Professional Boundaries

Boundaries are important

In rehab setting it’s important for everyone to adhere to boundaries of some description. Clients need boundaries in order to make their therapy more effective and on point.   If boundaries are loose there can be a lot of trouble in future.

Professional boundaries should be firm, not flexible, the resistance or objection you may receive from putting in place a firm boundary is usually only temporary. Clients may not like hearing the word “no” initially.

It’s important to understand the differences between having a professional relationship with someone and having a friendship.

The difference between friendships and professional boundaries:

Friendship Professional
Friends will hug each other as a means of greeting Professionals should not hug clients unless expressed consent is given
Friends sometimes lend each other money A professional should never lend or take money from a client
Friends like to give each other gifts A professional must be careful taking gifts, all gifts should be declared to line management
Friends will sometimes buy each other coffee A professional must be careful accepting coffees from clients as it may be used as a means of winning over your favour
Friends will keep secrets on behalf of each other A professional should never keep a secret from a client and must share with the team
Friends share intimate personal details about their relationships and sex life A professional should refrain entirely from sharing details about their sexual activity
Friends sometimes kiss A professional must be careful about how they engage with their clients, physical touching is discouraged
Friends will sit alone with mixed sexes A professional must be careful about entering into room of someone of the opposite sex. Where possible avoid doing this alone
Friends will sometimes find each other attractive Transference of romantic interest must be disclosed to team and where possible another professional takes their place in matters concerning that client
Friends take each other out to dinner A professional should decline invitations out to dinner
Friends joke a lot with each other and sometimes playfully poke fun A professional must be very careful with this dynamic that they are no too “Pally” with clients
Friends are flexible with time keeping A professional should always be on time with groups and appointments
Friends allow each other flexibility A professional should keep to structure and time keeping during groups/counselling and other matters.
Friends share unresolved issues with each other A professional should never disclose issues they  feel that are unresolved



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