Boundaries Updated & Expanded Edition:
When to Say Yes
How to Say No
To Take Control of Your Life

Boundaries Updated & Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, reviewed by .

This book is divided into three main parts:

  1. Part one lays out the biblical view of boundaries: what they are, what they protect, how they are developed, how they are injured, how to repair them, and how to use them. The book aims to help the reader understand the nature of biblical boundaries. In the spiritual world, boundaries are real, but intangible. They define our soul and help us maintain its boundaries.

  2. Part two shows how conflicts about boundaries develop. How do you develop internal boundaries for yourself and others? How does your family of origin influence you? Are you stuck in the perpetual child syndrome? Do you have a triangulation problem? According to the authors, resolution is about identifying the problem, the conflict, the need which drives the conflict, and getting your needs met.

    First comes understanding and then practicing the skills to develop and maintain your boundaries: say no to the bad, forgive the aggressor, respond, but do not react, act in love and not out of guilt.

  3. The third part of the book focuses on the two types of resistance we will face: outside and inside resistance. Watch out for internalized guilt messages — there are about 7 types of internal messages. Guilt messages are used to manipulate and control you. They are messages of anger the other person is sending to you. Guilt is a difficult emotion to understand. Guilt is punitive and is connected to our fallen consciousness.

    You must also have to deal with the feelings of abandonment, resentment and finally understanding how to take care of yourself by using value-driven goal setting.

The first and last chapters of the book are a before and after snap shot of a person not using boundaries and then a person applying the principles of boundaries as a way of ordering their lives and relationships with others. I would recommend the book.