How To End Your Therapy Session On Time Without Feeling Guilty

Today we are going to show you a couple of techniques to end your therapy sessions on time.

Ending therapy sessions on time is a tricky business.

Am I being rude?

Is my client offended?

Is there an easier way to do this? 

Therapy sessions can go over their time slots for a number of reasons.

Your clients may just be too in-depth in what they are talking about, or sometimes they just won’t get up. You could be feeling weird about how you should end the session and you may be lacking the proper boundaries to just end it.


It’s always okay to make your own call if you need to end a therapy session on time.

If safety is involved, always do what is best for your client.

There is always the possibility that you may just feel that you all aren’t ready to end your session at that moment, and if you have the time, there is nothing wrong with extending it.

You’re the boss here. The decision lays on your shoulders.



1. Have A visible Clock To End The Therapy Session-

Keep this where you and your client can see it. Here is a really cool one from walmart that would be great for your area.

This is going to give them the ability to keep track of their own therapy sessions, which is what most clients will do for you. This helps you if you are guilty of not being aware of the time too.

We recommend that you have a large digital clock so it doesn’t take effort for them to keep track. Having a couple throughout your space so no matter where they sit it is visible to them can promote this as well.

2. Use A Silent Alarm On Your Watch

Or phone, set it 10 minutes before the session should end so you can start directing the session towards a close.

Just the vibrate setting for an alarm works perfectly, allowing you to know it’s time without your client being startled.

end therapy session

3. Verbal Cues To End Your Therapy Session

Feel free to give your client a 5-minute warning so they can find a wrapping point in the session.

This is one of the more bold tips we are going to give you, and it works best with clients who you’re struggling to set firm boundaries with.

They are most likely having boundary issues themselves, so making sure you’re leading and showing them that boundaries are extremely important.

4. Schedule The Next Therapy Session

Pull out your planner or go to your computer, start to plan your next appointment, asking them when they want to set the next one so they know that today’s session is over.


5. Front-load The Therapy Session

Let the client know from the start that you will be ending the session on time today.

Be sure to emphasize that on the time part, so they are aware you aren’t ending it early and the time they have gotten used to is in fact too long. Taking accountability here for letting the sessions run over is a good way to go into this.

6. Non-verbal Cues To End The Therapy Session 

These can be a range of things, like closing the notepad, moving to the edge of the seat, and going over to open the door. These all signal to your client that you are ending the session.

7. Redirect Leaving Comments 

You know the comments where the client drops a huge bomb on you as they are walking out the door?

Affirm the client and let them know you all will cover that in the next session. This is an easy one to get drawn into, so be careful.

end therapy session

8. Between Session Availability

This is a really handy one to have if some of your clients are going through a really hard time.

As you are wrapping up the session remind them of this option. Let them know if they are feeling down in a couple of hours or days that they can call you for a quick session. 

Just be sure you are setting strong boundaries here to prevent burnout, we have that blog linked right here if you missed it. 

9. Shift directions To End The Therapy Session

Start to angle the session into recap mode. Stop asking heavy questions to help ease into this.

If you make a habit out of this at the end of every session, your client will likely pick up on this.

Tailor whatever approach you feel is best for the current client you are working with. Remember not every client is the same and they may need different approaches.

Leave us comments on how much this video helped end your sessions on time.

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