Towards the end of your CBT treatment, you usually become prepared to stop therapy and deal with your symptoms by yourself. This is Stage 4.
In a sense your therapy does not stop. Your sessions with the therapist stop, but you continue the treatment on your own. You become your own therapist.
One of the important differences between CBT and other treatments is that in CBT you learn to treat yourself. So if you have a long-term condition, the benefits of CBT continue in the long term.
If your condition is completely addressed by CBT therapy, you can still use CBT techniques by yourself in the future. You can use them to deal with relapses, or with completely different issues that arise in your life.
What to expect from Stage 4
Like the other stages of CBT, Stage 4 might not be very clear cut. You start to work with your own symptoms in the early sessions of your CBT treatment. You simply continue doing this after your treatment has ended.
So as you approach the end of your treatment, you should have a firm inner confidence that you can practise the things you have learned by yourself. CBT should allow you to be independent and to manage your condition without further intervention by a therapist.
All four stages of CBT usually have to be present for your treatment to be effective. For more information about this, see: Effective CBT