Write an Essay on Confidentiality and the Boundaries of a Helping Relationship

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Pages: 8

Boundaries not only reflect a need for physical space, but, our core values, self respect and our need for safety and protection. They are invisible lines that differentiate people from each other. The different forms or types of boundaries include physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and relational.

The formation of boundaries in Counselling, or a helping interaction, is very important. Helping interactions provide people with an opportunity to help deal with their difficulties, whatever they may be. It is a chance to be listened to and understood. As such, the helping relationship is an intimate one. It is built around trust and support and offers the helpee (client), a place free from judgment. Within a helping interaction
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The helping interaction becomes ineffective because helper will more than likely allow his views and feeling to affect the direction of the session. Therefore, boundaries are imperative for the counseling to be effective.

Maintaining healthy boundaries protects the helper from being overwhelmed and avoiding work because the helper does not know what to do. For example, when I go over the contract with the helpee during skills practice, I state the limits of my capacity by identifying that I am a trainee counsellor. Supervision is also invaluable in supporting a helpee’s work. Sometimes a helpee may be referred to another support agency. This may happen if the helper acknowledges that the client can get better help elsewhere or if boundaries are broken. Helpers do not have all the answers and they should never imply that they do. Related to the notion of understanding one’s limits, is an understanding and awareness of the role of a helper. Helper’s will work towards self-awareness and help promote change, but cannot tell a helpee what to do. Helpees are regarded as experts in their own life and capable of making decisions. As a helper, during skills practice I use techniques like reflecting, paraphrasing and questioning to broaden a helpee’s perspective and propel the explorative process. However, I always keep in mind that it is not my role to solve the helpee’s problem for him, and am careful not to overstep my bounds.