"Boundaries & Power Differentials"
Updated: Sep 22
As you may already know I am excitedly working towards a bachelor degree in "Holistic Health Sciences" at Quantum University and one of the very interesting subjects/courses that I am presently working through is "Law Ethics and Client Relations" - and one of my most recently completed sub subjects has been "Boundaries: Dual and Sequential Relationships"
"The professional relationship feels secure and safe for both integrative medicine practitioner/ therapist and client and that the expectations and role-boundary clarifications for both client and integrative medicine practitioner/ therapist are understood"
The following is a transcript of my actual exam submission discussing the impact of the power differential and how it applies to integrative medicine..
"The impact of the power differential and how it applies to integrative medicine" By Jeannette Andrea Jackson
"The power differential is the inherently greater power and influence that helping integrative medicine professionals have as compared to the people they help.
Understanding both the value and the many impacts of the power differential is the core of ethical awareness.
The power differential within integrative medicine should be used primarily for the purpose of bringing value, clarity, and guidance to clients.
The power differential serves the integrative medicine therapeutic relationship by offering an authoritative context that is necessary for effective work.
People seeking help are in a position in which they must trust in the knowledge and guidance of their integrative medicine caregiver.
This results in a greater-than-ordinary vulnerability. Consequently, people are unusually susceptible to harm and confusion through misuses (either under- or overuse) of power and influence.
The power differential is role dependent.
The client and practitioner/therapist inhabit different roles within integrative medicine. Each of these roles carries with it certain responsibilities.
The integrative medicine practitioner/therapist role is in service to the client and is recognized as having a particular qualification, expertise, and skill.
They will offer feedback, guidance, and education before and after regarding course of treatment and desired/potential outcomes and are responsible for establishing and maintaining good boundaries.
The client’s role is more vulnerable and in a position of trust and often at times depending on what information the client is asked/required to reveal that may be private and delicate that is needed/required for their integrative medical assistance and they may not know or be aware of what kinds of behaviour may cause difficult dynamics in the professional relationship unless they are informed and educated as such beforehand.
It is important to understand that integrative medicine practitioners/ therapists are 150 percent responsible for what occurs in the therapeutic relationship, while the client is 100 percent responsible.
It is in the best interest of the integrative medicine therapeutic relationship to teach clients what they are responsible for. This is often conveyed in our written practice policies and verbal informed consent.
Values of the power differential are that the client has confidence in the integrative medicine practitioner’s/ therapist’s knowledge, training, and expertise; therefore, the client can trust the direction and support offered by the practitioner/therapist.
The professional relationship feels secure and safe for both integrative medicine practitioner/ therapist and client and that the expectations and role-boundary clarifications for both client and integrative medicine practitioner/ therapist are understood.
This is best conveyed through practice policies that outline the awareness that both client and integrative medicine practitioner/therapist have allocated responsibilities and hence that no one person is carrying the load of the relationship and that there exists collaboration between the integrative medicine practitioner/therapist and client and that this collaboration fosters satisfaction and effectiveness yet however, the integrative medicine practitioner/therapist is more responsible for the overall health of the relationship.
When used wisely and appropriately, the dance of power within the integrative medicine therapeutic relationship offers clients some very important assurances.
As a result, the relationship holds clarity and mutual respect, and may circumvent potentially awkward situations."
Love this Ted Talk Video "Good boundaries free you" by Sarri Gilman", it's one of the recommended videos on the Instructional Materials List for my Quantum University Holistic Health Sciences Degree Course Module ~ IW-200 - Law, Ethics, and Client Relations Lesson "Boundaries: Dual and Sequential Relationships"...
"Everyone is in a middle of a life story and your story is being shaped by what you are saying yes to and no to.
"Your yes and no’s are what boundaries are made of" ~ Sarri Gilman