The 8-Step Boundary Technique

8-step boundary technique

Written by Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
Self-Love Recovery Institute — President/CEO
PsychotherapistEducatorAuthorExpert Witness

“You cannot expect to set boundaries effectively and have them stick if you don’t believe that you are perfectly ok by yourself.” – Ross Rosenberg

Setting boundaries is an important part of all relationships. It becomes even more important — and potentially life-saving — when you are interacting with a pathological narcissist. Those who are Self-Love Deficient (SLD), which is a new term for codependent, need to learn tools and strategies to set boundaries, even to the point of breaking up with someone.

The ability to set healthy boundaries is not measured by the person setting them. Rather, it is determined by the levels of mutual respect, the shared appreciation/value for them, a shared understanding that they ultimately make everyone happier, and, most importantly, the shared ability to reflect on their importance, even if they are constructive.

Healthy boundaries are not measured by what and how you do it or who you apply them to, but rather your strength, values, and courage to set them, despite the possibility that they may be dismissed or ignored.

The 8-Step Boundary Technique© delivers a powerful and effective step-by-step strategy to set boundaries with a partner:


  1. Calmly, while not activated, explain the problem for which the boundary is necessary.
  2. Explain how the problem makes you feel
  3. Explain how the problem impacts the relationship.
  4. Give a “cease and desist” statement, which explains what needs to be stopped or modified.
  5. Explain how complying with the boundary has a positive impact on the relationship.
  6. Give the cause and effect statement or the “if-then” warning.
  7. Execute the boundary.
  8. Strict implementation of “Observe Don’t Absorb” detachment.

Eight Step Boundary Technique

observe don't absorb


About Ross

Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, is Self-Love Recovery Institute’s CEO and primary contributor. His internationally recognized expertise includes pathological narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and attachment trauma. Ross’s “Codependency Cure™ Treatment Program” provides innovative and results-oriented treatment.

Ross’s expert educational and inspirational seminars have earned him international acclaim, including his 23 million YouTube video views and 255K subscribers. In addition to being featured on national TV and radio, his “Human Magnet Syndrome” books sold over 150K copies and are published in 12 languages. Ross provides expert testimony/witness services.

More about Ross and his educational and inspirational work can be found at

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Ross Rosenberg

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, is an international codependency, narcissism, trauma, and sex& love addictions expert who provides psychotherapy, training and consultation services. Ross is a keynote speaker and trainer, presenting in 27 states and 3 countries. He owns Advanced Clinical Trainers and Clinical Care Consultants, an Arlington Heights IL counseling center. He wrote the best-selling book, "The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us." Ross’s YouTube channel contains 75 instructional/educational videos, which have over 2.6 million views and amassed 24,000 subscribers. He has been on ABC Late Night, a ABC "Swiped" documentary, Fox News and WGN News. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune & Publishers Weekly and he blogs for The Huffington Post, &

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