I have been having some really great discussions on here and on Facebook and my websites about the therapeutic relationship and what happens when you become friends with clients or engage in other dual relationships with them -nothing illegal like dating clients or sex of course but trading services like accounting or tax help and seeing clients socially.
I never was taught anything about this and in fact when I started out 22 years ago, massage was more of a lifestyle choice than anything and being friends and even dating was totally OK back then. Dating clients is now illegal here in WA and a few other states. Now with massage moving ahead and becoming a profession with all of the things happening like the BOK, licensing reciprocity being talked about, the FSMBT, the troubles with NCBTMB and such we are being seen more as health care providers and massage professionals.
I was just wanting to hear others stories and experiences of becoming friends with clients...
What were you taught about socializing and becoming friends with clients in massage school if anything?
Do you engage in social relationships outside your massage business/job with clients?
How has it helped or hurt your practice/job?
What effect does it have on your massage work with that client if any?
How do you manage the power differential factor that occurs in the massage/client relationship and the possibilities for transference and countertransference when you work with them doing massage and when you see them socially?
What boundaries if any do you set up to preserve the therapeutic relationship?
Do you feel like you are friends with clients even though you may not see them socially?
That's probably too many questions. Of course you don't have to answer them all and can add your own thoughts on the topic. Basically what I am wanting to know is how many people see their clients socially successfully and if there are massage therapists who also choose not to see their clients socially. I am wanting to learn what is being taught in massage schools about all of this.
Thanks very much