Ending Therapy (Termination)
Ethically, it is the counsellor’s duty to prepare clients for the termination process and to end services when clients are no longer benefiting from counselling (Kress & Marie, 2019). For this reason, it is important to begin our conversation about the counselling relationship coming to end at the outset of therapy. In essence, counsellors seek to run themselves out of work!
When the time does come for our therapeutic relationship to come to a close, it is natural for there to be feelings of grief and loss. This transition can sometimes be challenging. When correctly implemented, termination can help to solidify the gains clients have made during counselling. It can empower clients to continue to integrate their experiences and to face whatever new chapters life has in store. Termination models healthy boundaries and a natural and appropriate end to a relationship, which is not something that we often get in life (Kress & Marie, 2019).
For this reason, at the beginning of my relationship with new clients, I suggest that they commit to 2 sessions designated for processing the end of our therapeutic relationship (barring unforeseen circumstances). Allotting 2 sessions of our time together to process and review successes, challenges, obstacles that were overcome, etc., is an important aspect of counselling that I like to discuss in our first session together.
Kress, V., & Marie, M. (2019). Counseling termination and new beginnings. Counseling Today. Retrieved here.