We recently called on the gracious Marisa Howard, Somatic Psychotherapist and Rehabilitation Counsellor at Kundalini House for some approaches to creating boundaries for self and others in a compassionate and embodied way.
Boundaries take many forms, and can range from being strict and rigid to porous to almost non-existent. Healthy boundaries serve to make it clearly known what behaviour is acceptable from others and from oneself. Healthy boundaries are evident in our being able to understand our personal needs and wants and how to communicate them, accept when others tell us “no”, and share personal information appropriately (not too much nor too little).
Boundaries can be physical or energetic – financial, sexual, or emotional, or intellectual.
Healthy boundaries protect our physical health by limiting our exposure to stress, reducing physical and emotional fatigue.”
How to begin setting boundaries;
- Take time to reflect on your values, wants and needs. What is okay for you?
- Communicate. Out in the world, communication is key to setting and reinforcing your boundaries with others.
- Reinforce your cognitive understanding of your boundaries and how to enact them, by working somatically.
- In therapy or on your own, somatic work is wonderful for exploring personal boundaries. You can get to know, and work to change the quality of your boundaries, through working with the felt sense.
Tips to embody a somatic practice;
- Use visualisation to imagine an energetic boundary around your physical body, that can let in what is wanted and needed but can deflect what is unwanted.
- With a Somatic Psychotherapist, you might use the felt sense to experiment with physical space or do exercises like pushing against something or voicing “No” or “Stay away” or “Come closer”, noticing somatic responses as you do this. What information does your body have to tell you about your boundaries?
- A Somatic Psychotherapist can help you work with your body in learning new ways of setting boundaries, that you can then take out in the world.
Are you keen to explore more about Somatic therapy?
Book an appointment with Marisa
Would you like to know more about Marisa? Take a moment to look through her website here.