Massage & Bodywork


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14. Define the term boundary violation (or boundary crossing). A. When one person disregards another's boundary. 15. Give one example of a way a therapist might cross each of these client boundaries: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual. A. Physical: a therapist might cross a client's physical boundary by hugging the client without having enough history with the client to warrant that level of physical intimacy. Emotional: a therapist might cross a client's emotional boundary by sharing a personal story and becoming emotional so that the client must now comfort the therapist. Mental: a therapist crosses this boundary when they share political beliefs, opinions, and other ideas or thinking with the client—anything that causes the session to become therapist-focused and not client- focused. Spiritual: when therapists share religious or spiritual beliefs with the client. A therapist might cross a client's spiritual boundary by sharing personal views of religion or by digital extra practicing energetic bodywork on the client without informed consent. Sexual: a therapist violates a sexual boundary by joking in a sexual way with the client, complimenting the client on their looks and hair, or any form of sexual impropriety. 16. Explain one client behavior that might violate a therapist's boundary during a massage session. A. The client calls the therapist by a nickname with a sexual connotation, "Honey," or asks the therapist on a date. 17. List two methods that help clients establish healthy boundaries during a massage session. A. Ask the client for specific feedback. Ask the client which body areas he or they do not want massaged. 18. Recall three therapist behaviors that establish the boundaries of a therapeutic relationship during a massage session. A. An informed consent process, wearing a uniform with a name tag, and verbally reviewing clinic policies with the client. 19. Explain the phrase dual relationship. A. A situation in which more than one relationship with a client is present. 20. List one type of dual relationship that is prohibited in the massage profession. A. A sexual relationship with a client is always prohibited. 21. Identify ways to obtain external guidance on issues related to therapeutic relationships. A. Enlist the help of supervisors, confer with mentors, talk issues through with peer groups. Anne Williams ( is the director of education for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) and author of Massage Mastery: from Student to Professional (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012) and Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006). Karrie Osborn is senior editor at ABMP and collaborates with Anne on various education projects, including ABMP Exam Coach and ABMP Student Life.

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