How to establish healthy boundaries to optimise outcomes with your practitioner
Informed Communication & Counselling in the Therapeutic Setting
Before you begin, as individuals you may need to research practitioners and techniques to find what best works for you. The right fit so to speak. You may be drawn to a specific counselling process, or a combination, but with a little effort you will find a method or approach that suits. The curative process involves bringing an individual’s truth into being whilst simultaneously treating the unconscious/subconscious processes and reactions, and to the degree that you and your practitioner can manifest truth and authenticity, in alignment with physical health and adaptability will directly determine how well one functions in the world.
Your most important tool – Boundaries.
Boundaries are ‘where you and I meet’. Healthy boundaries ensure that I value and respect myself past, present and future, while simultaneously valuing and respecting those around me. When I implement healthy boundaries, I am giving you permission to do so to.
To develop healthy boundaries, acknowledges and heals the past, the hurt parts of ourselves that may have previously lacked boundaries and exposed us to the harsher aspects of life. Without boundaries we get hurt. This often leads to bitterness and resentment. Hurt people may eventually, and without meaning to, hurt other people.
When we have healthy boundaries in the present, we are actioning ourselves toward our full-potential without the vicissitudes of bitterness and resentment. Operating in this mode attracts others who similarly respect and value their own boundaries and yours. These individuals tend to want the best for themselves as well as those around them. Our actions and that of those around us are modulated, corrected and enhanced through constant signalling from our peers of what is and isn’t okay. Confidence grows individually and within the peer group as out actions and behaviours are rewarded and the positive effects of respecting our own personal values whilst simultaneously meeting and respecting another’s is revealed. This often results in Consistent movement forward in areas of health, relationship satisfaction, job opportunity and satisfaction, and personal growth.
Working with a practitioner and nutting out your healthy boundaries is essential to optimise future outcomes outside of therapy.
How can you tell? Contraction vs Expansion
Take a moment to settle yourself. Now take a deep breath in. Feel yourself expand. Feel your ribs open, chest lift, and your head slightly tilt up and back. Allow your jaw to soften as you fill yourself with a deep inhalation. Pause. Now allow the breath to exhale. As you do feel yourself move into contraction, your ribs will pull inward, your chest and shoulders will lower, and your head may tilt back down slightly. Expansion and contraction. These are the 2 states of life, of being. You are either expanding or contracting. To expand is to strengthen. When we contract, we weaken, however opportunity is always present as contraction also creates momentum, a powerful force that can propel you forward and into a growth potential position. It does however also have the potential to create chaos. Many individuals who seek counselling or healing may claim feeling stuck. The only problem here is we never really get stuck. Feeling stuck is to be in contraction.
Another way of looking at it is we are either moving forward, towards our goals, or backwards, and away from our goals. When moving toward a goal, making small incremental achievements, we’re expanding and getting stronger. When we feel stuck, or contracting, we may shy away from even setting goals, believing they are for a select few ‘special’ people. When in a state of contraction, fear is often at the forefront – a force that will hold us back. When in expansion, goals not only become achievable, they often grow and far surpass what we may have initially set out to achieve. Limiting ourselves and assigning ‘special’ to a select few is replaced with effort, optimisation and motivation to achieve growth and success. ‘Special’ is released as potential is activated.
An effective therapeutic approach will aim to identify and transcend fear, leaving it in the past. Boundaries play an essential role here also. Implementing healthy boundaries requires the setting of small achievable goals that when discussed with your therapist, whilst simultaneously tackling the unconscious/subconscious blocks, positions you on a path toward your health and wellness goals. Setting and achieving goals, challenging enough that it requires some degree of effort, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming, activates the dopamine system in the brain, furthermore, moving you into expansion and strengthening. Often it is simply learning appropriate boundaries and how to put them in place whilst discussing potential outcomes is all that is required for you to overcome your fear. It is often fear of the unknown that causes an irrational or exaggerated justification to stay small.
When we choose healthy boundaries, we place value on our self, claiming our worth and our sovereignty, and we align to our truth. The more we do this, the more likely we’ll do it again, and thanks to the ripple effect, the more likely we are to see the benefits in all areas of our life.
Informed communication in the therapeutic setting is key as you have the opportunity to speak your truth in a safe environment. The weight of years of illness, trauma, powerlessness or weakening is temporarily lifted in a moment of authenticity and speaking on behalf of oneself, possibly for the first time in many years. An effective therapeutic process gives you, the individual the opportunity to explore your truth, while addressing the unconscious blocks. Unknown territory and chaos can certainly create anxiety, but when you discuss, learn and grow using a combination of counselling techniques, plus specific therapeutic techniques that work with the nervous system and neurological pathways (think Kinesiology, Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Bowen, Acupuncture, Physio, Massage, plus meditation, exercise & movement such as yoga, nutrition & gut health etc, the list goes on!), you will become more capable, sharper and smarter than you could ever imagine!
About the Author:
Jo holds a certificate in Nutritional Wellness & Lifestyle coaching and has participated in a number of workshops including wellness retreats, yoga & breath meditations, nutrition, fermentation & raw food workshops. She has a special interest in the Neurological component of our health and wellness and the effect our emotional world has on our ability to cope and manage stress. Jo has also participated in further training and specialised programs in Neuro-emotional pathways, Neuroplasticity and Brain Nutrition. https://wellness-centre.com.au/