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Client Consultation . Massage A Tutor: Eleshia Howell. Therapeutic Relationship. Massage is a balance between technical and personal skills, at the heart of which lies the therapeutic relationship.

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client consultation

Client Consultation

Massage A

Tutor: Eleshia Howell

therapeutic relationship
Therapeutic Relationship

Massage is a balance between technical and personal skills, at the heart of which lies the therapeutic relationship.

This relationship has a special purpose and goal: to serve the needs and best interests of our clients.

A specific framework and good boundaries define the therapeutic relationship.


This framework includes:

  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Client-centred care
  • Compassion
  • Safety
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Structured time
  • Power balance
  • Professionalism
self disclosure confidentiality
Self-Disclosure & Confidentiality

Throughout the client therapist relationship, clients will reveal their thoughts and feelings. This honest and open sharing of emotions, ideas and insights is called self-disclosure and is expressed in an environment of trust and respect.

The therapist must protect this personal information through confidentiality and not divulge to a 3rd party.


A breach of confidentiality is both illegal and unethical.

  • Don’t share information – family / friends

- socially

- professional*

*There are protocols to follow when communicating with other health professionals to protect a client’s private details.

  • No gossiping about other clients.

There may be times when self-disclosure occurs on the part of the Therapist – this should be minimal and deemed appropriate to the situation (empathy, trust, reassurance).

The Therapist must tread very carefully during personal disclosure, to not overstep the boundaries of the client – therapist relationship.

standards for confidentiality
Standards for Confidentiality
  • Protect the clients identity unless requested by the client in writing, medically necessary, required by law.
  • Protect the interests of clients who are minors or who are unable to voluntarily give consent, by obtaining permission from an appropriate 3rd party (parent or guardian).
  • Solicit only information that is relevant to the professional client/therapist relationship

Maintain client files according to legislative requirements

  • Store and dispose of client files in a secure manner.

Boundaries define the border or limit of a relationship and provide safety and protection in the therapeutic relationship.

Boundaries clarify each person’s role, responsibilities, expectations and limitations. They are negotiated and maintained through communication with the client, as well as the integrity, awareness and professionalism of the Massage Therapist.


Ways to maintain boundaries:

  • Have clear appointment times and availability
  • Maintain professional space
  • Clear policies for the clinic, on display or given as a brochure
  • Professional distance
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Roles & responsibilities
  • Needs vs Wants

Awareness – conflicts

- misconduct – sexual

- behavioural

- transference /


- family / friends as clients

* Read through Roles & Responsibilities handout.

interview technique
Interview Technique
  • Greet openly
  • Introduce yourself
  • Engage in light conversation
  • Initiate interview process

- client intake form

- discuss disclosure and confidentiality

- observation

- assessments (consent to touch)


Record information

  • Discuss treatment plan and obtain consent
  • Answer client queries
  • Proceed with treatment
  • Re-assess client
  • Provide home instructions if necessary
  • Re-schedule an appointment
  • Farewell the client
  • Document treatment notes
  • Change linens, clean equipment, prepare for next client.