Boundaries in Eating Disorder Treatment

Almost everyone is familiar with the traditional ethical boundaries in therapy between clients and their therapists.  The relationship between a client and their therapist is supposed to remain professional – they don’t associate with each other outside of their professional relationship, and aspects of a personal relationship are never brought into the therapy sessions.

What about relationships between clients in therapy together?  We often have small to large groups of women and men together in the eating disorder recovery programs offered at Inner Door Center®.  Because their struggles are similar, clients often form bonds with each other during treatment.  This is important for their recovery, but when do these bonds break boundaries that can interfere with their treatment?

Clients seeing each other outside of treatment while in recovery may cause issues that disrupt treatment.  Although this might seem like a good idea – to have clients come together and bond beyond just the treatment center walls – it can be detrimental while clients are still in the throes of an eating disorder.  Bonds outside of program can multiply the issues that are happening during treatment.  Clients spending a lot of time together outside of program may start to feed off each other’s disorders and behaviors, find issues within the program that become multiplied by discussing it with each other, etc.  Certainly the focus can become less about recovery and treatment and more about sabotage.

After clients have become more seeded in their recovery, it is important for them to connect with other program participants in their everyday lives, if they should choose to do so.  Their common bond and the tools that they have learned during program will help them to stay in check outside of treatment.  We offer a free monthly program (Reconnect with Recovery) at Inner Door Center® for this very reason – for our clients to reconnect with their recovery and with their peers that shared in their recovery experience at Inner Door Center®.

The next Reconnect with Recovery (a FREE program!) is June 16th, 2012 from 11am-1pm at Inner Door Center®.  Visit the website to learn more and to register for this event. 

Don’t forget about our upcoming fundraising event Stereotype Event.  This event will take place at the Detroit Opera House on Thursday June 14th, 2012 from 6:30pm-11:00pm.  You can learn more about the event by visiting  Tickets may also be purchased at the website.


One thought on “Boundaries in Eating Disorder Treatment

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