Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Therapist in MourningFrom the Faraway Nearby$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kerry Malawista and Anne Adelman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156998

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156998.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Missing Myself

Missing Myself

(p.49) Chapter 3 Missing Myself
The Therapist in Mourning

Sandra Buechler

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes the oft-unacknowledged reality that therapists really do miss their patients when they go, whether they plan to leave or end treatment abruptly, or, in some instances, when they die. It introduces the idea that when a treatment ends therapists lose the opportunity to become the person they glimpsed in themselves with that particular patient. What was unique and only possible within this distinct patient–therapist dyad is now gone. It will never again be the same two people in the room together in quite the same way. The chapter also considers the question of how therapists are to behave in the face of such a loss. It suggests that, within the profession, there is a general reluctance to acknowledge the gratifications received from patients or the benefits gained from practice, which in turn complicates the grieving process. The loss of a patient is inextricably linked with the loss of a certain kind of personal satisfaction, or “joy”.

Keywords:   therapists, patient, grief, loss, psychotherapy, personal satisfaction

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .