Boundaries Participant's GuideRevised: When To Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

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Designed for use with the Revised nine-session Boundaries small group DVD, this participant¡¯s guide provides insights, exercises, and all the practical resources for maximizing both group participation and personal growth. Learn the secrets and cultivate the habit of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries that provide the framework for rich, productive relationships.

In order to call themselves good Christians, many people have drawn overly flexible boundaries (unwilling to say no, always accommodating others' needs) or overly rigid boundaries (to the point of being righteous and judgmental). Psychologists and inspirational speakers Cloud and Townsend show readers how to set reasonable boundaries in order to follow the true path of Christianity. This book has become immensely popular, most likely because it makes personal boundaries easier to define and is filled with spiritual purpose. Some cautions: the format can be overly self-helpish for such a complex discussion and the authors at one point imply that judicious spankings may be an acceptable form of setting boundaries with children. However, many Christians will probably find themselves grateful for this biblical context of boundaries. --Gail Hudson

Customer Reviews:

    I am sorely disappointed!!! It was not clear to me that I was getting a book that is about 1 inch by 1 inch. I don't order books often and didn't know that I needed to confirm it was full-sized. I wish it had been made more clear. I waited nearly two weeks for it to arrive and now I'm not sure I'll even be able to read it because it is so TINY!...more info
  • MorganD
    Applying the principles in this book literally changed my life and healed so many relationships in my life. It's Biblically sound and focuses on enabling people to live the life that God intended....more info
  • Not a Doormat anymore
    I read this book a few months ago and the advice it gave me was absolutely amazing. I had worked at a job for almost four years where I was the office doormat, but the last year that I worked at the job it was becoming really out of hand. I had always stepped up to the plate and did way more than my fair share of the work around the office, but in the last year I worked there my boss informed me that one of my co-workers was not doing her work appropriately and I needed to do her job until he "figured out what to do". Well for eight months I did my job and this other person's job, I had five minute lunches as I tried to get everything done. My co-worker would come in my office and go on and on about how this was the easiest job she had ever had in her life. She started bringing in lists of things to look up on the internet because she told me she ran out of things to look up. My boss sat in his office and read all day and when I would go in to talk to him about the situation he would continue reading and wouldn't even look up at me. One day I came in early before work and told him that I was BURNED OUT! He said okay and had the co-worker do her old job for 3 days and then that was the end of it, and he had me start doing her job again. Well I put in a month notice and I quit, and after I quit they fired the co-worker because she couldn't do the job. I was always the good Christian that kept my mouth shut and did what I was told, but guess what God doesn't want you to be a doormat. He wants you to be loving and humble, but you are not responsible for someone else. I have read so so so many Christian books about the importance of being humble and to just persevere through tough challenges, but this was the first Christian book that let me know it is okay to stand up for yourself....more info
  • Think twice about critical reviews...
    From what I've read, it doesn't seem like those with the critical reviews haven't really read the whole book. In a society that's increasingly tolerant and co-dependent, though, I can see people resisting the truth and freedom this book offers. Let me tell you. I first read "Boundaries" over 10 years ago, when I was suffering from Major Depression in college. This book provided the way out. It has played a major role in my life ever since. I have the most amazing marriage now, and my husband and other close friends have found amazing freedom from as we read & re-read this book. We are healthy, and we are happy, but keeping "Boundaries" in the world we live in can be a challenge and takes practice... but it's worth it, as scripture always is. I'm grateful the author's aren't afraid to be true to God's Word....more info
  • Boundaries, a book for anyone who is a people-pleaser
    This book changed my life. For once I was clearly able to see that I am not responsible for other's and am not allowed to change them. This book shows the reader where he begins and ends and how our decisions need to reflect this. Anyone who feels guilt when they disappoint another person needs to read this book. I've given more of these books out as gifts and got the tape to play in my car over and over. The truths presented here give us permission to make healthy decisions which allow good in to our lives and keep the bad out. I found I was doing the opposite for years. If you are a natural people pleaser...get your hands on this book!!...more info
  • Misleading description not happy
    I am shocked and annoyed to hear that this book is more about the bs of god and the bible than the real life problem of boundaries.
    I am so over the religious rubbish, it has nothing to do with the real world. i am a realist and believe that religion does more harm than good.

    i want my money back, this book should be clearly marked as christian and not self help!!!...more info
  • Fundamental Life Skills!
    I read this book a year ago, loved it, devoured it. I thought I absorbed it at the time, but now a year later, I find even more concepts from the book sinking in. The concepts in this book have saved my life. They are also now helping me raise my child and enrich my marriage, as I am currently reading the other books in the series, "Boundaries in Marriage" and "Boundaries With Kids". I recommend this series to all human beings, regardless of religious belief. The tools found in these books can truly help you achieve a peaceful, fulfilled life! ...more info
  • A must read for all Christians
    Refreshing, enlightening and a 'must read' for Christians. I wish pastors would teach on this. They support their views with scriptures, which I especially like. Too many nice people are being taken advantage of because they just don't know how or when to say no. I highly recommend this and the other boundary books concerning marriage and child rearing....more info
  • Take Ownership of Your Life
    Wow! What an incredible book. The lessons and advice within each chapter are life changing, if you put them into practice. My co-workers were so impressed with what I had to say about the book and it's lessons, not to mention how it changed my life, three of them bought a copy and one borrowed a copy. Well worth the money spent. ...more info
  • Boundaries is a great book
    Although I haven't finished reading it yet, Boundaries is a great book and I give it 5 stars!!!...more info
  • A Must Read for Everyone!
    I wish I would have had this earlier in my life, but it's never too late to take control. One of the most helpful books I've ever read. A must read for everyone.

    Donna Dee Weems
    Reedley, CA...more info
  • Awsome
    A must read for every one. These are things that just arent taught in the real world....more info
  • Buy the full size not the miniature
    The full size version is really great. I've read it more than once and am helping teach a class/discussion group using the full size Book . The miniature is a waste of time and money.
    ...more info
  • Boundaries
    This is a great book. A very quick read by Dr. Henry Cloud. It helps people to understand when and how to say yes and no. The listeners of Dave Ramsey's radio program are recommended to read it and I would recommend it to all adults....more info
  • Tremendous Christian psychology based help
    Even though I'm a school counselor, this book has added greatly to my knowledge base. I've loaned it out so many times to students and faculty that I finally had buy another copy for myself. Now I'm buying more copies for Christmas and birthday gifts as so many people lack skills for when to say yes and when to say no. ...more info
  • This is a miniature (2x2) book don't fall for it!
    This was a rip-off, and a real disappointment. It was misleading and deceptive because when it arrived it was a miniature size (2"x2" app) with only a fraction of the content of the actual full-sized book by exact same title which I was expecting but wasn't worth paying to ship/return. There isn't an option to rate this with 0 stars but there ought to be, as well as some 'boundaries' against this sort of fraudulent advertising practices, don't fall for it! ...more info
  • Boundaries : When to say Yes, When to say No, Take Control of Your Life
    It was most disappointing when I realized that the 7 books I'd ordered as gifts were minature copies. I had overlooked the tiny word minature mixed in with the publisher list. Since there is a newer edition of this book available, I assumed that the "real" book was on clearance and hence a lower cost. I felt that it was deceptive advertising and not made clear. I still have these 7 ridiculous-sized books on my shelf....more info
  • Christians are not supposed to be Doormats
    Being a good Christian doesn't mean putting up with everything that happens in life. We are not doormats and this book helped me see that. It is okay to preserve yourself and keep a sound mind - away from others that take advantage of you. If you are upset by how others treat you or how much you end up "doing" for others and the church, then you are doing so out of our human need to fulfill what being "Christian" is...we need to bear good fruit, and that means setting limits. ...more info
  • Drawing a good line in religious life
    A very kind, down-to-earth book - the best kind of Christian counseling for managing relations, obligations, caring and abuse. Where religion commonly promotes unlimited demands on people, Cloud and Townsend show humane limits based on respect for both ourselves and others. And they firmly challenge any who feel it spiritual to blame the victim in cases of emotional abuse. On the way, they question many boundaries we draw in our lives, urging open consideration of what is actually helpful:

    "Christians often have a warped way of looking at work. Unless someone is working 'in the ministry', they see his work as secular. However, this view of work distorts the biblical picture. All of us -- not only full-time ministers -- have gifts and talents that we contribute to humanity. We all have a vocation, a `calling' into service. Wherever we work, whatever we do, we are to do `unto the Lord'." (Colossians 3:23) (p. 194)
    ...more info
  • Excellent
    You can't get much better than Cloud and Townsend for giving practical advise that works. A book for everyone to read....more info
  • Mind YOUR business!
    What a life-altering book! Truly, it has turned my life around and helped me overcome many dysfunctions that I learned growing up in an alcoholic home. I have highlights and notes on just about every page. I will forever be indebted to the wisdom gleaned from these pages....more info
  • Best book ever for developing healthy relationships
    I buy this book in mass quantities because I am a counselor at my church and in my opinion it is the best book I have found in 35 years for helping people to recover from hurts and abuse and develop strong healthy relationships. I recommend it to everyone who is struggling with relationship issues.

    ...more info
  • You need the DVD
    What is not obvious when you buy this little paperback is that it is not complete without the DVD. And the workbook does not refer to this "new and revised" book. It refers to the original book. What you can get out of it is good....more info
  • pastor's wife
    This is a very good book explaining how to have boundaries in our life. I'm doing a class at church with this book and its going very well. I listen to these two doctors that wrote this book on Joyce Meyers....more info
  • Excellent book for adults confused over juggling boundaries with parents
    Boundaries demonstrates what a life without boundaries looks like, how boundaries are lost and how to set new boundaries with others. Very helpful guide for adults with newly widowed parents trying to decipher the gray areas of boundaries after the loss of a parent.--Author of the multi-award winning resource guide...Mom Minus Dad: The Essential Resource Guide for Busy Adults with a Newly Widowed Parent...more info
  • Very Helpful Book
    This books has loads of great insight for improving your personal boundaries. If you feel like you can never say no to others, this is the book for you. It is good for Christians and non-Christians because the insight works no matter what. I am still working on the ideas in this book, but will definately take another read of it in the near future....more info
  • boundaries
    Never received this book even after an email was sent to the seller. No response, bad business!!...more info
  • boundaries
    great book to help you focus on the importance of self. making time/priority of self...more info
  • excellent book
    incrdible insight, using scripture to help us understand ourselves as well as others. A great book that helps a person put limits on their actions and feelings...e.g. setting boundaries. Setting boundaries for themsleves as well as others.
    ...more info
  • Boundaries CD
    The content of this CD is great but the quality of the reader makes it very difficult to follow. I do not recommend the CD. I bought this as a gift for my mom after reading the book which was excellent. She likes to listen to books when she is working in the kitchen, however if there is any background noise in the kitchen at all (which there always is - dishes, running water, TV in the next room, etc.) then it is impossible to hear the reader consistently. His voice varies in volume and tone way too much....more info
  • This Book--> The Pencil That Will Help You Draw the Lines
    Wow, why didn't I ever know about this book? You don't hear much about it- I stumbled upon it browsing around Amazon one day. For people wondering if they should buy this book, get it if:

    -you're not turned off by a Christian writing approach
    -you feel like there's a problem because you're trying to be a good person all the time by always saying "yes"

    In a nutshell, this book is for people who don't know how to set boundaries for themselves. In other words, they're always saying "yes" to things and taking responsibility for things- even when it's not their job.

    And boundary lines of your responsibilities need to be present in more areas of your life than you might realize, such as...

    -your family
    -your friends
    -your mate
    -your kids
    -your self

    The book covers boundary conflicts in each of these areas leaving no stone unturned. Therefore, its no big deal if you have only one or two problem areas- just go to those sections.

    This book will help you realize what a boundary is, why it's okay to have them and just how to develop them. So if anything in this review sounds like if might apply to you- don't hesitate to check out the book. Other neat self-help books I liked include "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".
    ...more info
  • Empowering
    I'm living in a situation that is not what I'd ever expected in my life. We decided 4 years ago to move into my husband's parents' house. We have two children. We have the first two floors, his parents have the top two floors. From DAY ONE they always wanted to "help" by TAKING the kids....something I never wanted but didn't have the guts, self-esteem, whatever, to say NO and create the necessary boundaries that would enable me to live in this situation. So for 4 VERY LONG TEDIOUS years, I suffered, playing the role of "victim". Until I found this book. It came two weeks ago. 5 days ago I was able to clearly, logically, simply express my boundaries without attacking (something I had fantasized about IMMENSELY) or making anyone feel bad. This is a very powerful book, powerful information, empowering to the soul. I truly love this book and already let it enable me to also heal another area that had major boundary issues. It is so good. My only advice is to read it SLOWLY and digest it; let it creep into your subconscious and inspire ideas. When the ideas come up, if they feel right, act on them immediately. You will NOT be disappointed.

    Good luck to anyone with boundary issues. This book is truly spectacular....more info
  • This book is really eye opening
    I think this book is really outstanding and life changing. I didn't realize I had weak boundaries until I read it. Now I can see clearly all the ways this problem has affected my life and my happiness over the years. It has truly opened my eyes and now that I know what my main problem is, I can address it. I highly recommend this book and I am buying a copy for a few people I know.
    ...more info
  • Boundaries:Taking control of your life God's way
    This book helps you understand what makes people act the way they do based upon their hang-ups and experiences in life-these are actually spiritual strongholds in them. The authors help you learn how to confront these areas,and know your own sins and areas of weakness-saying no to them. The book in no way can take the place of the Bible and God's way of dealing with people,but it does contain lots of scripture references. ...more info
  • Boundary Bible
    Everyone should own this book. It is the Boundary Bible. It is a must read for every human being....more info
  • this book saved my life, literally
    When I read it, I was just a few steps away from an emotional breakdown. My boundaries were so pour, so porous, that I was completely bankrupt of emotional resources, down to 100 pounds (from a healthy weight of 125), couldn't sleep, couldn't eat & was struggling with active suicidal ideation. The book helped me see where I was off - and gave me a road map how to regain myself. It was neither easy nor quick. It took about two years and a support group of caring connections - friends and family who were able to reach out, encourage & stabalize me as I learned this new way of doing life. But in the process, I saved my marriage, was there for my kids & even helped them to learn healthy boundaries so hopefully they will be able to avoid the same mistakes I made....more info
  • Great info
    What can I say? this book is great. Great information on what boundries are, how they are created, how they can weakened and what to do to be the person you were created to be....more info
  • God's truth is always good
    We all need to learn healthy bouderies to let good people in & keep unhealthy people out. Good "how to" book....more info
  • Boundaries
    Great explaination of the constant struggle to maintain a healty border in your life. Let the good in and the bad out. Detailed explaination and easy read. Like any other book, not a instant life "fixer" but does have application to a better you....more info
  • if you get past the beginning its really helpful!!
    the beginning was kinda slow, but once you get passsed it, it had really helpful and pertinent information in a much easier format....more info
  • book is perfect for anyone with boundry issues and even not
    for those like me who think God left it up to me to do his work and for others who just don't know how to keep someone out of their space, this book is perfect. it was a life changer for me. now i just remind myself "boundries" and know that God didn't leave me in charge down here, that he is in charge and working on al situations. it let me know that i am interfering with his work. i can now sleep at night knowing that he is in charge and that it's not up to me to fix up everyones lives...more info
  • Clearly Defined
    Written by psychologists and incorporating a Biblical perspective, Cloud and Townsend offer anecdotal, clinical and spiritual evidence as they explain the need for limits in our lives. Individual chapters address specific relational areas, e.g. family, marriage, children, workplace. The language and terminology are easy to understand, and the overall tone is encouraging. ...more info
  • Must Read- Boundries
    This is a wonderful book. I am doing the study along with the workbook. Wow! Have I learned a lot about what my Boundries are.
    I would recommend this book!...more info
  • Excellent Book
    This book has helped me more in life than any other book that I have ever read. I will keep it forever and go back to it when I need to....more info
  • Boundaries is the icing on the cake of healing!
    From cover to cover Boundaries is a complete Christian handbook for discovering why God created boundaries and how to implement them into our lives. By following this guide many dysfunctional people will find a path to freedom and regain control of their lives. Boundaries are clearly defined in this book in all areas; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Using the steps in the book will bring new health to your relationships and lead to a walk of being the loving giving people God intended us to be. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family myself, I have to say that Boundaries is the icing on the cake of healing that God has served me and I will serve to others as well. ...more info