144 Endings Teaching Methods and Skills Instructors should consider introducing this content at two different points in the academic year. Initially, you can present the skills and challenges associated with termination as the final phase of work. 1. Use a lecture format to introduce to students the phases of ending and the associated skills. Then ask them to reflect on their own experiences with termination, such as the end of summer camp, high school or college gradua- tion, or moving away from a neighborhood or community. It is likely that many students will describe endings that occurred without closure. For example, a student’s best friend moves across the country and they pledge to keep in touch, allowing both of them to avoid saying a final goodbye and accepting the poten- tial conclusion of their relationship. Building upon these examples, assist stu- dents in identifying feelings and reactions that individuals have about ending significant relationships and the implications that this has for their practice. 2. Termination often triggers reactions about life’s separations, which might distance students from their clients’ feelings as well as from their own. To fur- ther prepare students for the termination experience, consider the following exercise. Divide the class into small groups and ask the students to take turns in describing the following process: a. Think about a recent experience in which you had to separate, either tempo- rarily or permanently, from someone you care about. b. How did you feel when you said goodbye? c. What did you actually say? d. If you could do it over again, what would you like to say? Have the small groups discuss what they learned from this exercise about the termination process and what would they like to share with the larger class. 3. Ask students to describe aspects of their agencies and their own work that are likely to influence the way that they and their clients will experience termination and its tasks. Remind them to consider the influence that temporal dimensions, modality factors, their status as students, characteristics of clients (including previous experiences of loss), and the working relationship have on the termination process. 4. Because some students will have ongoing experience with endings and transitions because of the nature of their settings, ask for examples that allow them and their classmates to examine their own feelings about termination and
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