Tags: dealing with weirdos


Nonviolent Communication

I recently attended a weekend workshop with Marshall Rosenberg, the founder and author of many books on Nonviolent Communication. It was incredible!

I think that I'm going to attend a practice group now and again too, as there are several that are set up all around the country, where you can continually practice and refine this technique.

Some good phrases to always remember to use when speaking with clients who say things that raise our "red flags":

"Can you tell me why that is important to you?"

They respond..

"Thank you. I appreciate knowing that. One of my needs as a practitioner is to feel safe and comfortable working with a client, and to know that they have a true intention for therapeutic massage and not a sexual service.

After you express this, you can say: "Could you tell me what I just said, back to me in your own words, so I know that I've explained myself clearly?"

A "jackyl" (as Marshall calls it) will probably hang up the phone, feel embarrassed if they are in person with you, etc.

I think that there is so much more beyond just "communicating boundaries" that we as holistic practitioners can do with the way we communicate. Then again, with the desire of many for massage to be more aligned with the medical community, rules and governance, etc, this might take a while to happen. How often does your doctor, your boss, a government official, or even an instructor/teacher use this kind of communication? Lots of work to be done...

Did anyone else out there have the good fortune in massage school to learn Nonviolent Communication?

Here are some books I recommend by Marshall Rosenberg:
Nonviolent Communication
Speaking Peace in a world of Conflict

A place to find a teacher or practice group:
the elves are leaving

(no subject)

so i've recently started doing house calls. i put an add up on craigslist at the urging of my mentor, she's been in the business for 15 years and has found a LOT of clients through them. unfortunatly, she's out of town for a week now and i can't call her to ask her about this.

i've had a GREAT response so far, within 5 days of posting my ad i had already picked up 7 new clients, how cool! and excelent for free advertising heh. however, i'm not exactly sure how to go about screening people. the people i've worked on so far have been fantastic, very professional and new exactly what they needed. they've all been men, which i thought was odd at first, but i've made it clear that it's Swedish Massage, and a strictly therapudic treatment, and i've had no problems. in fact, i've met some really interesting people who have even turned ME on to some wholistic and natural resources in our area that i didn't know about before. however, i got a call today from a guy who was very insistant about wanting an appointment today. i keep getting mixed signals from him... first he'll ask what kind of techniques i do, and when i mentioned that i do primarily swedish he sounded excited, but then he asked how old i was and what race i was. ... but then he followed that up by mentioning that he had a herniated disc and needed help with that.

i scheduled an appointment with him for tomorrow afternoon... pushing him off a bit so i'd have a chance to consider this a little longer. do you have any advice on the subject? i'm really enjoying working intensively with people in their own homes, but i want to make sure i avoid anything that might put me in danger or... anything like that. i've been working as a massage therapist for 3 years, but this is the first time i've done house calls for anyone other than friends and family.

any tips, advice, or gut feelings on this guy... or house calls in general?

sensual massage

Today I got a phone call from a guy who moved here from the East Coast (I'm listed in the phone book)
The conversation ensued in a 30 minute debate. He began the conversation with telling me how liberal massage therapists are on the East Coast and was looking for someone like that out here in Utah.  

I asked him exactly what it was he was looking for - he said a situation where there was no draping and where the therapist didnt leave any part of the body out of the massage, as it is very professional to treat the whole person.  lol *cough* okay, I said, I don't know about the laws on the East Coast - but I do know that in Utah, that is illegal and is concisidered prostitution, he debated with me on that  issue for a while, then asked if I knew anyone who was more "liberal" in these matters..  I pointed him in the direction in Vegas, and told him to ask for a "happy ending"

He said that wasn't what he was looking for.  I explained to him that there are laws and regulations that under my licensure I am required to follow, and just as a point of concideration, that he should be careful when seeking out theses types of massages here..(easy answer out I suppose) .... I purposly left out that I have  many clients whom draping isn't an issue, as they are there for therapuetic reasons, not for anything sexual. Nudity isn't an issue, its the intention that is the issue..  but we have had a working trusting relationship for years. I even have some clients that prefer Esalen style (sorry spell?) where both client and therapist are nude- I have taught sensual couples massages too in a private trade-like situation.  I am not conservative in any manner, I am just very careful in what I will and wont do - I left out that I have provided many a sensual massages, but never sexual, I would never cross that line with a client.  

I told him that I was about the least conservative therapist where I live that didn't border on prostitution, but that I didn't feel i could meet his needs.  I told him I love massage therapy and would be devastated if I were unable to practice massage therapy anymore, therefore, I must abide by the states laws...

Does anyone else have to deal with this? if you do, how do you deal with it?