Termination, Posttermination, and Internalization of Therapy and the Therapist: Internal Representation and Psychotherapy Outcome
In 1963, Edelson described the question of termination as “. . . not how to get therapy stopped, or when to stop it, but how to terminate so that what has been happening keeps on ‘going’ inside of the patient” (p. 23). The problem of termination, Edelson (1963) wrote, is not only one of helping the patient to achieve independence; rather, it is a problem of “facilitating achievement, by the patient, of the ability to ‘hang on’ to the therapist” in the therapist’s physical absence, “in the form of a realistic intrapsychic representation . . . which is conserved rather than destructively or vengefully abandoned following separation” (p. 23).