If you follow my blog you have probably caught on that recently I accepted a job with a new company and over the past two weeks I have had the constant daily torture of saying goodbye. It has been exhausting!
For most people who work in offices and deal with people maybe through customer service, saying goodbye is exciting. It means you are moving on to new opportunities and hopefully a pay raise if you do it right!
Well I am moving on to new opportunities and a pay raise but my saying goodbye is a little more upsetting. Most of my clients I have had for a while (at least 6 months) so they have told me those things that bother them and we have worked together to come up with a way to make these things better. I have never thought they rely on me and in fact I don’t want that to be true. I want them to realize they are the ones who have made the changes, I am just the one across the table they are trusting to help them. And therein lies the problem.
I love that they trust me. I love that I can build such a bond with them, but I want them to be able to move on too. I want them to believe in themselves and that they can have the confidence to continue to work through their problems with another therapist sitting across from them because they are ready to do it. This is the message that I have said over 40 times in the past two weeks. Some believe me and buy into it, while others just look at me with tearful eyes that I am abandoning them and they will never be able to make it.
Well this has taken its toll on this therapist. So much so that at the end of the day today, I came home and took a nap. I’ve been sleeping well and exercising but the mental exhaustion that comes from saying goodbye is overwhelming.
I would love to come up with 5 simple steps to say goodbye and then utilize that but it’s not there right now. I guess the best advice to saying goodbye would be these:
- Be real and genuine.
- Don’t promise you will see them again but maybe say something like “our paths may cross again”
- If a therapist or mentor role, I have found it helpful in exploring the things the person has learned and the progress they have made since you started with them.
- Let the other person express their goodbye too
- A smile and a warm touch (on the back) has been the most successful finish to a relationship.
So I guess that is my ways to say goodbye.
Tomorrow is my last day and there are just a few people left on my caseload. I am looking forward to my week off to recoup after such a trying time but really I have grown. I have learned better ways to word things, how to process this with clients, and I know that I need to plan lots of exercise to de-stress if I ever have to do this again!
As far as the exercise goes it was not much after yesterday’s triumphant 100 mile completion in fact it was absolutely none (well there is the regular day to day stuff like taking the stairs at work and standing while I eat but not sure those count) until I decided to just throw down a couple of 1 minute planks and some stretching just to help the legs feel better after yesterday’s run.
Look out Janathon, tomorrow you end but I feel like I have successfully completed you!!!!