Why use Professional Boundaries?
There are an estimated 1.3 million Australians working in case management, caseworker and support roles; often with some of the most marginalised and traumatised people in our country.
Some of these workers may, inadvertently, cross professional boundaries and cause harm to the very clients they are seeking to help. Inevitably these staff do so in a misguided effort to help clients and rarely is it a deliberate or conscious strategy to cause harm.
Their rationale is something like the following:
If I reveal more about myself (ie excessive self-disclosure) then my relationship
with the client will improve and, consequently, client outcomes will also improve.
Our Professional Boundaries program includes both traditional topics such as
accepting gifts, seeing clients out of hours etc but also elaborates on the difference between a professional relationship and a personal relationship – in particular, how the former results in better outcomes
for the client.
The focus on avoiding excessive self-disclosure but using aspects of a workers personality (called ‘use of self’) to promote a more therapeutic, but at the same time professional, relationships.