I am always grateful when something in my experience causes me to question or review the certainty of my beliefs. It causes me sometimes to revise them or expand them; at other times my reflection confirms and reinforces that belief. Whatever my conclusion, the exercise is helpful.
Over the weekend I happened to read some words by an experienced and respected teacher and healer. He wrote about the importance of not having boundaries in the relationship between a therapist and the patient, because boundaries created separation. He talked also about how healer and patient are mirrors of each other, they are as one, which for him is another reason for not having boundaries. He was speaking of any boundaries. So, for him, a patient can call or turn up to see him as he feels the need, for example, and he will do what he can to help whatever the personal inconvenience.
I pondered this for some time, particularly the inference that boundaries create separation and limit the effectiveness of the healer/client relationship. So much of my own work is about healing separation in individuals and groups, and I would be concerned to think I could undermine it through boundaries I know I maintain, such as operating a strict appointment system, and not taking work-related calls in the evenings and weekends.
My conclusions were to agree and disagree with the writer. Yes, I learn so much from my clients, and a free and trusting, loving and honouring relationship with them is immensely important. It is a relationship which does not stop when our appointment comes to an end, it is constantly ongoing and evolving even if we are not physically speaking or connecting.
On the other hand, for the relationship to have a clearly understood structure is also important, and it works both ways. Clients might not appreciate it if I were to call them on a whim at a time convenient for me but not perhaps for them, just as I like and need to know when I have time for myself and when my time is to give to others. People work differently, but for me boundaries are helpful - but only as tools for the smooth-running of my life and my well-being, and those who are in my life, including clients.
Meanwhile, I hope and believe that no boundaries exist when I am doing my work, which, of course, is all about channelling, connecting the One with the Other without impediment - or separation. Please tell me if I am wrong!! So, boundaries, yes, but only in their place.