Guidance on how to bring professional obligations to a close
Sally Despenser
3 hours
6 sections
Counsellors and psychotherapists seeking to advance their knowledge through cpd
This module explores the numerous issues, consequences, tasks and feelings that may arise from endings, whether they be permanent or temporary, planned or sudden. This module invites you to read, reflect, and respond and then apply your learning. By the end of this module we hope that you will have started to write a clinical will for your own practice.


"I found the course very useful and found myself reflecting on it in a way that will help me in the future. It tackles the issue of endings in a very comprehensive way, gives due consideration to a subject many might find hard." -

"This was an enjoyable course and I learnt a lot." -

"This really made me think about my practice and I found it very useful." -

"An uncomfortable subject to deal with but expertly constructed and sympathetically dealt with. Will definitely recommend this to my colleagues, very thought provoking." - Jean B

"In one section I was asked if I had created a clinical will, how had I chosen my executor. I haven't created one and, therefore, wished to skip to the hypothetical question of how I would chose one if I was going to make one but there is no option to do this." -

"Whilst I enjoyed the course content the online learning system is not suited to all, especially me. So maybe a hardcopy version, obviously at a higher cost may be beneficial to others like me. Also the system logs you out far too quickly thus losing some of the work I typed in." - Dawn Adams

"Having read the recent article in the Therapy Today mag, I found this a really useful exercise in reinforcing my learning from the article and focusing my mind specifically on this subject. I hope you do more of these short courses to compliment the articles that you showcase in Therapy Today." -

"I found the course to be very thought provoking. Sudden or temporary change seems clearer than the very emotive subject of sudden death and long term illness. Working through the modules reinforces the importance of having a plan in place. The continued and respectful care of clients and supervisees who may be suddenly left in a state of limbo is essential. To have clear and concise instructions for all concerned can also lessen the distress and huge sense of responsibility. The continuation of good practice, for our clients and supervisees is just as important in death as it is in life." - Fiona Gallacher

"This course has made clear just how important writing a will is in terms of the ongoing responsibility I have towards my clients once our time together is ended. Salutory and useful." - Dale Kitchen

"a really valuable reflective course " -

"I found the course very interesting, it brought to light several areas I hadnt previously considered and I am now in the process of writing my own executive will for my counselling practice. I did find it frustrating that even when it was specific that only one box needed to be used, it wouldnt let you proceed to the next level without filling both boxes in. Overall an interesting course which raised some questions and gave some answers...more background may have been helpful though." - Doris Bottoms

"Very clearly set out and easy to follow." -

"Thank you for this module. The sectin relating to the writing of a clinical will was excellent - very thought provoking." -

"Excellent learning module. Well planned and very comprehensive. Easy to follow but thought provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to further online learning modules." -

"Thank you for the support in offering such a valuable course. Well worth the effort to know that I am saving my colleagues and family a potential nightmare and also that client’s confidentiality is adhered too. Can you supply a certificate of proof of completion for PD? Thank you Diane Lillis " - Diane Lillis

"Certainly thought provoking and a real nudge in the right direction. It's so easy to assume that things will just get sorted out of anything were to happen to us but this has helped me to recognise that I have a responsibility to be more organised than that! I need to secure the future of students and clients in the same way that my own will is designed to secure my family should anything happen to me. A good resource thank you." - Sharon Dodd

"Fantastic course" -

"I must say that I hadn't even thought about these eventualities before enrolling on this online learning course and it has made me think about "what if..". I found it very thought provoking answering the questions for yourself but a little confusing when asked the long questions about Joe and Chris situation. I think the questions could have been clearer. Maybe also to have some of the examples printed out as well as my answers, although that may happen anyway I haven't printed the answers out as yet. Very enjoyable and thought provoking." - Amanda Collings

"This was a thought provoking exercise and I gained from the experience. " -

"This course was very thought provoking and very important to me. It motivated me to deal with an issue that I have been pondering for quite some time. This was an excellent procedure for me as I may have to re-locate to a new country in the near future and close my practice (and start over again). Thank you very much- this is a welcome "Tool" for my Took Kit! " -

"No feedback" -

"Marvellous" -

"I have enjoyed this exercise and it has given me many thoughtful moments. I am considering giving a training to junior staff where I work and advising them to use this site to enhance their own thinking around this matter. Although the majority of the issues covered here would be taken up by senior staff, nevertheless, it is not always clear when staff take on private work etc and is therefore extremely valid in any setting. I think this unit represents excellent value for money." - Stanley R Sanders

"Very thorough and helpful course giving valuable space to think about the various elements of supervision. It has helped me to clarify my own needs for supervision and to think about how I could be more pro-active in ensuring these are met. It has also increased my awareness of what supervision might be like for others, in that it has raised potential issues I hadn't previously considered. The structure and language of the course are easy to follow. My only criticism really is that the page will time out after a while and delete any unsaved work. I got round this by copying the text on each page before pressing 'continue' to ensure that it wasn't lost. I really liked that I could save my work and come back to the course when convenient - it's taken me a couple of months to gradually work through the whole thing. As well as being convenient this has helped me by giving me time to think about and digest the thoughts that the course has brought up." - Amy CW

"I really enjoyed the course and felt it highlighted some valid points that we quite often dismiss as being irrelevent. At the end of the day your safety is paramount and should always be prioritised." - Janet Gray

" I really enjoyed completeing this training module, It has really made me think about endings and the need to have a plan in place in case of the unexpected. I found the whole thing easy to access and understand, I certainly will be using the learning programme again. Thank You" - ANN ALJEWICZ

"I would have liked to have had all my own material, if bot the questions, as something I could print out and refer to when next working with my supervisor - is there a reason that this hasn't been made available? I found it hard to remember all the information on a page when answering something, but lost my material when, as suggested, I looked back at the material. This did make me angry. I was dumped out of the programme in Section 6 and had to go through relogging in etc. I was in the middle of a sentence so it wasn't that the page had timed out. Can I suggest that the programme allows for some of the 'extra' boxes can be left empty? " - Justine

"Useful and allowed for refreshing of my current supervisory arangements, both as a supervisor & supervisee." -

"I found this course very useful for myself and my practice. Thank you" - ILONA

"Interesting topic, though the questions were not always relevant to my situation. It did make me focus on this particular area which I had never really considered and I now have a draft of my clinical will, which I hope not to use for a few years yet! Could we please have more of these courses which are especially useful for us living in isolated areas." - kareemaljabaar70

"I thought the layout was clear. Also, I really liked the right hand side detail on the screen showing progress and percentage completed." - Clare

"good information. software easy to use" -

"I found the module very useful - my only criticism might be that there was an overlap- supervisors and supervisees and I would enjoy a similar module but clearly for one or the other. But that aside, I found it very informative and enjoyed it." - karen buchanan

"Thank you for this interesting course. I appreciated the detailed proceedures, some of which I had never thought about. However, I found it hard to work with the counsellor who thought it was acceptable to summarily take 12 months' sabatical without giveing any reason, and almost expecting to be reintegrated on his return, while giving only 1 month's notice! That got in the way of some of my process! I would have enjoyed further exercises on the feelings and reactions of the clients. " -

"This refresher course is very useful for the new and already in profession counsellors. where it high lights the ethical duties of counsellors importance of sound administrative management ther it also shed light on the importance of clinical will or appointing an executer in case of any sudden change in the circumstances to minimise the effects of services to the services users." - Shingara S Dhillon

"sdfdfdfgdfg" -

"very useful " -

"Interesting exersise, made me think about my situation & the need to have a clinical will. " - Alison Johnson

"I found this couse to be very useful in giving me the opportunity to reflect on my own supervision and consider what I need from supervision as i become a more experienced counsellor. I found the content thorough and the excercises thought provoking. As a result of completing this course I have made an action plan for getting more out of my supervision sessions." - Emma

"i found this course very interesting, alot of it i knew about but some was about things i had not given much thought to. hence i intend to do a bit more reading on the hidding dangers" - d. turkington

"I have enjoyed taking part in the online learning offered by the BACP. This module has encouraged me to think more about my own supervised practise. Also how Supervision can be used more effectively. Work and personal commitments don't always leave me enough time to study, so I found online learning easy to access and complete in my own time. I found it to be very good value for money." - Denise Craig

"This course was a lot harder than I thought, but I really enjoyed it. I recommend this course if you are thinking of starting your own practise. Make sure you copy and paste all your answers each time as it times out without warning, if you have taken a while to answer something write it in the space then press save if it has timed out it directs you back to log in and your work is lost, so be warned. Good luck and enjoy." - Sheila Hicks

"Very thought provoking and useful. It took me a long time to complete course as it brings up a lot of emotions as well as having to think about practical details. Thank you" -

"I found that this on-line course really challenged some of my perceptions of supervision. it brought up things that i had never thought about. What was also useful was the way in which i could access it when I had the time, so there wasn't any pressure so it made it more enjoyable." - Linda barnsley

"Although this online learning experience did not cover psychopathology, I did find it useful in raising my awareness of drug/medication names/terms and their uses. As a trainee counsellor, I believe psychopharmacology and psychopathology should be a compulsory module in all professional counselling training courses, sadly it is not, hence the reason I took this CPD module. Very useful. " -

"very helpful and informative." - Anna Maria Carroll

"Interesting and informative. Very concise. A good amount of material in a short space." - Patsy Southwell

"I think the course was informative and allowed me to revise and reflect on my level of awareness and learn about different types of psyciatric drugs. I also think the course also made some quite sweeping statements regarding a biological approach to the brain and mind it touched on subjects without bringing them to a conclusion such as the placebo effect. It also seemed to catagorise theraputic approaches into pro or anti psychiatric drugs suggesting that a more cognitive approach approved of the use of drugs whilst a humanistic approach would not. " -

"Fantastic reflective course. I learned so much. Made me realise that safety is not just about initial contacts, but about every contact. " -

"A thought provoking and stimulating module which succeeded in moving me from inertia to action!!" -

"I found the actual content and learning very useful and thought provoking. However I felt that it took a lot longer than 2 hours to do it justice, and this was not helped by getting logged off just as I got to the end of a long section, which happened more than once." -

"Took me a lot longer to complete this course than I anticipated but I am glad I have completed it and put arrnagements in place eg by drafting my clinical will." -

"This course has really made me think of a clinical will which I have not done before. I do think all counsellors would benifit from doing this course. " - Isobel

"was good got me thinking about how I usually use supervision. feel I would like to make some changes feel inspired" -

"I found this course very useful and interesting, especially as a trainee psychotherapist. I would find it quite useful however to have a certificate which I could use as a reference for my CV." -

"Great! Thanks - just what I needed!" -

"This was an easy to access course which allowed for the giving of basic information and the chance to reflect and think about the application of our own thoughts and prejudices within our own practices, which is always a good thing! I agree with a previous comment that there should be some way of proving that we have completed the course." - Sue Haycroft

"Clarified many aspects of law. A lot to take on board but very useful. Took me much longer than 2 hrs to do justice to the material and activities. Found that despite saving partially completed questions in, I think, parts 3 and 4 my work disappeared so that I had to re-do several answers." -

"I did enjoy this course. It is very informative. It made me think. It asks the right questions. " -

"I found this module to grow in challenge and I did find that I have been giving more thought to my current supervisions. I did give a short presentation in my supervision group about thia online learning/CPD and this module in particular." -

"I found section 5 very interesting, as it put me in real life situations that were quite thought-provoking (though some of those situations felt a bit gimmicky). The other sections felt overly bureaucratic." -

"I found the course informative and thought provoking. It helped me to reflect on my practise and think about possible senarios. " - Suan Smith

"Thanks for a stimulating course which has probably affected by brain chemistry for the better. I will certainly follow up some of the references/further reading." - Lesley Hedges

"Completes a gestalt in my practice as a counsellor, timely and a must for all." - Robert Swire

"I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It would be good to have a Certificate to print off for CPD purposes." -

"I found the module very helpful in thinking about what was useful and not so useful in supervision. Doing a course in this way made me realise some things I had not been aware of before. It was also interesting to note the amount of supervision experiences I have had in a relatively short period of practice. It was easy to follow and allowed plenty of space for reflection throughout the process." - Kerri

"Excellent course, thought provoking, a real help to putting my house in order. Thank you" -

"I find the course ok but it took me absolutely ages to do due to me completing work and then it getting lost! I did do the work again only for it to get lost again! This is third time lucky so hopefully all will be well. I think theoption to print off a certificate at the end of the course would benefit me. Regards - Karen" -

"I found this course to be very useful, especially with regard to the practical elements of making a clinical will. However, some of the exercises with regard to the temporary closure of an agency, I did not find easy to complete, as these did not apply to me. Perhaps some modules could be optional. However, despite this I found the course useful and good value for money. " - Denise Christy

"Thought some of the comment boxes were rather repetitive" -

"I have learned an enormous amount from doing this course and have been invited to consider things that had not previously occurred to me." - geraldine breakwell

"I felt that there was alot of repetition in the course material and questions and would have valued more information about legal responsibilities." -

"I thought that this course was very valuable for all counsellors, there is important information here to consider and to re-consider. Well spent time - thank you!" -

"I found the subject matter of making a clinical will interesting but found the questions a little repetitive. " -

"Excellent and thought provoking. It has encouraged me to formalise my clinical will." -

"useful.painful, difficlt, necessary. generated many hours of useful discussion wit colleagues and supervisor. generated many hours of reflection" -

"Practical and helpful module. Everyone should do it." -

"A very stimulating and thoughtful exercise. I did this module, in part, because I was considering retirement and it helped me make my decision. I think all counsellors/therapists need to consider this very important topic and put in place appropriate arrangements to cover the unexpected. A very worthwhile exercise with immediate practical consequences." - A Robinson (retired)

"Focus part of it a bit more on endings due to loss of funding and the uncertainty around it- how much do you prepare a client and other organisations for a possible loss of funding, given that you may only know for sure a week or two in advance" -

"very useful and constructive. I will be carrying out a clinical will." -

"I really enjoyed the course and felt that it allowed me to think about the importance of making a will, as it incurs so much. " -

"I believe this is crucially important to implement whether in private practice or working in an agency. It stipulated who does what, when, how and it with this structured approach there little overlap of the tasks to be done. I think this should be implemented in training courses early on so if a situation arises where there is a sudden ending, all parties are informed and instructed what to do in what may be a quite demanding procedure." - J Stephen

"A very thought-provoking course, with a good balance between reading and practical application of the ideas. Some guidance and feedback throughout the course would have been useful. Made me really think about what has so far just been a vague question at the back of my mind. " - Marion

" I REALLY ENJOYED THE COURSE AFTER HAVING A ENFORECED ENDING MYSELF ON A COUNSELLING SERVICE I PROVIDED BECAUSE OF A NEW PROVIDER .Waht i would have liked to see is some of the emotional affects that counsellors may experiance and what to expect" -

"I have really much enjoy this module. I have been forced not only to contemplate the inevitability of ones life but also to reflect upon the impact that this might have on my private clients. It is an insightful and maturing module that everybody should do. Thank you !!" - Ernesto

"I have enjoyed working on this module and found it useful online, as i have been able to pick it up at my convenience. I am pleased there is a list of references and further reading at the end, although I would have appreciated some of this content at the beginning. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work in this way. I would be very much interested in further modules." - Moira Sorley

"I have really appreciated this course. It has given me a lot of food for thought and made me look at how endings can be made less messy. I did make a provisional clinical will which I can use as a template to be worked on. Am pleased with this Took about 10 hours to complete." -

"Interesting way of learning -but repetition rather frustrating" -

"The course was well structured and informative. I have almost completed my clinical will." - Anne

"The course was well structured and informative. I have almost completed my clinical will." - Anne

"The course was well structured and informative. I have almost completed my clinical will." - Anne

"very useful course, the content was thought provoking and provided a good opportunity to think about endings." -

"An extremely useful and thought provoking course." - jean selmes

"A useful CPD exercise." -

"I thoroughly enjoyed this module and learnt a lot from it" -

"Great course so far... Not all my questions are yet answered regarding how this is all marked and how I go about getting this certificate and when?! " -

"the website is so infuriating: frequently not saving my answers, taking a long time to load and now refusing to print my answers again.. The course contents are good and thought provoking. I wanted to dicuss my answers in a Peer Support group-it would really help if I could print them off!" - Ruth Bannister

"A very good short online course" -

"Excellent course and very though provoking. I really appreciate now the importance of having a clinical will and it is something I will now do." - Paul Kennedy

"This course was very enlightening and I would highly recommend it to all Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I had not thought of the consequences that could arise when not planning for endings in the therapeutic relationship and this course has really got me thinking about putting plans into place. Very Good. Glad I took the time to do the course." - Marysia Moore

"I am not yet in a practise so have not been able to complete this module fully. It has given me much useful information and as I begin my practise I know I will be drawing on it fully. A very informative and useful tool." - Tom Barnfather

"I found it very useful and interesting and highlighted a few things I need to make sure are in place. However, it would have been helpful if the letter was in a proper format so that it could be printed and used and or improvised so that I could have a copy to go by, rather than having to print off all the answers. Overall very thought provoking and worthwhile course. " -

"Very thought provoking." - Jane Myring

"I found this course very insightful, and was surprised that I know as little as I did about ending both seen and unforeseen. I have come to realise the importance of searching for an executor and understand more the responsibilities that they have. I am in the process of writing a formal executor letter which will not only help the staff, but also look after clients. I did find the wording of some questions rather brief, thus I found them quire difficult to answer, however, by the last section it all started to come together. " -

"This was very useful and an area that i had not considered in the eight years i have been a private counsellor and supervisor. It has been addressed now thanks to this CPD module. Thank you." - Joanne Carwardine

"I have enjoyed this course but have found it took me longer than three hours to complete." - Hannah de Vall

"Some useful information included in the training and I shall work on my clinical will! Never thought about preparing one and the different consequences that could come with sudden endings. I envisaged having more focus on endings of the therapeuitc relationship as this would have more day-to-day practicality to it. Mode of delivery was VERY dull and dry, not engaging in the slightest. No colours, images, videoes or creative ways of engagement." -

"Useful to focus on something I have tended not to pay too much attention too. However, some of the questions were not well worded and it is not possible to move on if you wish to ignore a non relevant question. Overall good value for money." -

"Very good course.... I thought all counsellors had a Contingency Plan, This was part of my original training. It would have been informative to have some advise on BACP membership and accreditation suspension/cancellation , especially for counsellors in Private Practice. Maybe a reference to BACP explaining what support we can expect from our Professional body. " -

"Very informative and helped me confirm what I had done was correct and I had not missed anything. Essential part of being a counsellor in practice that everyone should be made to do." - mo smith

"At the beginning of this section I did not know what a clinical was. It is quite complex . But knowing what needs be incorporated enables me to put one together. " - d begg

"An interesting and thought-provoking course which was enjoyable. I did however feel ( maybe it was my way of working), that it took longer than the suggested three hours which can be claimed for CPD purposes." -

"I found this very helpful and thought provoking. We did not cover this in my training, and I had not given much thought to it. I am going to make a clinical will as I feel it is a necessary part of my practice " - Kate

"The course inspired me, filled me with a sense of urgency to address my neglect and to think about having a clinical will. It took me a long time to complete the course as I felt frustrated with the software. Every time I clicked continue, It erased the information I had inserted in the boxes so I had to start again and again. However, the course was very good in making me think about my work." - PSteer

"A really enjoyable course. Plenty of time to reflect and great to be able to complete at home in my own time." - Carole ONeill

"Really useful and informative. Easy to use and follow, great that you could save and come back again. Perfectly sized - not too much to grapple with. Will definitely do another of these!" - Tammy Davidson

"Although there were a few teething problems with the online module at first, It was very thought provoking and would consider trying another online course. Many thanks " -

"This has been enlightening and scary ! It has given me so very much to think about - for that I thank you sincerely." - Lindsey Jones

"A great course that really got me thinking and reflecting about endings in my practice. Very useful and helpful to me. I answered all the questions asked to the best of my ability but I think it may have been helpful for me if the course had included a section where examples were given of what counsellors may do in the used vignettes. I have come away from this course with a clinical will for my practice and further insight into how I might handle sudden endings in relation to my ethical framework. Highly recommend!" - Claire Blackburn

"This course has really made me think." -

"The course was very enlightening it forced me to reflect and consider issue I would not have considered. I TRULY RECOMMEND THIS COURSE!!" -

"Excellent module. Please ensure you press save regularly otherwise completed work clears. This caused me frustration. Also this module has 3 hours attributed to it but with reading and thinking took me much longer " - Pippa

"Very useful if a little daunting - death anxiety !" -

"I found the course helpful but the section related to Joe and Chris was slightly confusing as I wasnt sure what to write. " -

"Excellent Thought provoking" -

"The course helped me reflect on all aspects of endings and helped me realise that a clinical will is essential." -

"I am just wondering if BACP issues any certificates to those who complete online CPD? " - Frank h

"informative educative engaging sometimes struggles to understand what answers were required or how to phrase them but did find making my own notes beneficial - would suggest this an an option. " -

"I enjoyed the module overall. However, the subsection with "IDENTIFY..." "IDENTIFY..." LOCATE..." and so on was fine until it got into the later categories and it was unclear what to write in the boxes...." -

"Dear all, I have found this course to be extremely helpful. As lately I have been reflecting on what would happen if I died. As the most important thing of all would be for my supervisor to then take my requests forward on my behalf to ensure that all my clients had been taken care of. Best wishes Kathy " -

"very informative" -

"I feel this is a really valuable piece of training and I would highly recommend it to colleagues. This is something I had never given consideration to, but I can see now how highly important it is. " -

"Thank you for the opportunity to complete this course, working as a bereavement counsellor I never once thought about how my death could effect my clients and colleagues. " -

"really has got me thinking even more" -

"A really helpful course that brought up issues that I not even thought of." -

"Excellent And thought provoking ...has made me rethink how I work." - Cathryn barry

"Thank you, this has made me review my foundations for my practice. I am going to put a crisis plan in place and keep it where next of kin and executor can easily find it. So if something happens, they just follow my plan and wishes. By doing this training, it means I will have dealt with the well being of my clients and others will not have to think of solutions." -

"Very good" -

"This has been very thought provoking. I" -

"Interesting and useful to be confronted with the issues involved in the sudden incapacity of someone running a practice." -

"I think this module has essential questions for all therapists to consider, but I have found it particularly useful in identifying essential policies & documents needed & action plans required when initially setting up a freelance/private practice." -

"It was very useful and a good wake up call on what might be demanded of practitioners in the event of sudden endings. However, I found the structure of the questions a bit repetitive so ended up giving the same answers over a couple of pages running. It would have been useful to have the long list of scenarios and causes for endings a bit earlier on in the questionnaire to help broaden my thinking and own responses. " -

"I found this course very useful because it provided an opportunity to consider the consequences of sudden endings caused by the death or sudden illness of the counsellor. It caused me to think about how I would deal with such an event and how to go about writing a clinical will. I feel equipped to do this and will consider writing one and finding an executor." -

"brilliant online training, really made you think about the uncomfortable issues in our lives/work, sudden death and/or illness and the provisions we have to consider for such events. Easy to use website, useful CPD for the very experienced counsellor and those new to the work alike." -

"This course was really helpful and made me think about certain areas I had not considered before reading this. It has made me reflect on what I need to put in place in the future" -

"I found some of the exercises a bit repetitive, but otherwise an excellent seminar. I am particularly grateful for the template of a clinical will. Thank you" -

"This course really got me thinking and highlighted issues I had not contemplated. Partaking has been invaluable as I intend to start private practice in near future, I feel much better prepared now. " -

"Useful, thank you." -

"I appreciated the interactive nature of the course and that it brought up some issues I had never thought of (i.e. a counselling will). Very worth the time." -

" Very useful and clear information, allowed me to understand and reply effectively" -

"Not really applicable to a private practicing counsellor. This seemed more geared towards an organisation with staff and colleagues etc. I could see the point of, what will you do if the worst happens, which left food for thought." -

"This was a very thought provoking course. I am currently taking a break from my work. When I resume completing a clinical will with be one of my priorities. " -

"Some of the course content was not comparable to my present work which made it quite difficult for me to find answers and on a couple of occasions I lost my work and had to start again which was very frustrating. Generally though a great way to clock up some CPD hours at a convenient time which fits in with other commitments. " -

"A thought provoking and useful course. I will be writing a clinical will for my practice after completing this course." -

"This was really helpful in considering the practical steps that would need to be taken in the event of sudden changes or endings. I feel prepared to put my own plans into place. " -

"It was a very interesting experience as I have never considered the issues here in such detail. The training and reading I have undertaken never touched on these issues, so I found this course invaluable." -

"It was a very interesting experience as I have never considered the issues here in such detail. The training and reading I have undertaken never touched on these issues, so I found this course invaluable." -