The aim of this study is to understand art therapy trainees’ experience of the premature termination of
institution-based art therapy. Fourteen students participated in the study. 13 of them are in their master’s
degree in art therapy and one has already earned a master’s degree. Max van Manen’s approach was
applied to interpret the data, and 13 essential themes and 35 sub-themes were identified. According to the
findings, participants have negative emotional experience attributed to premature termination, but they take
it as growing pains. Second, even though participants have agreed to premature termination, they realize
that they should have a voice in deciding termination in order to secure sessions for proper termination.
Third, participants realize that they should quickly notice and react to what a client needs and requests in
the early stage of sessions because a session may not go as planned and be prematurely terminated. Fourth,
participants need guidance such as supervision to overcome the negative effects of premature termination
and, as a result, they acquire an objective perspective on premature termination.