expect from therapy. It is not a quick fix, and it takes time and effort to see results.

If you are considering leaving therapy before you feel ready, it is essential to talk to your therapist about your reasons for doing so. They may be able to help you address your concerns and find ways to continue with therapy.

Remember, you are not alone. Many people leave therapy before they are ready for a variety of reasons. However, with the right support, you can overcome the barriers that are preventing you from getting the most out of therapy.