Ethics – Boundaries for Practitioners and Clientele

Kaleah McClain, LMT FMT NMRT.

“Lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect.”

We’ve probably all heard this saying as we talked with a friend about a difficult situation. As practitioners in many different fields, we have all taken classes and spent hours studying and discussing ethics. As a client, however, how does that impact you? There are a few ways that ethics are just as valuable to a client. Consider these:

Confidence to know when a practitioner has overstepped their ethics
Ability to advocate for their own needs, modifications for the treatment, and preferences
Frame of reference for what is appropriate behavior while receiving treatment
Responsiveness to respecting other people’s ethical scope

As a client, there have been times when I have left a session questioning if I had felt comfortable with things discussed or techniques during that treatment. At that point I didn’t have the confidence in my own feeling of boundaries to speak up, and I regret not doing so. Every session and treatment is within your power to agree to, modify, or end. Please allow your own ethics to guide your session to make sure that you feel comfortable and respected throughout. Likewise, this will help to direct the session toward treatments that will be most beneficial since your therapist has the ability to customize everything for you.

Mutual respect will help guide appropriate behavior between therapist and client which can lead to good understanding as to treatment plan and transparency. As respect is given, rapport can develop yielding great outcomes! Thank you for respecting your wellness professionals, and we do appreciate when you help us help you.

As a reference and resource, a fantastic book regarding ethics is The Ethics of Touch: The Hands-On Practitioner’s Guide to Creating a Professional, Safe, and Enduring Practice by Ben Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe.

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