For those having been instilled with good Boundaries they may seem as natural as breathing, a way of being in the world that is consistent and makes sense. For those less fortunate poor boundary development can be crippling to ones whole life.

In essence a boundary is a personal line in the sand that distinguishes you from someone else defining what you are responsible for in life from what you are not. A very clear definition of who you are and who you are not.

Physical Boundaries help us decide who may touch us and under what circumstances.

Mental Boundaries free us to have our own thoughts and opinions.

Emotional Boundaries help us define and deal with our own emotions and disengage from destructive, harmful or manipulative emotions of others.

Spiritual Boundaries help us distinguish Gods will from our own and help define who he is.

How do you know if you have Boundary problems?

Do you feel guilty or afraid when trying to set boundaries with others?
Is it hard to say no?
Do you feel mean or unloving when you attempt to set boundaries with others?
Do you question what legitimate boundaries really are?
Difficulty deciding how much time, love or money to give away?
Pervasive sense that setting boundaries is really just selfishness?

Clearly defining who we are and taking responsibility for ourselves is one of the healthiest most worthwhile endeavors we can undertake. Knowing, developing and internalizing good boundaries is the framework upon which all of the rest of our lives sit. They determine whether we will move relatively smoothly and successfully through our relationships, work and interactions in life. Good boundaries determine how well we are able to protect ourselves emotionally and physically and keep us navigating through life without taking on someone else's responsibility or allowing them to take on ours in an attempt to avoid our own personal responsibilities.

Boundariless people tend to draw to themselves other boundariless people who either allow themselves to be taken advantage of or will take advantage themselves of another's poorly developed boundaries. Usually some combination of the two.

If this rings true in your life and you would like to develop a healthier boundary style I would love to talk with you. This is a specialty of mine and I have seen tremendous growth in clients whose lives have literally been transformed by our work together. You can contact me at 619 518-1323 or via email at

Author's Bio: 

I'm a therapist who has worked extensively in the area of codependency and boundary development for many years through the use of individual therapy and group work. I also work with couples extensively around these issues and parents in the formation of healthy boundaries with their children that often was lacking in their own upbringing. I very much enjoy working with graduate students to implement boundaries in their personal and professional lives as professor of Group Counseling at my graduate college.