Welcome to this months Blog Spot where Person Centred Counsellor Jayne Yeates discusses the important therapeutic topic of ‘Endings’. Often spoken of as a significant part of the therapy, Jayne uses her experience as a counsellor and as a lecturer of therapeutic counselling to discuss how and why endings are significant and how working on the ending may be daunting, yet also a further opportunity for therapist and client to work together to secure the personal growth and positive change the therapy has brought.
Thinking about ending any kind of relationship can be daunting and you may do everything in your power to avoid that ending! Leaving a job, ending a partnership or marriage, a child leaving home, or a bereavement are types of endings that most of us will face during our lifetime, but that doesn’t mean they get any easier.
Therapy and the therapeutic relationship is no different, in fact it could be argued that ending a therapeutic relationship where a client has shared their deepest most intimate thoughts, anxieties, feelings and emotions with their therapist may be more terrifying than most other types of endings because it is so personal to you.
There is a trust placed in the therapist when a good therapeutic relationship develops, and many clients may find it difficult to transfer that trust to themselves or to significant others in their lives as the therapeutic relationship comes to an end.
It is rare for a person to be in therapy for extremely long periods of time and inevitably the relationship comes to end as the client is more able to process their emotions, rely on their own decision-making processes, have developed stronger and more meaningful relationships and have a greater insight to themselves and their world as they see it.
But leaving the therapist that has supported this process and going it alone….? Wow! But this was the aim all along, right? Coming into therapy and making a decision to invest your time, effort and finances into self-awareness, exploration of your deepest feelings, self-growth and constantly evolving personal goals took a leap of personal faith in the beginning, and can feel like a loss when it ends.
The ending of this relationship has been on my mind lately, not only with clients but particularly as I also teach Therapeutic Counselling and my time as a lecturer with some of my students is nearing an end as they reach the end of their 4-year studies. Relationships have been formed, strong connections and a sense of trust is evident, learning has taken place and personal growth and insights to the ‘self’ have been widely reported and discussed.
Ending therapy as a client can sometimes raise more questions, fears and anxieties. “How will I cope?”, “what if it all falls apart?” “How will I manage without a weekly chance to vent?” are all questions that clients have asked within the therapy room.
And the answer is, I’ve got your back.
Coming to the end of therapy is a great opportunity to be able to reflect on your time together with your therapist, however long or short. All of the important reflective skills that have encouraged you to rely on your instincts, develop stronger and insightful relationships, reach your full potential and become more self-aware are the same skills that will carry you forward into a life without your therapist.
You’ve experienced unconditional positive regard, honesty, respect and congruence from your therapist, and in turn you have learnt to have unconditional positive regard for yourself and others, to have respect for yourself and others, and to be genuine and congruent in your feelings, emotions and desires. You can do this. The therapeutic relationship is a special one, it is professional and yet intimate. It is boundaried and yet fluid. It is complex and yet beautifully simple. And if it has worked for you it is joyous.
As the decision to bring therapy to an end is made and a new chapter of self-discovery is begun, there is one thing that you can be sure of. I’ve got your back. You can do this. Every bit of personal growth can be built upon, every ounce of positive change you’ve made is evident in the person you’ve become, and will continue to become. Take a step back and look at how far you’ve come. Look at what you’ve achieved.
If you are interested in starting therapy, and would like to consider seeing Jayne or another of our practitioners please do not hesitate to contact the practice today.
Therapist With a Passion to Share?
Contact us today to find out more about opportunities to have your work featured on our social community blog. We welcome submission applications from anyone interested in the fields of the Psychotherapies and Mental Health.