Carolyn Costin, Director of Monte Nido and Affiliates, and author of The Eating Disorder Sourcebook and !00 Questions and Answers About Eating Disorders responded to my last post about Professional Boundaries with these words:
"The topic of our relationship as clinicians to our clients is always a hard one to discuss. There are so many reasons for us all to be concerned about this dynamic. From the very beginning in my work with eating disorder clients I found that they needed to hear from me as a person, not just as a therapist. Although I am careful, I do talk about myself and share from my experiences . . . I do not share the horrors and dirty details of my illness. I discuss strategies for overcoming it that worked for me.
I also maintain contact after clients have left treatment . . . if a client emails or calls I respond; I also occasionally reach out to them to see how they are doing. It is possible to maintain boundaries: it is the nature of the relationship that is important. They always know they are clients or former clients, not friends.. . take the client who called after 7 years of recovery who was in town with her new baby and wanted to see me. Should I say 'Make an appointment"? For me my humanness overrides that silly thought and I agree to a cup of coffee together. . .
The key, for me, is that although there are guidelines, at some point we also have to trust the things that we know. . . . I do my best to keep true to my profession and my humanness at the same time."
Thanks Carolyn, for your wise and thoughtful response. I'm looking forward to hearing from other colleagues. Until next time, blessings! Gail Hall