Boundaries are very important, not just in therapy but in life in general. In fact you may often find that some clients need therapy because they haven’t put any boundaries into place in their everyday life.
So maybe we need to first decide what a boundary is. A boundary is quite simply you deciding on the physical, emotional and mental limits you are prepared to work to but not go beyond.
Why is this so important?
Well from a therapy perspective this is important because it allows you to clearly set out how you expect to be treated by your client, how sessions will run etc. It also allows a client to know what is expected of them, how things will work, those behaviours that are acceptable and those that are not. This offers clients a feeling of safety because rules have been set.
In everyday life – Well, ask yourself the last time you got frustrated when someone wanted you to do something you didn’t want to do, or you behaved in a certain way because you felt someone else wanted you to even though it went against your thoughts or believes?
Imagine now that this happens again and again. How is that going to make you feel – stressed, unheard, irrelevant etc?
This is because you didn’t set your boundaries, you didn’t tell people what you were prepared to put up with and what you weren’t.
This often then leads to people lacking in confidence, or self esteem because they begin to believe that if everyone else treats them like this, that they must in fact be worthless or useless. The longer this goes on, often the harder people find it to start setting boundaries because they are essentially afraid of others reactions if they suddenly say no.
Boundaries are so important, if for no other reason than it shows us that we value ourselves.