Termination in Psychotherapy: A Psychodynamic Model of Processes and Outcomes
A successful termination phase is a critically important component of psychotherapy of any orientation. While this is generally accepted, a host of uncertainties continue to surround this phase of treatment. The authors of Termination in Psychotherapy synthesize and evaluate the clinical, theoretical, and empirical literature on termination. They then offer their own Termination Phase Model designed to help psychotherapists understand and address the full range of both patient and therapist responses that must be considered as therapy winds down and the patient prepares for life after treatment.
The authors show how the boundary between the working phase of therapy and the termination phase can be recognized and used to mark the shift into the process of ending therapy. They describe the outcomes that are particular to the termination phase and distinct from the outcomes of treatment, and give close attention to the tasks and other practical considerations associated with each of these termination outcomes. Developed in the context of longer-term, dynamically-oriented psychotherapy, the book's general model provides a useful framework for understanding the termination phase across theoretical orientations and treatment modalities and structures, including group therapy. Finally, the authors offer an inventory of useful clinical principles to effectively manage the termination phase, and identify areas in need of further empirical scrutiny.