Introduction to Boundaries: Part A of Boundaries Series
1) The issues discussed in the video comprise of the relationships in psychotherapy that are defined by therapeutic boundaries between the therapist and the patient. Some issues that may arise and affect these relationships and their boundaries include touching, or even gifts exchanged between them. Boundaries can be broadly categorized into boundary crossings and boundary violations. These refer to variations from traditionally accepted forms of therapy where the party involved. Boundary violations are the case when therapists cross the boundary lines of decency and violate their patients and intentionally inflict physical or psychological harm to the patient. There are also boundary crossings that are often clinically effective interventions done by the therapist for the benefit of the client. They are neutral, ethical, and benign and are based on a clear clinical rationale and are for the client’s best interests like lunch with an anorexic client.
2) The flexibility boundaries arose due to a shift in attitudes towards boundaries in psychotherapy. In the early years, the boundaries between therapists and their clients were loose such that therapists would even go for lunch with their patients. Today boundaries and relationships focus on more openness allowing dual relationships and bartering. Self-disclosure is governed by transparency between the therapist and the clients. The therapist discloses their personal, not professional, information to the client. A therapist disclosing personal information to their client could be verbal or non-verbal, deliberate, accidental, or unavoidable in some cases.
Some areas in therapeutic boundaries that both the therapist and the client may find confusing or difficult as they are not clearly defined include self-disclosure by therapists. It is not clear how much information is reasonable for therapists to disclose so that his/her privacy is not violated while at the same time giving enough for therapeutic effectiveness. Where it is initiated by the client, what extent is acceptable, and how much is deemed stalking? Touch is also another part when appropriate it is necessary for therapists to touch their clients as a way of comforting them. But boundaries are not clear as to how much touching is appropriate to avoid the slippery slope that may result in sexual relations between the therapist and the client.
3.) I would apply the premise of boundaries in the different relationships in social, family, and business relationships. These relationships are interconnected aspects of my life, and they require my attention in terms of time, resources, and psychologically. They affect each other for example problems in my marriage will affect my concentration at work or business. I will, therefore, establish boundaries between these aspects so that they positively relate to each other while at the same time limiting negative influence among them.