Personal Boundaries

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are very important is helping with recovery and interventions. Personal boundaries are physical and/or emotional limits that people set for themselves as a way to safeguard their overall well-being.

  • Healthy boundaries help people define who they are as a way to ensure relationships are safe, supportive and respectful.
  • Unhealthy boundaries are thoughts or behaviors used as a means to manipulate or control relationships to keep people away.

Spanning a continuum that runs from “too intrusive” at one end to “too distant” at the other end, Rokelle Lerner, a popular speaker and trainer on family dynamics, codependency and addiction recovery, captures the meaning of boundaries in this simple statement: “What I value I will protect, but what you value I will respect.”

Why Is It Important to Have Personal Boundaries?

Our boundaries are based on our personal values and needs, giving us the space to express who we are as individuals and what’s most important to us. They also provide personal guidelines for communicating to others how we operate and what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable to us. Info from Betty Ford.

Alcohol and drug addiction takes a toll on our relationships—especially on our families. When a loved one goes to treatment, begins learning how to stay clean and sober and focuses on reclaiming their life from addiction, their relationships with other people require rebuilding, too.

Healing relationships in recovery takes a concerted effort on everyone’s part. Addiction can fuel many fear-based behavior patterns and other dysfunctional interactions in families, including the need to control others, perfectionism, hanging onto resentments or behaving like a martyr. A first step is for everyone—the recovering addict or alcoholic, family members and loved ones—to focus on establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries in their interactions and communications with one another.

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