I can't sleep at night with discharging this lady: The personal impact of ending therapy on speech-language pathologists

Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2010 Aug;12(4):283-91. doi: 10.3109/17549501003721072.


The ending of therapy is a crucial time for speech-language pathologists and can impact on their sense of achievement and satisfaction. Drawing on literature from psychotherapy, social work and rehabilitation as well as from the area of aphasia therapy, this paper explores how speech-language pathologists juggle the tensions of coping with real versus ideal endings, of managing the building of close therapeutic relationships which then have to be broken, and of balancing a respect for client autonomy while retaining control over caseloads and fair allocation of resources. I suggest that the way in which therapy finishes reflects a merger of how clinicians manage these tensions. Clinicians may benefit from a greater recognition of what they do and feel at discharge, not only to further reflective practice, but also to encourage more sensitive involvement with both clients and students.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Speech Therapy / psychology*
  • Speech-Language Pathology*