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Boundaries – a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

Boundaries are an essential part of life.  More than one billion people are active on Facebook and more than 100 million people use Instagram every month.  Posting a variety of images, statuses, comments, following others and generally sharing information with the whole world.

We share a hell of a lot of information about ourselves;  posting things that in hindsight we known we shouldn’t have.   I have watched on FB Exes slate each other,  along with public break ups, heated  arguements, paternity claims, insults and accusations.

 But why have we become a world that we need to share absolutely everything?

One hit on FB and the whole world knows your news; there is no arguements about who knew what first.   Along with  you aren’t face to face, meaning that often we are far more honest posting if something has upset us than we would be if our friend was sat across from us and possibly a part of us want a reaction.

Social Media

I have previously written about social media,  however today I think it is essential to discuss boundaries.   Not only to protect our identities but also our emotional and mental wellbeing.

We often friend people on Facebook that we wouldn’t be friends with in a different situation.  I have FB friends for instance that I have never met,  they are people who I have met in groups that I have shared a connection with, but do I tell them everything about my life?  The answer is NO! why? Boundaries!

Boundaries are essential!

When we think about personal information we  need to think about the forum that we share them with.  On Social Media they are essential because they protect us from people we don’t really know, yes we may have similar taste, beliefs and values.  But can you really trust that they are not using your information for their own personal gain? For instance the whole world knows you are on holiday and your home is empty for two weeks!

I have recieved many messages on my business page always asking for advice on a situation.  I always respond, however what it comes down to nine times out of ten they want free counselling via FB.  However my boundaries are I do not do online counselling, I only offer Skype sessions to existing long standing clients, HOWEVER  I  don’t and will never offer counselling via FB.

Counselling via the messenger service is one step too far. Face to Face contact will always be my main counselling practice;What is discussed in a counselling session is of a sensitive nature and it is essential that a secure location will always play apart into what services I offer and I believe FB messenger is not the forum for sharing intimate personal problems.   The reason is boundaries, I share my inner most secrets with my friends, I may joke, post photos, take the mick out of myself and friends, but would I want the whole world to know my inner most thoughts? NO!  So why would I use a Forum that could possibly put my clients in an even more vunerable state.

Boundaries also apply to life.  Boundaries help us to remain safe!

Boundaries within the counselling setting are their to protect clients psychological harm. Boundaries enable you to experience the therapeutic relationship, a relationship that differs from a one-off conversation with a stranger, or confiding in a friend.  Occasionally clients know that a counsellor is married,  if they have kids, perhaps even holiday destinations,  If we may get asked a direct question  we  may gloss over our personal experience but we will  only so so if we believe it is interest of the client and it never will be specifics.