The Role of the Massage Therapist in a Therapeutic Relationship with a Client
The changing aspects of a client and a therapist can be very complex and dynamic. Body workers that are very successful draw much attention not only to the procedures they use but also to the much details that are involved in maintaining and cultivating the relationship with the client. Ethical issues are very key in each and every partnership and every therapist, as long as he or she wants to keep their customers coming back and bringing their friends they should make themselves aware of situations that are very challenging and they might occur in any session with the client. Most people nowadays are so much into working out and they are flooding in massage parlors and other weight reduction and body building centers. This shows that this is a business that is doing well all over and the competition is very stiff. So every therapist must do their best to maintain the clients they already have even if more is not likely to be added.
Every client before they walk into a massage parlor they believe that the therapist they are going to find there is the best and he or she is going to do what they want to be done in their bodies. They give all their trust to the professionals, look unto them to provide the best services and know exactly what they are doing. The only guarantee that the client has the therapist that they are going to do well is the assumption and thus it is the burden of the therapist to prove it. The power that the public gives professionals is so solid that they are expected to act on it. This kind of power is more of psychology than the facts since it is just an assumption. A good example is when a client assumes that the therapist is going to know the exact motion range of the knee. Some of the body workers around can see a certain problem but is evaluation and malfunctioning cause is not a thing for just any actioner (Harrison, 23).
The power differential is the authority shift from the client to the therapist after the client gives a therapist a certain power deal. A therapist who is qualified and responsible is much aware of the unexpected changes that can occur during client-therapist relationship due to the power is given to him or her by the client and they are very cautious not to take any advantage over the client. Most clients are not only about the working out but they also seek advice about their health from the therapist. Some therapists might be familiar with the disease symptoms thus they can give the best program of treatment for the client but this does not always happen since it is beyond the knowledge of the therapist and they might not be able to detect the disease that is in their clients. When clients talk about what they feel physical and even go to an extent of talking of the feelings they have for other hidden parts of the body, the therapist can respond to that and tell them that it is more than what they can do and thus they should seek more medical attention as soon as possible before the condition worsens.
This power differential that we are talking about may even go further to other dimensions where you find clients asking their therapists out. Some clients feel comfortable when they discover that these sessions are helping much to cure the emotional pain they might be having and thus they might want to see their therapist out of the parlor so as to know them better and share what they think and feel with them. This is another very big challenge that the therapist face and they must know how best to conquer it so as to avoid ringing any bells of disconnection in their relationship. Some therapist even opt to turn down the request to go out with the client so as to make sure that the relationship that the two have been purely professional and this helps by making sure that the therapy sessions run smoothly and the client is well satisfied. As this therapeutic relationship develops and grows as time goes by, the therapist is able even to know why these massages are needed by the client in the first place (Olga, 08).
This massage work is more like filling a certain puzzle all together so as at the end a complete picture might be seen out of it. It is obvious that before a client comes to a massage parlor they have a reason for it and they give the responsibility of feeling better to the therapist. Some may come simply to relax maybe after a long day or after doing a lot of work. Others it is more than just relaxation and these are the most sensitive, they can be in the massage parlor because they feel they need a positive touch, they may want to correct their posture or even relief of pain that they may be having. Some clients are very open they end up telling the therapist what exactly they want to get out of the therapy and the main reason that they are there in the first place and this helps the client since he or she gets a main area of focus thus getting the direction of the therapy. Others come and just want the therapist to get on with the massage and not even a single thing that can make them tell the therapist what exactly they are feeling.
This might happen because the problem they are facing is not that simple and it is confidential that they cannot just discuss it with any one. So as the therapy sessions go on the client- therapist relationship and the therapist stops being just an “anyone” and they finally become “someone” who can be told what the client is feeling. Some even without telling the therapists, they according to the professional qualifications that they have they can be able to determine the problem that the client is facing and they can draw much focus unto that. This self-discovery of the problem that the client is facing the client sometimes makes the clients very happy and they feel they are now connected to the therapist in one way or the other and these are the kind of cases where you find the client even going to the extent of asking the therapist out. The power differential talked about earlier is the one that acts as the guiding principle in all the therapeutic session (Olga, 54).
This power differential is not only a factor that affects the client alone but the therapist is also a victim of it that is in various ways. At first, the therapists have the responsibility of making sure that that the relationship with the client is good at all times so as to help them achieve what they came to get from the therapy. For a new therapist it is difficult to know the condition that the client is facing but qualified therapists can draw their attention to small aspects that cannot be known by an amateur therapist and thus they can know the exact attention needed. As a therapist gains more experience, he or she can understand why it is important to follow up the client so as to understand them even more. This can be reaching out to a client after a tough session at the parlor, trying to know the medical actioner who has requested the client to visit the parlor and collection of vital information that will help improve the health of a client.
The other thing is that it is difficult to a therapist to figure out, is what the clients want especially if they are not the disclosing much information about themselves. A deep intake can help the client to know what exactly is the problem with the client, they may also know the emotional and physical issue that are facing the client and this cannot be learnt at first after engaging with the but rather a deeper expertise with the client is required so as to know what exactly the client is up to. A therapist should know that that by just engaging with the client physically it cannot help much that they should know more about their clients that is by checking in with them regularly so that they may know the exact problems that are facing them. This assessment takes a lot of time and must be done the right way all for the protection of the client.
Another difficulty that the therapist may be having been not being able to and internalizes the problem of the client. Therapists face emotional and physical challenges brought to them by the clients each and every day. It is can be very challenging for a therapist not to be pissed off when a client has not treated the way that they should or the therapist might be sad for a client who is having a painful illness and has come to the therapist for assistance. A good example of such a situation is when a client is injured maybe in an accident but the insurance company where the client has opened a cover totally refuses to fund him or her so that they can be treated. So in such a situation a therapist is faced with the challenge of trying to treat the client in the best way they can and provide a lot of care that is needed by the client. This one of the most difficult times of the therapist since they are not doctors but being faced with such a situation they have no other choice but to try and do something that will help the client. Some therapists even consult their doctors on situations that they cannot fully comprehend and at the end of it all the client ends up receiving the best care that he or she deserves.
In every therapeutic relationship the connection that is needed with the client and getting the feedback from the client about how he or she is feeling so far are some of an essential components. Some therapist assumes that they are so qualified that they don’t need any information from the client. The deny their clients to say that what they feel about the session so far and what changes should be made, whether extend or reduce the sessions. This kind of an assumption leads to the client missing some of the very key elements and issues that can help them even change the way of doing he therapy and increase their customers. As the relationship is being built there boundaries that the therapist should avoid crossing like the personal life of the client to avoid them feeling intimidated (Harrison, 19).
Constant interaction with the client is the cycle of feedback and this should be during all the times that the client and the therapist are together even if it’s outside the massage parlor. The agreement and open dialogue between the client and the therapist help both parties to feel that they are being involved in the therapy and this helps to improve the kind of results that are expected out of each client that is the health and relaxation achievements. Especially for the clients that are very quiet and they just come for the sessions and leave, the therapist should try to be as close as possible to them so that he or she can get more important information that might help him or her achieve the goals of the therapy. The therapist is the one who is charged with the responsibility of giving the sessions a sense of direction and give a dynamic guide of the therapeutic relationship so as the interests of the client can be achieved.
Dreeben-Irimia, Olga. Physical Therapy Clinical Handbook for Ptas. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013. Print.
Harrison, Jimm. Aromatherapy: Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for Esthetics. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage Learning Inc, 2008. Print.