6. Compassionate Boundary Setting to Build Compassion Resilience


“Without boundaries, you will act, sleep, work, groan, feel used and fulfill basic responsibilities rather than make choices to live and love fully, to work hard and nobly, to fulfill your purpose and to contribute passionately to your world.” (Black, J. and Enns, G, Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life. Oakland, CA. Raincoat Books)


Staff & Leadership Combined Activities

Helpful Adult Behaviors (20-40 min)
This activity is a highly valuable activity to do with teams or agency wide at a staff meeting. It will also prepare you for the Staff Culture section of the Toolkit.

Compassionate Boundaries Reflection (15 min)

Types of Boundaries – Use this Visual and Display in Staff Break Areas

Staff Circle Agenda

Additional Resources for Leadership

Leadership Support for Boundary Setting – Guided Discussion (15-30 min)
The leadership team will address key questions after participating in the Helpful Adult Behaviors activity with the whole staff or a small group of staff members.


Within this Section

Self-Help Alliance, Building Better Boundaries, 2010

Brené Brown video on boundaries and empathy

Additional Resources

In provider-client interactions it can sometimes be easy to cross boundaries and blur the lines between a professional and personal relationship. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Professional Boundaries for Caregivers provides examples of boundary crossings and offers tips for staying in bounds in specific situations.

One way to maintain professional boundaries is to have a clear line between your professional and personal life, and setting those work/life boundaries is important to building and maintaining compassion resilience and job satisfaction. One strategy is to establish a boundary “ritual” or routine. To explore see more.