If you are a counsellor, it is important that you set boundaries when dealing with clients.
Failing to do this means that some lines may be crossed that affect the relationship in a negative way.
If you are unsure of where the lines should be drawn, here is some information you should find quite useful.
KEEPING THINGS PROFESSIONAL
One problem that some counsellors have is trying to connect with clients while being totally professional at the same time.
While it is a good idea to familiarise with someone and make them feel comfortable sharing information with you, there should never be a question of whether or not you are being professional.
Basically, it should be clear that you are their counsellor and not their close, personal friend.
BEING AVAILABLE AT SET INTERVALS
You should never give a client unfettered access to you.
While you want to be helpful and be there when someone needs you, it is not your responsibility to take care of them around the clock.
When you leave the office, it should typically be about you and your personal life.
Your clients should be left at work and all of their troubles shouldn’t follow you around 24/7.
Every once in a while, there may be an occasion where talking to a client after hours is needed, but this should not be a regular thing.
In addition, you should have a phone for clients that is separate from your personal line. This will make it easier to separate your home and work lives.
You should not be at home about to have a meal with your family and your home phone is ringing because a client needs someone to talk to.
ADDRESS IT WHEN LINES ARE CROSSED
It is imperative that you address it when a boundary has been crossed. This will prevent the same thing from happening again in the future.
There are some instances when people are not aware that they are doing something wrong and they need to be told there is an issue.
You cannot remain silent and have animosity against someone because you did not take the initiative to make it clear that certain behaviours are unacceptable.
BE CONSISTENT WITH ALL CLIENTS
There should never be an occasion when you are treating a client different from others.
Things like giving them extra time, buying gifts and things like that are not acceptable.
The way that you treat them should be the way you are with everyone.
If you decide not to take heed, there is a chance that someone will notice and make the assumption that there is more to it than meets the eye.
REFER THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE
If you come to the realisation that you have crossed a line and there is no turning back, you should refer the client to a colleague.
This will prevent things from getting worse. For instance, if you feel like you have a personal interest in someone, you need to cut all ties.
This is because it will be difficult to be objective and offer them the best possible treatment.
In addition, you do not want to violate any unwritten rules about counsellor-client relationships.
When you are counselling others, it is important that you know how to set boundaries and make sure that they are followed.
If you have been having difficulty with this, following this advice should make things easier for you.
All of this is important if you want to be seen as a total professional who values their clients and wants what is best for them.
Our counselling can help you rebuild your relationships and develop the skills necessary to manage any type of crisis confronting you.
Please call us today on 1800 331 441 or contact us through our website to make an appointment.