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Maintaining Professional Boundaries

  • 43 Renfrew Road London, SE11 4NA United Kingdom (map)

Summary This course is a small-group based programme which aims to help people in the caring professions improve their awareness and responsibility around establishing and maintaining professional boundaries.  Please note that this course is exclusively for people with identified problems in relation to sexualised or inappropriate behaviour.

Sexual boundary issues may include: inappropriate emotional or sexualised relationships with colleagues, clients, students, patients or congregants; inappropriate use of touch; sexualised or inappropriate language; sexual harassment.

If the issues concern honesty, probity, nonsexual offences or general conduct matters then the new course 'Maintaining Professional Ethics' is suitable. If the issues are primarily about problematic ways of relating with colleagues then the course 'Maintaining Professional Relationships' is appropriate. Please note that the three courses collectively replace the previous course 'Maintaining Proper Boundaries'.

What people say about the 'Maintaining Proper Boundaries' course

I learned more about communicationsin three days than I did in the whole of medical school.
In 23 years since medical school (and indeed during medical school) this has been the most effective, interesting and challenging course that I have done. The impact has been immense.

The space created by the course approach and structure led to an open dialogue that was hugely useful to me. I found the personal realisations unmasked during the course to be transformative.

The facilitators calm and authoritative approach allowed him to go into very personal territory in a group setting without feeling exposed.
My main learning was in the understanding of the impact of boundary violations on patients.
The main impact has been a deep understanding of why we need boundaries and the ability to change practice in order to ensure they are maintained. Giving patients space for their issues and not mindreading etc.
The role-play had a profound impact on being able to see effects of my behaviour
The impact of the course has been monumental – as if scales have fallen from my eyes and I am able to have insight not only into my consultation skills but also with the relationships and connections with my family and friends
 Best course I have ever attended by a long mile. Lovely choice of venue, calming, atmospheric and very conducive to being open and honest and on-judgemental.

Who is the program for? The course is for practitioners who have a particular need to improve their professional boundaries. It may be helpful to professionals who have concerns about boundary keeping, or are in the early stages of disciplinary or conduct hearings or other professional processes. Participants may have admitted or have been subject to a finding of fact in relation to sexual boundary violations.

When would a referral to this program be appropriate? Human resources departments can use the program as a preventative measure or as part of employee development plans. Practitioners can self-refer. Regulatory panels can refer participants as part of suspension or conditions of practice orders. Medical defence or professional organisations can refer people at any stage of proceedings. 
Course Aims
The course aims to provide an educational and reflective space for participants to examine the roots of their problematic behaviour and to have assistance in making personal and professional changes. The course goals are:  

  • To increase responsibility and awareness of professional boundaries 
  • To increase awareness and understanding of vulnerabilities and risk factors 
  • To identify contextual factors
  • To put in place a personal plan

The course includes knowledge sessions on professional boundaries generally, as well as on sexual boundaries in particular. The completion of the boundaries plan, which is a series of measurable commitments around behaviour, is a core component and runs from beginning to end of the course.
Course Objectives
By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Improve understanding of personal history and antecedents to boundary transgressions 
  • Consider needs for further professional assistance and personal development 
  • Understand the effect of boundary crossings on others 
  • Differentiate between boundary crossings and boundary violations
  • Learn techniques for establishing and maintaining boundaries 

  • Improve understanding of professional boundaries

How the course is organised Course numbers are restricted.  There is some pre-course work to do, including a self-assessment, reading and a reflection exercise. The course itself is highly interactive and involves being accountable and transparent, being open to seeing things from a different perspective and being willing to make changes. There is a lot of space for considering the contexts for the behaviours of concern as well as for developing a personal plan to avoid repetition. Content includes:

  • Professional boundaries theory
  • Risk factors and vulnerabilities
  • Psychological concepts (such as counter-transference)
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Impact on others
  • Legal and regulatory
  • Self-disclosure
  • Dual relationships
  • Power differentials
  • Use of touch
  • Remediation and rehabilitation
  • New ways of communicating

Around this content there are many spaces for participants to reflect on their actions, to have a conversation about responsibility and avoiding repetition and to make their own plans.   The course hours reflect this comprehensive approach:

  1. Day 1- 9.00am - 6.30pm
  2. Day 2 - 9.00am - 6.30pm
  3. Day 3 - 9.00am - 4.00pm

There are regular breaks, including 90 minutes for the evening meal. Two course vegetarian lunches as well as tea and coffee are provided. Participants are free to make use of local restaurants for the evening meal.

Expectations of participants Participants are accepted for the programme following initial discussion by phone with the course leader. The course requires access to any relevant documents in relation to professional conduct enquiries, and may request access to any other material, such as evaluation reports.

Participants are expected to commit to attendance for every session of the course. The programme is unlikely to be suitable for people with untreated psychiatric disorders and we may ask permission to discuss any health problem with treating professionals.

Participation is voluntary.  The course is not suitable for people who wholly deny the existence of a problem.  Participants are asked to take responsibility for contributing actively throughout.

Price: £1250 + VAT.

Sometimes the Clinic is able to organise payment options – please get in touch for details.  Please call 0203 468 4194 to make a payment, to discuss options and to arrange the pre-course phone call, or email

Disclaimer The course can provide only one element of prevention or remedial plans. Completion of the course is not in itself seen as sufficient to determine fitness to practice, which may not be fully achieved unless additional elements are put in place (such as psychotherapy, practice supervision, or monitored re-training etc).  CPD certificates are provided. No report on participants progress or engagement will be provided. 

Terms and Conditions All bookings are made in agreement with our terms and conditions.

Earlier Event: January 15
Maintaining Professional Ethics