The Value of Maintaining a Therapeutic Distance

With Elizabeth Causton, MSW

Maintaining a therapeutic distance is essential when working in a helping relationship. This distance will enable you to do the work while remaining neutral and compassionate. Elizabeth Causton provides ways for observing, commenting and normalizing from a neutral place, to use when in helping relationships.



  • 0:10 When we witness family struggling there is a temptation to fix their dance. The value of our role is to hold the big picture by being neutral and compassionate.
  • 0:55 You need to know where you stand in relation to the patients and family and be able to stay on the edge of the dance floor, in a neutral and compassionate place.
  • 1:12 It is less about distance and more about location.
  • 1:25 You need to be able to articulate your relationship with the person and the family.
  • 1:40 Our role as caregivers – to observe, comment and normalize from a neutral place.
  • 1:47 How to observe from a neutral place.
  • 2:58 How to comment from a neutral place.
  • 3:45 How to normalize the situation, when working from a neutral place.
  • 5:00 When you are clear about where you stand, you can work from a neutral place and be a compassionate witness.
  • 5:49 End

All Rights Reserved. Life and Death Matters, 2015