Boundary Building in Complex Relationships

posted in: Documents & Resources

“Families remain dysfunctional when everyone pretends that things are okay.”
{Nedra Glover Tawwab}


Boundary Building in Complex Relationships Workshop was presented by Karen Peters, Registered Clinical Counsellor, at the Aging and Kinship Care Gathering in June 2023.

What complicates relationships?

  • Unresolved hurt and old dynamics that stick
  • Competing needs
  • Working with outside requirements (ex/ legal requirements, agency priorities or limitations, etc.) that don’t align with personal values
  • Dual relationship types – wearing more than one hat
  • Differing expectations or approaches to relationship and conflict resolution
  • A third party’s needs are priority (ex/ a child)
  • Inconsistency and/or unreliability
  • Addictions, mental health challenges, chronic stress
  • Fluctuating roles

“When people set boundaries with you, it’s their attempt to continue the relationship with you. It’s not an attempt to hurt you.” {Elizabeth Earnshaw}