Leaving when it's working
I am leading a 5 week seminar course on change starting March 20th. Details Here.
What if we ended a therapy when it is working?
What if we left a good relationship?
A great job?
What if our therapist supported our steps beyond them?
What if our partners supported us? Our employers? Our friends?
What if leaving doesn’t mean abandoning?
What if leaving doesn’t mean rejecting?
What if ending isn’t wrong but inevitable?
This is how it was all supposed to go.
We are born dependent. We grow into independent beings of a sort - able to tend to our own needs and ask when we need help.
And then we are ready to make our own lives. To create life.
And whether we move out physically or psychologically, becoming an adult involves a reorientation towards the world.
Parents need to allow this so their children can work and love and play in the larger world.
Parents need to do more than allow it they need to celebrate it.
This of course requires work on the part of the parent. It isn’t easy. In the places where the parent has had difficulties detaching they will have difficulty allowing others to detach.
This is also true of the therapist.
It is my job as a therapist to support my patients when they decide to leave.
It doesn’t mean I don’t have sadness or attachment or wonder about a piece of work I thought we would do and didn’t do.
It doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do on my self when my young parts get activated around endings.
It does mean that I support you. I support your choice. And while every ending is different, I am always curious as to what will come next and open to hearing from a client over the years.
We’ll never be finished the work.
There is always learning and growth available. It is what we are here for.
And we don’t have to wait to outgrow a person to finish our work with them.
Wanting more. Moving beyond. That is enough.
You can have that.
The transference here is strong. As if staying pleases a therapist. As if paying them takes care of them. As if leaving hurts them. As if we need permission to leave. Each of us has our own type of transference here and it is worth exploring whether or not the therapy is actually ending or pausing.
And the experience of being “allowed” to leave. Of being supported in our agency even when it doesn’t mean staying. This is a profound experience.
The experience of being welcomed in our leaving changes us. And I hope it means we can offer it to others.
We can set the people that we love free.
Internally. Internally free.
All of us are free.
See you in two weeks.