When Boundaries Betray Us: Beyond Illusions of what is Ethical in Therapy and Life

Front Cover
HarperSanFrancisco, 1993 - Philosophy - 256 pages
"Traditional wisdom dictates that the values and codes governing psychotherapy are, if not self-evident, at least beyond question: therapy must be conducted in an atmosphere of detachment, objectivity, and strict separation of personal and professional agendas between patient and therapist. But what is the human cost of these values, and do they really contribute to healing?" "In When Boundaries Betray Us, feminist theologian and ethicist Carter Heyward delivers a lightning bolt reality check to this prevailing system of values. Drawing on her own traumatic experiences in therapy, Heyward exposes how the rigidly applied boundaries of the professional relationship can be fear-based, artificial constructs that stand in the way of true healing and our right-relation to one another as people. She shows how, in our hetero/sexist, patriarchal society, women especially must enter into healing on common ground, creating a mutually empowering experience for therapist and patient." "Recounting her eighteen months in therapy in an engaging and honest narrative, Heyward chronicles the life of a turbulent relationship - from moments of deep personal discovery to a shared experience of spiritual connection to a growing hostility and an abrupt severing of relations. She clearly illustrates how the intermingling of personal experience and emotion between therapist and patient is both inevitable and essential to the development of a truly trustworthy relationship. And, conversely, she shows how traditional boundaries are merely a pretense and can in and of themselves lead to emotional and spiritual wounding." "In a controversial break with many other feminists over boundaries in therapy, Heyward calls for a new form of healing in community - within the nurturing, mutually beneficial framework of fully developed relationships involving mutual risk. And she steps back from her own experience to pinpoint ongoing issues of power, community, and liberation that dramatically affect our ability to heal." "When Boundaries Betray Us is both a personal story and a challenging vision of what true therapy - and true healing - can be. It is must reading for all therapists and religious professionals, for those in therapy, and for anyone who wants to find the way to true well-being."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Remembering Sophie
Yearning to Befriend

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information