When Saying Goodbye Really is the Hardest Part

When I learned of the news of my relocation, one of the very first thoughts I had was of immense sadness.  I was going to have to go through the brutal task of terminating with my clients.  These are clients who I have gotten to know over the past 2 years, many of them starting their journey in counseling at the same point in which I began my own. We have seen one another grow and progress in our respective lives.  The idea of not seeing them through to the end of treatment and not being able to ever know where they end up is difficult to process.  The counselor/client relationship is one that is so vastly unique than any other relationship.  No where else can you get to know someone so intimately and share such powerful moments while at the same time maintaining a professional boundary and let me tell you, sometimes that professional boundary is difficult to maintain.  I often find myself at home thinking about the various clients I see and wondering how better to assist them, where they are now, have they relapsed, are they engaged with counseling elsewhere. These thoughts are difficult to turn off and do not end once you walk out of the office doors, all that’s left is the hope they will succeed.  As a colleague once told me, “we plant the seeds, we just may not get to see them grow.”