What Happens When Therapy Ends?
Although many of us are happy to think about new beginnings and the excitement that comes with the start of something different, we rarely think of endings in this same positive light. Even something seemingly trivial such as the ending of a favourite TV programme or sports event can leave us feeling deflated. Endings, by their very nature, are so final – there is no more anticipation of what may happen, and we must accept that this particular experience is over for good which can be difficult. Life too is full of endings – relationships, work, relocations – all of which can leave us with feelings of discomfort even if they were deliberate decisions.
Unfortunately, in life, many situations that we live through often don’t have resolved endings. We can go through many kinds of testing, stressful life events and be left without any closure on what has happened and most importantly, why it has happened. Appalling relationship breakups, the sudden, devastating loss of a loved one, redundancies and loss of work that result in financial turmoil – all of these situations can have unexpected, unexplained endings that leave us feeling incredibly lost and broken. Endings that don’t have closure can affect our future relationships as it can be difficult to want to begin another because of the fear that that too could end in the same awful way.
As human beings, we inherently understand the world around us and the events that happen in our own lives as stories with beginnings, middles and endings. This cognitive structuring that we create allows us to make sense of our lives and the part we play in it. Knowing where we are headed and understanding what has been gives us a sense of balance and control. So, when we live through a surprising, unwanted ending in a relationship – whether this is romantic or otherwise, we lose the sense of our place in the story. It can be incredibly difficult to move on and understand our ‘story’ if we don’t know why something has ended and it can be a very traumatic feeling. We might be left questioning: ‘What did I do wrong’, or even wondering ‘How can I trust myself to make decisions in the future when this one has caused so much hurt?’. These negative associations we make with endings can understandably make it difficult to want to embrace change and to take those first steps towards moving forwards from an appalling end even when counselling can be the very thing that could really help us to move on.
Therapy and counselling can be a tough concept for many people. As an experienced counsellor in Warrington, I’ve seen people convince themselves that when the therapy comes to an inevitable end, they will be left in the same confused, lonely, unhappy place that they are currently in. They may not want to relive or confront the emotions that therapy could bring up and may worry about where they will be left at the end of their sessions – will they feel that same sense of loss?
Confronting those difficult emotions with a trusted, non-judgmental therapist can really help you to make sense of the past and work through the challenging feelings that you may be struggling to cope with alone. Counsellors want their clients to feel empowered at the end of their therapy sessions. They want to give their clients the tools that they need to be able to move on from the challenging feelings and emotions that they have been living with.
In therapy, endings are not something we need to fear. Unlike those devastating, unexplained endings in life that leave us feeling stuck and helpless, counselling very often will come to a pleasant end with an open door. Your counselling will only end when you are in a happier, healthier mindset and you feel ready. Although your counsellor’s door is always open and you will always be welcomed warmly back should you wish to, your counsellor will want you to feel secure enough to move on and have new methods to cope with those unpleasant experiences and obstacles that life can put in our paths. When therapy comes to an ‘end’, it is not final. It is an ending that transitions into a new beginning for you where you can take back the control in your life and make sense of your feelings.
If any of these feelings resonate with you and you feel that you could benefit from counselling sessions then get in touch to book your first appointment. I am an experienced, qualified counsellor in Warrington, and can provide a safe space for you to be open and share your troubles without judgement.