Boundary between the personal and the professional

It was the explanation of and interest in people, their psychology, emotions and behaviour that seemed real and rooted, and this took me towards psychodynamics.

So whilst I resisted the more rigid formulations of the boundary between the professional engagement with the client and personal disclosures, I was attracted to the boundary being important, and felt the attempt to ‘get alongside’ the client to be sentimental and evasive.

This question of the boundary between the personal and the professional has interested or disturbed me throughout my career. No clear boundary is of course possible and the whole structure of this account of my approach to work is based on the premise that the personal is a key part of what drives the professional, and that professional learning is inescapably personal in this field of endeavour. If it were not so, perhaps the boundary would not be so important. At the extreme, everyone knows the importance of the boundary. The doctor that becomes personally involved with his or her patient, has to take clear steps to separate the two roles. There is no significant disagreement with the principle. The application becomes easily problematic.


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