Endings: More than saying goodbye
Professional relationships and therapeutic treatments often, but not always, begin together. Each has its own life cycle, and the conclusion or cessation of treatment does not indicate the conclusion or cessation of the professional relationship. Therapists need to be mindful of the professional, legal, and ethical obligations that survive the delivery of services. Planning for the ending of therapeutic relationships is a fundamental, but often neglected, step in the therapeutic process (Kramer, 1990). Endings can be frightening for the client or the therapist and involve more than saying goodbye.