It is possible to have healthy boundaries – which is essential in taking care of ourselves – and still care about others. Setting healthy boundaries demonstrates that our emotional well-being is a priority. Living with or loving somebody that struggles with addiction can make it difficult to hold healthy boundaries. We often see boundaries relax due to fear and a desire to provide support. We hear families say, “We will do anything it takes to help our loved one recover.” But, without knowing it they support the addiction by shrinking their boundaries in response to the addicted person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
This week we are providing a short clip featuring Julie Hanks, LCSW. In this clip she discusses some common issues that can make it difficult for friends and family members to set healthy boundaries. While this discussion isn’t geared specifically towards addiction – the information shared in the clip is applicable to all family systems.