What is the theory behind this Setting boundaries therapy worksheet?
The Boundary Setting Worksheet is based on Assertive Training, which is a component of Behavioral Therapy. Boundary setting enables individuals to have a healthy communication in their interpersonal relationships. Moreover, it improves mental well-being by setting and communicating clear expectations in relationships.
How will the worksheet help?
Maintaining healthy boundaries holds importance in all areas of life. However, setting clear boundaries can be difficult in a family setting due to high levels of emotional involvement with family members. Thus, this worksheet will help individuals in maintaining healthy boundaries within the family by adopting assertive communication style.
How to use this worksheet?
To use this worksheet, review Section A, which highlights: 1) Examples of common family situations that require boundary setting. 2) Healthy boundaries (examples of assertive communication style) and unhealthy boundaries (examples of aggressive and passive communication styles). After reviewing Section A, head over to Section B for putting Assertive Communication style into practice.
Setting boundaries therapy worksheet
Following is a list of different situations that require boundary setting along with examples of healthy vs unhealthy boundaries.
|Unhealthy Boundary||Healthy Boundary|
|Situation 1: When you disagree with family members|
|Calling the other person wrong or foolish.||Silently agreeing to the point without discussing it.||Respecting others’ opinion without changing personal opinion. E.g. saying, “ I respect your opinion, however, I am not prepared to change my mind on this.”|
|Situation 2: When you feel overpowered by a family member|
|Starting a fight (e.g. yelling or blaming).||Avoiding the family member.||Taking a break. E.g., saying, “I would like to take a break and clear my mind. I am feeling overwhelmed right now.”|
|Situation 3: When family members offer unsolicited advice|
|Taking offense and telling them to back off.||Accepting the advice or acting on it despite disagreeing||Acknowledging their effort to help, but politely turn it down. E.g., saying, “I am grateful for this advice but I am going to try something else.”|
|Situation 4: When family members demand something you are unable to offer|
|Rudely telling them about how unreasonable they sound||Complying with the demands because saying ‘No’ is difficult.||Politely excusing yourself. E.g., saying, “I am afraid I won’t be able help you at the moment due to lack of time.”|
List down commonly occurring situations with your family members that require boundary setting?
Which communication style do you identify with most and how well does it work for you?
With the help of above examples write down different ways you can set boundaries for yourself in your own family setting.
Bottke, A. (2010). Setting Boundaries® with Your Aging Parents. Harvest House Publishers.
Pipaş, M. D., & Jaradat, M. (2010). Assertive communication skills. Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, 2(12), 649–656.
Speed, B. C., Goldstein, B. L., & Goldfried, M. R. (2017). Assertiveness Training: A Forgotten Evidence-Based Treatment. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 25(1), e12216.
Tawwab, N.G. (2021). Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself. TarcherPerigee.
You can download this worksheet here.