In a previous blog post, we talked about the importance of maintaining healthy boundaries with your clients. This can help you stay compliant with behavioral health standards and protect both you and your clients.
However, boundaries don’t just apply to client relationships. Healthy boundaries with employers, employees, and partners are also valuable. They help differentiate roles, define responsibilities, and set standards for your workplace.
Good boundaries are an important part of a healthy work-life balance. Without clear work boundaries, it may be easy for a clinician to:
Cover for an associate even when they are too busy for it
Take on more clients than they can realistically manage
Perform tasks that could be delegated to others
Miss out on personal or family obligations
Become too emotionally involved in coworkers’ lives
Too many demands with too few boundaries can create provider burnout. This has serious consequences that can ripple through your work and personal life.
What are good work boundaries?
Boundaries essentially define where you end and others begin. They can vary for different people and environments.
Some examples of boundaries at work include:
Strictly defining what tasks or results you are responsible for in your practice
Deciding how many projects or clients you can reasonably take on, and sticking to that limit
Creating standards for workplace behavior and employee relationships, such as physical contact or time spent together outside of the office
Defining what you and your coworkers owe to each other, such as keeping each other up-to-date on schedules or covering sick days
Setting standards for how you will manage after-hours work and communications
Your individual boundaries will depend on your personal needs and the type of work you do. Life is always changing, and that means that our boundaries may have to change, as well.
How do you start setting boundaries?
If you feel frustrated, exhausted, resentful, or guilty at work, that could indicate boundary violations. However, you may not be sure how to define those boundaries, or when they have been crossed.
Start with some self-reflection when you feel stressed, anxious, guilty, or resentful. Consider which people or situations may be involved in those feelings, and why. This can indicate where you need to make changes.
For example, if you feel resentful because you often cover for a partner who misses too much work, you may need to get better at saying no. If you’re exhausted because you are the only therapist at a practice, you may want to hire a partner or an assistant. If you feel guilty for not spending enough time with your family, consider setting rules for after-hours work.
It’s okay to ask for help with creating and managing boundaries. Discuss the issue with a manager or trusted coworker, or even your own therapist. They may have valuable input to help you create and protect boundaries.
If you struggle with boundaries and burnout, you’re not alone. Many behavioral health clinicians struggle to minimize frustrations at work while serving their clients and meeting their own personal needs.
At BestNotes, we believe that the right tools can help manage work-life balance without sacrificing professional standards. BestNotes EHR solutions were designed so you can run an efficient practice with better client results, higher revenue, and lower stress. Contact us today to take the next step in making your career even more satisfying!