chapter  11
10 Pages

Ending and regeneration

Reflections on the emotional experience of ending a consultancy assignment
ByFrancesca Cardona

Endings are never easy: they provoke primitive feelings of death and finality, of being got rid of or disposed of. As in life, organizational endings can be premature, murderous or well prepared. The major difficulty about endings is connected with anxieties about loss. These anxieties can be equally true for both client and consultant. Individuals, teams and organizations have to go through a process of mourning, of giving up previous situations, to be able to move on to a new context. The acceptance of death, losses and transitions can give us a sense of meaning. ‘In Bion’s view the very capacity to think develops from the infant experience of absence of “no-thing” which, well enough contained, can become a thought’. Clarkson, the business division of a large non-profit organization, had survived numerous changes and traumatic events. It was enjoying a new positive phase of stability and growth.