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Maintaining Therapeutic Boundaries

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

This course is for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychoanalysts, IAPT practitioners, CBT therapists,  medical psychotherapists,  and other talking therapy practitioners who have an identified issue or problem around maintaining boundaries.

Boundary issues can include: over-involvement;  managing personal or time boundaries;  practitioner self-disclosure;  dual relationships; business relationships; financial issues; probity/honesty concerns; misuse of the therapeutic space; managing client frustration; breach of social or sexual boundaries; emotional entanglement; breach of confidence, or indeed any other professional matter.

Participants with a therapy background who have participated in our other small-group courses have said:

Underneath my inexperience and lack of knowledge is all my personal stuff. Fear and anxiety stopped me from doing what I should have done. It has been really helpful, quite a revelation to me really.
 Some parts of the course were painful - particularly when I was faced with my own narcissism. It’s really useful to see that clearly and not be crushed by a burden of guilt.
 I am now aware of my own processes which I unknowingly was trying to resolve or satisfy [with my clients]. I did not feel judged but there was a depth of analysis of what was really going on for me, and why the problems occurred in the first place.
Being made aware of my issues and processes, in particular my anger and hostility towards my client. How all this anger and emotion was present and got in the way of my clinical work. Before now I would totally blame the client.
 Now I look with more objective eyes, and see clearly; I have really learned how these things happened – I trivialized it all, I blamed her and her problems.
 Very useful, particularly in having your story fed back to you and allowing/creating the opportunity to connect with what was actually behind your story.
 The course was professionally run, and felt invigorating rather than punitive, and the blend of taught and reflection was something that felt right.
 I’ve been really surprised at some of the things that have come out of my mouth. I liked that the facilitator didn’t allow us to get away with things; we explored the underlying stuff, which no-one has done before.

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 involved with disciplinary or conduct processes. Participants may have admitted or have been subject to a finding of fact in relation to boundaries.

When would a referral to this program be appropriate?  Practitioners can self-refer. Regulatory panels at professional associations can refer people as part of sanction orders. Insurers can recommend  participation.
Course Aims
The course aims to provide an educational and reflective space for participants to examine the roots of the problematic behaviour and to have assistance in making personal and professional changes. The course goals are:  

  • To increase responsibility and awareness of therapeutic 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 boundaries. The completion of the personal development 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 problems
  • Consider needs for further professional assistance and personal development 
  • Understand the effect of behaviours of concern on others
  • Differentiate between boundary crossings and boundary violations
  • Learn techniques for establishing and maintaining safe 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:

  • Boundaries theory
  • Risk factors and vulnerabilities
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Impact & consequences
  • Self-disclosure
  • Dual relationships
  • Power differentials
  • Use of touch
  • Sexual attraction
  • Self-care
  • Remediation
  • New ways of communicating

Around this content there are many spaces for participants to reflect on their actions, to have conversations 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 - 5.00pm

Two course vegetarian lunches as well as tea and coffee are provided.

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 or issue.  Participants are asked to take responsibility for contributing actively throughout.

Booking The standard price for the full course is £950 +VAT. As this is a pilot course we are making it available at £799+VAT. Reduced fees are sometimes available (details on request) and 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: November 24
Values In Practice