While working with your clients, complicated issues may arise, and knowing how to handle these problems in a professional, ethical manner can be the key to a successful practice. Massage therapy is a profession built on the idea of trust. Effectively communicating your policies can help you avoid losing time, money and potential clients. Additionally, if you are an employer, having written policies that outline the expectations you have of your employees is very helpful. Things like mandatory staff meetings and professional expectations should be covered in your employee agreement in order to prevent any misunderstandings between you and your staff. It is also best practice to discuss ethics with your employees to protect the reputation of your practice.
How they can put a time frame on it is beyond me. What time does it take to get through the counter-transference issues and be clear on your motives and clear your heart?
Even if there is not a state law, dating clients is just one big NO. If the person was just divorced or the divorce happened as a result of the new relationship, the ex-partner could take legal action against you especially if there is a law regarding dating in your state.
If the relationship ends badly at a later date, the client may finally realize that you took advantage of them when they were in a vulnerable state and try to sue you or put claims against your license for inappropriate behavior and ethical violations. If you as the massage therapist find yourself falling in love with your client in a way that you want to date them you need to get professional help and figure out what you are doing to create that situation.
It usually starts with talking too much to the client and telling them about YOUR life rather then focusing on the client and their needs. Massage therapists work in such isolation that it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming friends with clients and telling them your problems.
People who come in weekly for massage sessions for a long period of time also provides time to get to know clients. Your email address will not be published.
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They even comment that they appreciate the fact that the relationship is professional when they come to see me and not casual. Hi Julie! In school we were taught not to date our clients.
"Sh*t Guys Say To Massage Therapists" Short Spoof/Comedy Movie about clients. Hi there! I'm a Massage Therapist (7+ years exp.) and I collaborated with a filmmaker to make super-short comedy/film about some of the ridiculous stuff that people (mainly guys. Jul 16, Q&A › Category: Questions › Massage therapist dating clients. 0 Vote Up Vote Down. QA QA asked 11 months ago. Is it alright for a massage therapist to date their client? Please login or Register to submit your answer. Username or Email Address. Password. Remember Me. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Google + LinkedIn Email. Dec 05, In fact, Kathy Ginn, a massage therapist who studied ethics under Cedar Barstow at the Right use of Power Institute in Boulder, Colorado, believes they are fairly common because of the nature of the massage therapy profession. "The relationship between client and practitioner can be complicated and confusing for both parties," warns Ginn.
Makes perfect sense. As for friendships we were advised to use caution.
We did not get a lot of fear based projections thrown at us. I feel it depends on your location. Some small town therapists cannot help but have their clients as friends in some cases.
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Larger cities you probably won't have this as frequently. Can we be friends with our clients? I think we need to really have a keen sense of the intention and boundaries. I have had people who wanted to become friends and knew that it would not be appropriate and would probably create professional problems. I remain friendly to them but do not engage on a personal level outside of the practice.
They also respect this. I do not feel that we should go out drinking and partying with our clients.
I feel we must always maintain professionalism. A cup of coffee or lunch, a walk in the park is quite different. I will say however, that I don't bring these relationships into my life like "best friends" divulging personal issues. We keep it "light". I have seen over my almost 25 years, that most people like the "friendliness and personable" relationship. It has worked in my advantage.
Use common sense. If there is a true connection and you feel the boundaries and respect can absolutely be maintained, then I personally feel you can have a professional- friendship- relationship. If you cannot, then you will create problems for yourself definitely. I know therapists who have dated many of their clients.
Needless to say they lose business and referrals.
May 27, "I'm a massage therapist, doing medical-type work. My clients are all super-nice, so not many awkward experiences, but I'll share two.-I came back to change the sheets after one client had gotten dressed and left, and found that he'd had some diarrhea on my table. Luckily our laundry service treats all our linens as biohazards anyway, but yuck. Jun 28, Many massage therapists in private practice don't have full schedules, and want this to be different. Contrast this with the concerns from massage chains that don't have enough therapists to meet client demand; in fact, several franchise owners have shared with me that they are turning away 15 to 20 clients per week due to being understaffed. The consequences of dating a massage client could come back to hurt your massage therapy business/career. If the person was just divorced or the divorce happened as a result of the new relationship, the ex-partner could take legal action against you especially if there is a law regarding dating in your state.
As for them canceling and worrying about billing them? I have never had the problem thank goodness!! I have actually had a friend have to reschedule in an emergency and offer to pay, however, I declined because of their consistent continued support and referrals and they never abuse the relationship.
Now, family -that is a whole other issue!! I do not see that working. There are usually monetary issues. There is generally less respect for the professional relationship. So if you are going to have family members as clients, that is probably where some of your monetary issues will pop up and possibly other things at family gatherings.
I try to help family members when needed, but I don't bring them on as clients. You might find it challenging to accept payment or to ask for your full amount.
A Therapist Answers Questions You're Too Afraid To Ask
Or, they may impose upon you and ask for discounts. I do maintain professionalism with them at all times during a session. Now, friends becoming clients is another issue. I remember starting out and practicing on my friends.
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When it came time to open my business many of them still wanted "freebies". It actually strained the friendship and needless to say most of those have dissipated over the years. Actually only a couple are still in my life. However, they became LMT's because of our relationship and we get to exchange when our paths cross in life.
It is a fine line and I don't feel everyone may be able to maintain these boundaries. You have to be VERY clear of your own boundaries and intentions.
It is about them! I never share deep personal information with them either. Friendly chats and chuckles work well.
I do not engage socially on a regular basis either. Unfortunately I have seen LMT's go out dancing, drinking and? This is NOT professional or ethical in my opinion.
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This is where problems will pop up. Remember you represent the massage field, not just yourself! Use discretion. Be mature about your decisions. Causes too many boundary issues, payment issues, etc. Just don't do it! No, I haven't, can't say that I won't, but I haven't yet. I have a few clients that I am "friendly" with. We know brief areas of our families, lives, etc. I wouldnt' say that they are my friends but I do feel like we relate more personally than other clients.
These are also my oldest clients, who worked with me while I was still in school, so they have been with me for awhile too as I continue to grow. We haven't learned anything about any of this yet in school.
Jan 31, He respected that and he become only my client for the next 2 years. 2 years later, he told me that he really loves my massage and that he is interested in becoming a massage therapist too. He studied massage therapy and now he is a licensed massage therapist. He hasn't been my client for almost a year and he has been asking me for my advice on. As a therapist who works for herself, I would never consider dating a client. The rule I learned in school is that there should be a minimum of 6 months between the time you've worked on a client before you can consider dating them. Personally I would never do it regardless of how much time has passed. Each therapist must use their own independent judgment and consult local and state regulatory authorities for the most up-to-date requirements. Prefer A Digital Client Intake Form? If you're ready to take your client documentation off the page and into the cloud, check out ClinicSense, a complete practice management software package.
I'm only half way through though. I know we were told not to hook up with anyone in class though. We were told that if we love someone that much in class it can wait till after we graduate.
Nicola - Yes that is another side to this all- doing massage on friends and even family members. Thanks Laura - Are you writing a book on ethics?