The therapeutic relationship once established need never be broken.

Janet Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    In the lead article, Hersh (2010) draws attention to the significant phase of ending therapy for clients and in particular, for their therapists. Hersh highlights three main tensions that underpin this process: real versus ideal endings, making and breaking of the therapeutic relationship, and balancing of respect for client autonomy over considerations of caseload and resources. In this paper, I offer a commentary on the first two of these issues by drawing upon my experience as a speech-language pathologist/family therapist specializing in voice, and as an academic fostering the development of student clinicians. This is then linked to parallel discussions in the recent psychoanalytic and psychotherapy literature. I support Hersh's premise that the implicit processes and emotions associated with this final phase of therapy need to be made more explicit and suggest that this is more likely to occur when clinicians acknowledge that they too experience rewards and losses in the therapeutic relationship. I challenge the notion that any therapeutic relationship once established is ever entirely broken.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-312
    Number of pages4
    JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


    • attachment
    • Ending therapy
    • terminating therapy
    • therapeutic relationship


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