Setting Boundaries In Addiction Recovery

Setting personal boundaries is a healthy behavior that some individuals must rely on to protect themselves and hold others accountable. There are many types of boundaries that a person can create for themselves. Most often, intimate relationships will establish this to help the couple avoid conflicts or learn how to address problems more sincerely.

Other types of boundaries may not include another person but are based on the individual’s mind and how they relate to other people. Therefore, a personal boundary is a limit or a rule that defines the role someone has within a relationship or environment. Generally, boundaries are helpful for anyone attempting to change how they interact with other people.

Being assertive is a quality of setting healthy boundaries that must also involve balanced two-way communication.

What Are The Types of Boundaries?

Someone can implement many types of boundaries to become more stable and ensure their peace of mind. However, here are three that are most common and their description.

  • Physical Boundaries: A physical boundary involves someone’s willingness to engage with physical contact. Are hugs or handshakes preferred, or how much space does someone require in public settings.
  • Emotional Boundaries: Define how much or how little a person will agree to share their intimate feelings with others. They also entail the emotional energy and effort someone puts into a relationship.
  • Sexual Boundaries: This pertains to having comfort and consent with sexual contact. It establishes more than what is okay and not okay during sex; a sexual boundary also extends to the level of commitment each person has for the relationship in terms of being monogamous or not.

Understanding What Healthy Boundaries Are

A person with healthy boundaries knows when to say “no” to others but can also open up to intimacy and close relationships when they wish. Stanford University has educated insight on what healthy boundaries represent.

Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill and takes practice. Healthy boundaries can mean knowing and understanding your limits, building self-awareness, considering one’s past and present, and acknowledging your feelings. In all kinds of healthy relationships, it’s important to regularly discuss and respect each other’s boundaries. When it comes to sexual relationships, there are many different types of behaviors to sexual interaction, and consenting to one type, doesn’t necessarily mean someone is consenting to everything. For consent to truly be given, it must be clear and enthusiastic! (Stanford University)

Addiction Recovery Success

Maintaining recovery from drugs and alcohol requires personal boundaries within relationships can be even more critical. People in new recovery are incredibly fragile, and what their partner or relative says or how they interact can trigger them to use or drink. Many recovering people put a boundary on how much time to spend with complex family relations or whether they see them.

Recovering from drug and alcohol addictions is less about the substances and more about the person’s mental health. Without clearly defined boundaries, a person in recovery will have conflict and be susceptible to returning to drugs and alcohol to feel better and numb the pain caused when there is a lack of healthy boundaries in their relationships and environments.

How to Set A Boundary in Recovery?

Setting personal boundaries in recovery means knowing what triggers negative emotions. For example, if seeing a family member reminds the newly recovering addict about the abuse done to them or how they were poorly treated in the past, a boundary to protect their sobriety would be not to see the family member until they are ready emotionally and mentally. Other recovery-centered boundaries place limits on types of employment or social functions. For example, working at a nightclub or going to one is not a healthy boundary for someone in recovery.

What Type of Therapy Can Help Me Establish Setting These?

The most beneficial type of therapy that improves self-esteem and self-worth by teaching the individual how to define and set boundaries that pertain to their wellbeing is evidence-based behavioral therapy is ideal for helping a person learn about boundaries.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps the individual identify negative thoughts that prompt stressful feelings and reactions. Within the treatment, the patient will also identify challenging relationships and how to set healthy boundaries. Aria Florida provides evidence-based therapy programs that include cognitive behavioral therapy.

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