Our personal boundaries are naturally occurring demarcations - between us and others, between okay and not okay - that we can become aware of by learning to listen better to the cues in our own bodies. Professional boundaries are different, of course, because they also take into account demarcations assigned by external factors or bodies - by the demands of a job, or an industry, for example.
In the context of psychotherapy, the relationships between client and therapist are vastly different to those we might have with our friends and family. The psychotherapy relationship involves the provision of a professional service, and a failure on either side to respect the unique set of boundaries that exist in this context will actively hamper the therapist’s ability to provide that service, and ultimately, their ability to help the client learn to sense, understand and enforce their own boundaries. If a therapist can’t walk the talk themselves, then what use is talking to them about walking, really?
Thoughts on Therapy and Mental Health