Monday, June 6, 2016
At a recent conference in a forensic setting, another art therapist and I had the opportunity to offer an art therapy experiential on boundaries. We asked participants to think of a time that a patient crossed their boundaries and to create an image about that. Participants were invited to show their art work and talk about their experience. One person talked about a patient who grabbed her, another shared about a patient who was being manipulative with him, and another new staff told of a patient trying to intimidate her. Discussion included ways to develop rapport with patients without physical touching and setting clear verbal limits as well as other ways to deal with patients with poor boundaries. Participants were able to offer each other feedback and tips. The group discussion illustrated that we were not alone in our challenges in dealing with boundary issues with a difficult population, and were indeed able to support one another.