Posted by: Marie | May 19, 2009

(73) Setting boundaries – Part 4 of 5

Post #73
[The script I read to my therapist in a session in order to set some boundaries with him – Monday, August 25, 2008 – continued from the previous post]

“Smaller” Issue #1: General plan of action

Context: I am aware that you like to “fly by the seat of your pants”.  It is one of your attributes that caused me to gravitate towards you as a therapist – I felt it would be good for me to have a less structured environment – one where I would likely feel off-balance and out-of-control.  However, that approach is less effective for me as I am now reaching for a clean conclusion to our therapy . . . sometime in the relatively near future . . .

In the absence of a clear plan of action for my therapy . . .

I feel . . .

– confused, disoriented and out-of-control,

– unclear about how to “fix what ails me”,

– uncertain that we are going where I need to go,

– uncertain of our future progress,

– anxious about the possibility I am not using my resources well.

I believe . . .

– it would be most beneficial for me if my therapy had an agreed-upon direction and focus. It would:

– ensure we are “on the same page”,

– ensure the most important issues are getting top priority,

– ensure we have dealt fully with one issue before moving on to others,

– provide continuity,

– allow me to know that we are using our time and my money wisely,

– allow me to know when it is time to stop therapy.

I need . . .

– to know that continuing therapy with you is the best use of my resources.

I want . . .

– you to co-create with me a dynamic plan of action with the following components:

– general direction/intentions,

– list of outstanding issues (including priorities and degree of resolution),

– our agreements about homework assignments and other prep work.

It is important to me that this plan of action does not take away the freedom you need to implement impromptu and “sneaky” therapeutic techniques.  I need help understanding how to strike this balance.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Hi – I discovered your blog through BTC (a great blog about the therapy process). I’ve just started blogging myself and suspect we have much in common. I am a year into therapy dealing with issues of childhood sexual abuse. I can relate to this post – I’m not sure where I am going in therapy. Anyway – looking forward to looking at more of your blog.

    • Hi, OLJ –

      Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I agree that BTC’s site is great!

      I’m glad that you are blogging as a way to move the “stuff” from inside of you to the outside of you . . . very important. I have found this community to be very supportive.

      I’ll keep an eye on your site . . . thanks for the comment!
      – Marie

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