Life is full beginnings and endings, and termination – the circumstances of ending the relationship between client and social worker – is a very important stage of clinical work. Although planned (i.e., expected) from the start of services, termination can and does occur at all points in the intervention process and is not always planned or even desired, just like in life.
It’s sad but true that all relationships end, and many clients come to us having experienced pain, loss, and/or rejection in significant relationships in their lives. Knowing this, our role as social workers is to facilitate “healthy termination” that can contribute to client growth.
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1. What type of specific presenting problem(s) do you suppose makes termination particularly difficult for a given client? identify and discuss at least one hypothetical presenting problem.
2. What do you suppose are benefits (i.e., good things) for a client who experiences a “healthy goodbye” (termination) with us? Identify and discuss at least one such benefit.
3. What should a social worker do if we personally struggle with saying goodbye such that termination “triggers” feelings of counter-transference? Provide something more specific than “speak to our supervisor”.
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