How Good Boundaries Actually Bring Us Closer
Interpersonal co-regulation requires boundary setting. Most of us haven’t been lucky enough to learn to be good at boundary setting naturally, by good examples, so we have to literally be taught how to do this important skill. Well today we are in luck! Jello will be your friend. 🙂
Therapist Uncensored co-hosts Ann Kelley and Sue Marriott join the founder of IPNB Psychotherapy of Austin, Dr. Juliane Taylor Shore, in a discussion on interpersonal neurobiology and how it relates to boundaries. We’ll explore the three types of boundaries, how to co-create boundaries and how to stay regulated using internal mechanisms. After this podcast, you may very well be on your way towards building your own “Jello wall” and better co-regulating yourself when you’re overwhelmed!
Some background on Juliane Taylor Shore: Founder of IPNB Psychotherapy of Austin with interests in interpersonal neurobiology, neuroscience, philosophy, biology and physics.
How are boundaries defined and what sort of connotations come with boundaries? How can the connection between boundaries and interpersonal neurobiology actually bring people closer?
The Three Types of Boundaries
External, Behavioral Boundary: “I don’t want to talk to you when you raise your voice at me.” Or “I’d love to see you but I can’t right now.” The concept of having to say “no”.
Psychological Boundary: separation between people, difference between true self and parts of self (“air” between people, your truth and my truth are allowed to be different) “Jello Wall”
Containing Boundary: (individually deeming what’s okay leading up to healthy shame) Boundary that stops you from acting out.
Co-creating boundaries between two people is a great way to negotiate disagreements and find a middle ground.
“Fucked up people will try to tell you otherwise, but boundaries have nothing to do with whether you love someone or not. They are not punishments, judgments or betrayals. They’re a purely peaceable thing. The basic principles you identify for yourself that define the behaviors you will tolerate from others, as well as the responses you will have to those behaviors. Boundaries teach people how to treat you and they teach you how to respect yourself.” – Cheryl Strayed (Author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
“Jello wall”: Stop and slow down all the input coming towards you so you can ask, “Is this true or not true?” and “If it is, is this about me or not about me?” This allows you to view the world around you without getting hurt. Allows you space to reflect and be in your own system.
The differences between the logical left brain and abstract right brain influence how they connect neural networks. Healthy shame is important to not beat one’s self up over establishing boundaries.
Using young ones and animals to teach your inner protector parts to have a better containing boundary, relieving trauma by talking to your young self (you at four, sixteen, etc.) rather than beating your present self up.
Exploring the connection between attachment and interpersonal neurobiology.
The anticipation of threat before setting a boundary and connecting to something after getting overwhelmed so that it’s part of your life narrative and not something that keeps popping up.
The individual nervous system isn’t meant to survive being alone after trauma but we need co-regulatory nervous systems AND you can be your own co-regulatory system.
You can start by building up your relationship with yourself and learning to trust your internal voices, neural networks or other people.
Examples working through the three types of boundaries; Co-creating a boundary with a spouse over lack of communication. Turning down a panicked client when you’re totally booked. Having uncomfortable physical contact with an older family member when saying goodbye.
Assuring your younger self that doing something bad or hurting someone doesn’t make you a bad person.
Treating each relationship like a tennis match; you can only control what’s happening on your side of the net.
Recap on the three types of boundaries.
The Pocket Guide to Polyvagal Theory the Transformative Power of Feeling Safe by Stephen Porges
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed