Shrink Rap: Interpersonal Boundaries

Shrink Rap: Interpersonal Boundaries

[click “Play” to hear Dr. Paul Hokemeyer continue on co-dependency]



By Dr. Paul Hokemeyer

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer Last week we talked about the signs and symptoms of co-dependency. This week I want to dig down a little deeper and explore how our interpersonal boundaries impact our emotional well-being. Without exception, people who suffer in co-dependent relationships have thin or non-existent boundaries with the person with whom they are in a co-dependent relationship (their qualifier).

Ernest Hartmann articulated the notion that our interpersonal boundaries are either thick or thin in his 1991 book Boundaries in the Mind. Hartmann noted that people typically fall into two types: Those who have thick boundaries are loners and have few intimate connections with other people. Those who have thin boundaries tend to fall in love and trust too easily.

People who suffer from co-dependent relationships have thin or non-existent boundaries. While they might be able to say “no” or set limits in other areas of their lives, when it comes to saying “no” or setting limits with their qualifier, they allow themselves to be hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or enraged time and time again.

We all need boundaries to protect ourselves from emotional pain and abuse. Interpersonal boundaries enable us to establish healthy, self affirming and loving relationships with ourselves and other people.  In this interview I will discuss the concept of interpersonal boundaries and offer practical tips to enable listeners to establish healthy ones in their lives.

Dr. Hokemeyer is a nationally recognized expert on Eastern philosophies, relationships, and emotional healing. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, he holds a PhD in psychology, as well as a doctorate in the law. A part-time Telluride resident, Dr. Hokemeyer is based in the New York City office of the Caron Treatment Centers. He is also a weekly contributor to “The Dr. Oz Show,” CNN’s “Headline News,” and other media outlets, including “Good Morning America,” “truTV,” and “Oprah Radio.” His new column, Shrink Rap, is scheduled to appear at least bi-monthly on Thursdays on Telluride Inside… and Out.




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