Massage & Bodywork

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2019

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Ta k e 5 a n d t r y A B M P F i v e - M i n u t e M u s c l e s a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / f i v e - m i n u t e - m u s c l e s . 79 happy to answer. It is not like we gave long answers, just an honoring of his requests, and it was information both of us were happy to share. It was not too personal. But it was also a choice for us in how we answered. We could have given a slightly clipped or blunt answer, or we may have redirected him to sensations in his body. It can be tempting to judge these questions as inappropriate, and sometimes that can be true. However, in this situation (and what we have found to be in true in most situations), it was more about the client feeling safe with us and pacing his own session. When we answered him, we were also paying attention to what was happening therapeutically through our touch. Because he was still deeply in his process, we knew our answers were not derailing his work. Over time, our clients may wish to know us as people, and it is up to each of us, in every situation, to decide what we want to reveal and what we wish to keep private. It is useful to think about this ahead of time, so when the moment arrives and a client asks, "Do you have children?" or "Who'd you vote for?" you know what you will want to say. When we are at ease with what we are willing to share and what we keep private, our clients will be too. Exploring issues that can create detrimental barriers to our communication with our clients is essential. To have a thriving therapeutic business, we need to have explored ethical issues that can engender trust or threaten it. Robyn Scherr is a massage therapist and Kate Mackinnon is a physical therapist; both are Diplomate- certified in craniosacral therapy. Find out more at www.touchmatters.net. the session and they were out the door, they would run back to have one! It seemed the session was not complete for many of our small children until they had that hug to end it. When we do offer a hug, we kneel down to ask, "Would you like a hug?" A hug with them is always on their grounds, with their permission. It is not assumed. A high five or fancy handshake can work just as well: it is a ritualized form of contact to signal the session has ended since children do not have the ritual of paying and rescheduling. SHARING PERSONAL INFORMATION WITH CLIENTS Over the years, we have had encounters that prompted us to create our own guidelines around how much personal information we are willing to share. The guidelines we follow are based on two rules: • Keeping the focus on our clients and their process • Lowering the power differential whenever possible Following both of these means that sometimes we will share personal information and sometimes we will not. Context is everything. We remember a client we worked with together in a multihands session. It was his very first session, and he was deep into what we would call a somatoemotional release process. All of a sudden, he said, "So where do you live, Robyn?" We just took that as, "Oh, perhaps he needs a little break." So Robyn shared where she lives, and a little later in the session he asked, "So you didn't grow up in America, Kate. Where did you come from?" Kate's accent gets people's attention. Again, Kate was more than Ethical Standards

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