Emotional Boundary Technique

Do you ever feel like a sponge when it comes to taking on others’ negative words and feelings? Protecting our feelings can be difficult but this technique can protect you while helping you cope with difficult situations objectively and calmly.

Visual Imagery is a strategy used in this technique.

1. Visualize a Plexiglas cylinder that is large enough to fit over you.
2. Once the cylinder is securely over and around you, you notice that you can still see and hear everything going on. However you are completely protected from anything that is being said around you.
3. Within the cylinder, you have the ability to create a sliding window that allows positive interactions and emotions to get in and provide you with good feelings.
4. With visual imagery, you can control what emotions get in and which emotions stay out based on whether the window is closed or open.

Imagine visualizing the negative words and emotions bounce off the cylinder back to the person saying them…all the while safely protecting your heart and being able to cope with situations calmly and rationally.

This technique works but does take practice. Eventually the cylinder will protect you automatically without any conscious thought.

Posted by Kim Kern LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CCS-M
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