Hello and welcome to The Care Guy's blog.
Please have a look around and feel free to comment on anything that catches your eye.
I hope to make this a useful resource, not just a 'come and buy my services' blog and the comments and opinions of visitors is likely to be a big part of making the blog a success.
I look forward to hearing from you.
(The Care Guy)
20 Commandments 5: Professional distance
Posted on 7:22am Monday 28th May 2012
20 commandments 5: Thou shalt reconsider your ‘professional distance’ if it makes your client feel he stands alone
Professional boundaries are vital. If we lose sight of the professional distance that we need to maintain we risk ‘over-involvement’. This is one of the most damaging things that we can inflict upon our service-users or clients.
A simple and straightforward way to think about this is to understand that your service-users are not your friends. They’re the people you are paid to work with. Friends are the people you choose to spend time with outside of work.
However that doesn’t mean that we need to be ‘cold’ and inhuman.
One of the most important aspects of mental health care is the ‘therapeutic relationship’ and this is certainly not overly distant.
Your service-user needs to understand that you are a fully rounded person who is genuinely interested in them as a person and in their development and recovery. This can never be achieved by keeping too great a distance.
We are social animals and we need contact with others if we are to maintain mental, emotional and social health. If those around us portray too cold and distant a persona we don’t just feel lonely – we may also feel unworthy, unlikeable and undeserving of human contact. This is not the best way to maintain self-esteem and mental health.
Imagine what your life would be like if everyone you knew kept such a distance that they appeared to be cold and uncaring. Imagine if the people you had to rely upon to enhance your mental health acted as though they wanted nothing to do with you. How miserable would your life be? What would you do to ensure that you got the human contact you craved?
If you doubt the wisdom of striking a good balance between professional distance and cold inhumanity think about the people that some of your colleagues label as ‘attention seekers’. How much human interaction (genuinely warm human interaction) do they receive from you and your colleagues?
Often it is worth renaming ‘attention seeking’ as ‘interaction need’. We all need decent human contact and most of us, when deprived of meaningful interaction will do almost anything to get it.
Professional distance isn’t emotional abandonment or unapproachability
Based on the work of ‘Margreeth H.’