An Analytic Study on the Therapeutic Boundary between Counseling Psychologist and Sexual-Abused Children


This study aims at exploring different types of therapeutic boundaries during counseling psychologist’s counseling process with the sexual-abused children. It also aims at providing methods for the counseling psychologists to use the therapeutic boundaries in order to enhance the counseling process as well as providing a practical approach and reference for professional counselors. This study targets at five counseling psychologists who have conducted counseling with sexual-abused children. Data and information are collected through semi-structure in-depth interviews and analyzed by its content analysis. As a result of the comprehensive analysis, this study suggests that: First, the counseling psychologist recognizes different types of therapeutic boundaries including “Role”, “Place & Space”, “Gifts, and Related Matters”, “Dress”, “Language”, “Self-disclosure” and “Physical Contact”. Second, factors that make counseling psychologists adjust therapeutic boundaries: Clues that inspire the counselor to adjust the therapeutic boundaries: case’s behaviors, information and behaviors of significant others and public intervention. Factors in adjusting the therapeutic boundaries: factors related to the case, factors related to the counseling psychologist, factors related to therapeutic environment and knowledge base of professional counseling . Third, ways for counseling psychologists to set up and adjust therapeutic boundaries: ways to set up therapeutic boundaries: acknowledged agreement & case being given autonomy. Ways to adjust therapeutic boundaries: set limits, immediacy, empathy, clarification, self-disclosure, self-monitoring, behavioral rehearsal, support system, autonomy, approval, tutoring, and counter-transference. Fourth, impact of therapeutic boundary adjustments on the counseling process: shift of consultation relation, shift of personal boundary, capacity upgrade, level of input and definite role for professional counseling.

Author Information
Wen-Wen Lin, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan
Li-fang Tsai, National University of Tainan, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2015
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

This paper is part of the ACP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon