Ending an Online Client Session: Who hangs up first?
There are so many various ways that therapists end their online sessions.
It can sometimes work well to simply say “it was so nice speaking, I wish you well“ and maybe a wave and then hang up.
You could personalise a statement based on that particular client, mentioning what to expect next session, and then log off from the call.
However, if you need a more containing and holding end, you can wait for the client to hang up.
Some therapists may feel that as they’ve sent the link, and also keep hold of time, they should finish the session.
However, you may end up hanging up as the client simply doesn’t hang up.
Some therapists let the client hang up as they feel that it’s the equivalent to the client leaving the counselling room, while they remain there.
One way to end the session is to say, “When you’re ready you can exit out of the session”, that way the client has the control.
In terms of helping with boundaries, some therapists will say “thank you for coming” or/and “ see you next week”, and maybe a wave and close the screen.
Not forgetting that you may find that your client beats you to the exit button, this can happen a lot with teenagers J
The way of ending a counselling session depends on that particular client and the circumstance, and therefore it’s about balancing the client’s needs and your own needs and figuring out the boundaries.
Overall, flexiblility is the thing and working out what feels right for you!