Social Skills and Personal Boundries

Social Skills and Personal Boundaries are the next part of becoming a Good Enough Counsellor. Today we will talk about social skills and the interaction and the use of the therapeutic approach. Also, I will discuss the boundaries you can find in the counselling room i.e. during a social activity.

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Social and communication skills.

What are these skills and why are they important?

Excellent social skills are beneficial, it is a talent which helps us to survive in the mass, and especially on the first meeting or during the first therapeutic session for the client when they feel uncomfortable because the relationship is entirely new.

Sometimes we are referred to another professional, so the therapist needs the social skills necessary to engage with the other professional business.

Communication skills are essential in the counselling skills package, no more or less like in private life. Sometimes we are not willing to meet with anyone and go far from crowded places. It is not that we necessarily suffer from social anxiety, it is just our ability to cope with a particular situation that is rooted in our personality. A therapist with excellent social and communication skills, is more effective and builds a positive therapeutic relationship with ease. They are more creative and possess greater confidence and assertiveness. Also, excellent communication yields a more favourable result for clients. Communication skills include verbal and nonverbal, and showing understanding through skills like: attentive body language, eye contact and silence.

During education and clinical practice the professionals can notice a typical aspect of transference and against transference. The information you receive is an important tool to get a comprehensive picture of what a person wants to say. The problem may arise when your own experience mingles with the statement of our interlocutor.

This state of affairs will overwhelm the real picture. In this situation, it is worth knowing our boundaries and knowing which content belongs to the caller and which is our personal part.


The skill of maintaining proper boundaries is essential to providing a healthy and productive counselling practice and personal wellbeing. This skill is necessary for both the client’s welfare and our well-being as practitioners. These boundaries are usually established by contracting in the first therapy session and have to follow the professional body’s codes of ethics and practice. For good practice, a counsellor has to avoid dual relationships, any sexual and personal contact, or an inappropriate relationship with the client.

A client has to know about the timeframe which is intended for the counselling session and has to be informed about confidentiality and the sharing of personal information according to established laws. The breaking of confidentiality applies especially in cases of child protection, instances where violence is occurring against someone, or where a person is a danger to themselves or others.

Those boundaries are important for us to control and establish a healthy relationship between people, and not only in the counselling room. Generally spanking the boundaries we can divide in few stages.

Physical stages of boundaries

This type of boundaries are related to personal distance; hugs, kisses or touch like shaking the hands or holding someone’s arm or holding the shoulder during the conversation. The personal distance is included here indeed and the distance between two people should be at least 1.5 m if we are not related or know each other well. You know examples from everyday life situations when a stranger comes too close to talk with you. 

Time Frame  Boundaries 

These boundaries are related to the period of time in whild area. Particularly time for sleep, for work , for fun each can take 8 hrs or 24 hrs a day cycle. If we do not respect the time frame that can be difficult from one to another. Correct time to go to sleep is related to correct time to wake up for daily activity. We can not forget here the time frame which we offer for other people. We need to remember how much time we can spend for other people or activities for a healthy lifestyle. 

Intellectual Boundaries 

Here is time for our personal boundaries buty more related to free speech and everyday conversation. Generally speaking we need to respect each other with their opinion or set of beliefs, political system and acceptance of difference. Is not OK  to argue with soem one only because they have a different point of view in a particular subject. Also, we need to respect someone’s opinion without hurting their feelings only because we believe in different approaches. 

Emotional Boundaries 

Here is a similar situation like above in intellectual boundaries, our feelings are not less important than others. That how we feel and think is our own business and has to be respected. The value of our own emotions is the core of our own existence and has to be accepted as anyone else. However, we are obligated to respect others’ feelings and not cross with our own beliefs in some subjects like not being too open with private things  like family stories, etc. 

Sexual Boundries 

That all related to sexual subject and activity, unapropiate contact, distance, proposition and opinions; comments, jokes etc. Any inappropriate behaviour in that are can be harsh  no less than physical contact 

Material Boundaries 

These boundaries are strictly related to one’s own personal goods. These material boundaries work well when you borrow or lend any object, to respect someone’s goods and do not exaggerate with time of holding or pushing to give someone your own belongings. 

Please share your opinion if you like this post.

Thank you for reading.

Published by Marcin Bogucki

Counselling & Psychotherapy for both English and Polish speakers.

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