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The therapeutic frame. That pillar of the therapeutic relationship draconically enforced by authoritarian therapists and equally loathed by clients everywhere. Or so I thought.
frame (noun, frām) – the setting of boundaries or ground rules for the contractual aspects of therapy. The therapeutic frame governs the rules and expectations of therapy: time, place, fee, confidentiality, contact. It is a crucial element for the creation of safety, for both client and therapist.
I spent 4 years in therapy where the frame was decidedly gray. I’ve spent much of the last 9 months having to re-learn how to be in a healthy, boundaried therapeutic relationship. All that time, before, I thought I was fighting against boundaries. Now I see that I was actually reacting to a distinct lack of boundaries. Just as children do better with well-defined boundaries and expectations, so do therapy clients.