Worldview and Biases in Boundary Creation

As we talked about in Module 3, your worldview is the lens through which you see the world. Your worldview is a cumulation of all your life experiences. We also all have biases, which comes with being human. Becoming more aware of our assumptions and biases will go a long way with boundary co-creation.

Because of our past experiences we may have formed some rigid categories of “right and wrong.” However, someone else has a different experience, and may perceive the very same thing quite differently. The most important thing we can do when we find ourselves engaged in this kind of either/or thinking is to ask questions, such as:

  • What has led me to believe what I believe?
  • Is there any flexibility in my own belief? Why or why not?
  • Can I make room for a different perspective on this?
  • Who can I talk to who believes differently than me? How can I listen to them to understand rather than try to convince them that I am right?

Creating space for a different perspective does not mean that you have to change your belief about something. You will always have the freedom and right to believe what is right for you.

The goal is not to change your belief but to also have space for other people to have different perspectives. Others may have had different experiences, different treatments and approaches may have worked for them, and they may also come from different cultures. In this work it is essential that we give up the desire to convince someone we are working with that we are right. When both people in a conversation seek to understand, rather than seek to convince the other person they are right, both people often find their perspectives expanding. Expanding perspectives leads to growth and learning. Think of a time you may have really listened to someone with a different perspective and thought, “interesting…I hadn’t thought of it that way.” Community and connection is about embracing diversity, and that includes diversity of thought and perspective (even when we think we are right, and the other person is wrong).

All of this means that people we work with will have a different approach to their wellness, and recovery than we do. This will show up in boundary co-creation.

Below are some examples of how different perspectives can show up in the work we do:

  • You have a strong belief and grounding in harm reduction, and the person you are working with is having success with AA. (Or vice versa.)
  • You are a vegan, and the person you are working with eats meat. (Or vice versa.)
  • You have strong religious beliefs and the person you are working with is an atheist. (Or vice versa.)
  • You take a natural approach to your wellness, and you don’t believe in taking medications. The person you are working with takes medications and expresses satisfaction with them. (Or vice versa.)
  • You have had a ton of success with a certain treatment like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and the person you are working with had a negative experience and doesn’t want to try it again. (Or vice versa.)
  • You are very against ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), but the person you are working with has had success with it. (Or vice versa.)


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Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Jenn Cusick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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