Making Rules & Setting Limits

Student’s description of competency and areas for growth________ and I discussed boundaries at length this quarter, as there are many gray areas. For example, this quarter we obtained a partnership to get free healthy food options from the farmers market. When I picked up the items, I stayed around to help the farmers dismantle equipment and put away their wares. I informed ________ that it would be nice if all volunteers did this, as the farmers were elderly, which led to a discussion about my childhood upbringing and mannerisms and how many others may not see this as part of the job description.

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Reading this decades later, I can see the possible gray areas in this scenario; but I also view this as a lesson in etiquette and building positive community relations. I am also sad that my younger self felt the need to self-disclose my past, as this clearly seemed a quid pro quo situation. Self-disclosure is not something I do often with clients, students, or even peers. I advised them that self-disclosure should be considered another type of “gift”. It is best shared deliberately and always with the client’s welfare first and foremost in mind. Yes, it is normal for clients to be curious; but it is important to remind them why they are the focus of the session. I often say something along the lines of “What were you thinking or feeling before you asked me about myself?”

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