What are Boundaries?

I think the large issue for clients to be confused about is Boundaries. No surprise really because if we were brought up in a house of rules, we may then have a look to see if boundaries were taught at all and that the client could learn the huge difference between Rules and Boundaries. Not surprisingly, client mostly go the place of ” I don’t like confrontation” and when I say no confrontation required for boundaries, I see a confused expression and really that no surprise either. When we begin to learn rules and boundaries, we are very small, have no power of our own, and the incoming information for the child appears to be a one way system. “Do as your told….do as I say… no you can’t…etc. Unless we see Rules in action, and then see Boundaries in action and grow up see the different examples over and over again, we won’t know the difference.

Nothing wrong with that, that’s just some households work, but there’s no reason not to start learning now. Boundaries are so important to every part of our lives. Boundaries are tied up in our confidence, our self worth and our values of self and others.

Boundaries involve how we see ourselves and how valuable our time. Whether we give our time when we didn’t want to, or whether we know its ok to give our time. Boundaries come from the inside and we learn that it’s ok to have what we want just as much as everyone else.

Clients learn that if we have people around us that don’t value what we want, they start to re-evaluate who they dealing with as people with no boundaries tend to be with people with no boundaries, so can you imagine how nice it is to start getting boundaries and realise that the new people around are attracted by the boundaries as they recognise them because they have them too. Eventually clients change their friends (or how they’re treated by them and end up with those around them not stepping over their boundaries anymore but joining in with the values as they have them too.

-no boundaries attracts no boundaries (in others)

-boundaries attracts boundaries (in others)

By this I mean that those who walk over boundaries, may have them for themselves but it requires a two way street, to be equal and be seen as equal. For that to happen, both parties need to be seen as equal by the other but most importantly by themselves.

So what stops people feeling equal to another person? Well the reasons can be very long depending on the person’s background, however, long or short reason, really we are back to the basics of  Boundaries, Self compassion, Awareness of self and When helping isn’t helping.

We will move onto Self Compassion next week…

About Liverpool Therapies

Qualified Psychotherapeutic counsellor. Transactional Analysis/ Integrative Psychotherapy/CBT
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