Knoxville Area Psychological Association

Member TIp of the Month

January 2020

During years of supervising students and new psychologists, I realized we spent abundant time addressing issues of therapist-patient boundaries. Naturally, boundary issues take many forms, including relationship boundaries, personal space, self-disclosure, etc.

Another boundary issue worthy of vigilance arises when patients strive to violate boundaries of TIME. The stories I have heard! This topic deserves an entire article, if not a book.

My tip: if you position a clock in clear view of the patient, and you have made the time boundaries of your appointment explicit and clear, you will find that you rarely need to be the one to end the session.

If you find that a patient still attempts to bring up the most urgent issues after his/her time has passed (testing you and/or acting rejected if you will not run over), the issue will need to be addressed therapeutically. But I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for this week...

Submitted by DMS 1/20/2020

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