‘Endings’ is a term not often heard about until a person goes into therapy or some form of treatment. Many people understand how it relates to those things but often forget about the many and varied endings we experience throughout our lives. The end of a relationship to drink or drugs, the end of a relationship with a person… the end of a course, to a book, or even a sandwich. We also rarely think about THE ending – the BIG one – but we’ll save discussion on that until our next podcast episode.

For something to end, it must have been started at some point. In this episode, we look to the Gestalt Cycle of Experience to provide a framework, a roadmap that takes us through the different stages of beginning something to ending it. It provides a sense of the ideal ‘journey’ but usefully also gives us a sense of the many things that get in the way, the interruptions to the cycle that means that things we have started are left unfinished.

By developing an understanding of the cycle, we can better understand the impact of not finishing things. We can understand the importance of trying to finish what we start or perhaps not even starting something in the first place. Learning about the cycle can also deepen our understanding of ‘unfinished business’ and get us to start thinking about attending to it in whichever way we can.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


A classic film about a distinct unwillingness to accept the reality of death! 

A film mentioned in the episode was Rebecca. As with most of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, Rebecca plays with psychological ideas and explores the darker aspects of human behaviour. The story follows a young woman who marries a widower, only to find out that she must live in the shadow of his former wife, Rebecca, who died mysteriously several years earlier. He hasn't quite ended his relationship to her... and neither have all those who work for him at his mansion. 

Finally, in the episode, Liz makes reference to regrets people express in the moments leading up to their deaths. You can read more about the top five regrets listed by a palliative care nurse who worked with people in the weeks leading up to their deaths in this article here