Healthy Boundaries and Social Media in The Therapy Room

IMG_0541Recently, at a national conference I attended, I went to an excellent presentation on social media and its impact on clients and their course of psychotherapy.  In my practice, I have seen this related to issues my clients face with  break-ups, and relationship ups and downs, as well as conflict between family members, as communicated through social media in all of its forms.

Often, after a break up, clients need space and distance from their “ex’s” in order to heal fully.  I encourage people to allow time for distance through either using “not following” features on Facebook, for example, or blocking if necessary.  Also editing “friends lists” to those who you truly communicate with, had a relationship with in “real” life at one time or another.  With art work done in sessions, with me as an art therapist, I tell clients not to share at all, as this is a part of their treatment record, exactly like a therapist’s note would be.

While the open communication of social media definitely has its upsides, the downsides and risk to confidentiality are great.  Also, outside of the therapy room, clients need to set boundaries and not leave themselves open to hurt and pain that can be gained from seeing the wrong post at the wrong time.  Starting to doing this online can be a good beginning for clients who also need to do this in “real-time” in their “offline” world with face to face interactions.

In short, having respect for oneself, allowing time for healing by limiting or removing visual stimuli or interaction that can be exacerbation of pain, excessive and disturbing, and concentrating on elements that can enhance your life for the positive, be calming, and allow you to focus on the here and now instead of having your head in what others may or may not be doing or saying,  are essential to healing.  This issue is becoming a growing problem.  Please give yourself the gift of healthy internet boundaries, which will translate into healthy boundaries in your day-to-day life.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Healthy Boundaries and Social Media in The Therapy Room

  1. Abby Gardiner

    Great topic; not discussed nearly enough. People think that boundaries in their use of cell phone, texting, social media use etc are simply not necessary. So it’s a free for all, 24/7. Guilt will be yours, therefore, if you’re not available to everyone, all the time. Difficult people will exploit you freely. Ugh! Boundaries in these tech areas are proving to be critical to wellness – maybe more important than any other ‘earthly’ boundaries we so fiercely protect. There is an epidemic of people who are now over stimulated, exhausted and anxious and prone to relationship friction and heartache but they don’t know why. (duh.) So thank you for bringing this to light.

    Reply
    1. lifebalancecounseling@gmail.com Post author

      Abby,

      Thanks so much for your reply! Yes, our online world is invading our day to day life in “real time”. While we can’t and shouldn’t stop the progress of technology, it is in our interest to preserve boundaries and know when to either turn off or limit this invasion, and not sacrifice our involvement in the real time world around us. The residual friction in causes us is very real, thank you again for commenting.
      All the best,
      Rita

      Reply

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