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Bliss, S. (1987). The End?. Brit. J. Psychother., 4(1):94-100.

(1987). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 4(1):94-100

Personal Experience

The End?

Sonia Bliss

Kohut starts his book The Restoration of the Self (1977) with a chapter on termination, pointing out that it is a vast and complex topic for the analyst. So it has proved for me, the recipient, after seven years of analytic psychotherapy. Perhaps it is impossible to write about one's own psychotherapy and know that one is being fair - both to one's psychotherapist and to oneself. Therefore I shall write only how it felt to me, being aware that much may still be unresolved.

Somewhere in the past seven years I have lost some spark - some childish enthusiasm which seemed to stand me in good stead; for example, no blaze of passion propels my pen across this page as once it did. Almost I do not want to write - but I fear that if I do not do so now, all the phases, already beginning to merge into a fleeting time, will coalesce and be inseparable and therefore unreportable in anything like their true form.

I wish I had enjoyed it, at the end. All the seven years, until the year I decided my therapy should end, I had been comforted by the sure knowledge of nearby sessions and would eagerly drive the 35 miles there and back. There were ups and downs but it was ‘good enough’. What went wrong? We got to some point where I felt my therapist was not on my side. Kohut (p. 92) writes of the tendency of some clients with narcissistic disorders towards ‘protracted need’ to hold fast to the understanding phase of interpretation; perhaps this is what happened with me. Much is written about the inner turmoil experienced by narcissistic clients when the therapist fails in empathy - deliberately or otherwise (e.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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