Client Responses

The emotions in a group are often heightened at termination, even if only one person is leaving. The relationships formed have a deep level of intimacy and this intervention allows the patient to leave the group with a tangible symbol of his or her experience and the healing changes they have made. Typically, the departing patient will be uncomfortable being the center of attention. Often patients are not used to receiving this extent of positive feedback at one time, about how he or she has changed, grown, and the impact the patient's being has had on other members of the group. Tears are common as the individual begins to experience leaving in a completely new way. After the group ends for the day, it is typical for members to take turns hugging the departing peer and, because of this, leaving the group room usually takes longer on "goodbye days." Patients' self-reports indicate that they become quite attached to their memento and carry it around with them, at all times, or give it a place of honor in their home or office.

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