Recently, a prospective client spoke about being afraid that any prospective therapist would be afraid to take her on because she would initially have so many requests about what worked and what didn’t for her etc. She has fibromyalgia or widespread chronic pain which to me makes that understandable.
As I thought about it for a bit longer, I felt really sad that she should have reached the position where she was so worried about this that she might not get the relief that she needs.
While I am an experienced therapist, the client will always know more about what it is like to live in their body with their problems, issues and joys than I will. Any client has the right to say what does and what does not work for them and if a therapist is not able to respect that the client should go and find another therapist.
This is true, even when the client does not recognise the wealth of knowledge they have about their own body and how it works. When this is the case, the therapist and the client have to undertake the journey of discovery together. Often in my massage and aromatherapy practice here in Cambridge, I find this to be the case and the client will as time goes on give feedback about what they would like more of, where they need more and where they need less pressure as well as which essential oils help the most.
While I can choose oils based on the consultation, often I will find one or two of them are really not liked by the client which psychologically would mitigate against their effectiveness. Also which oils out of those useful for a given set of conditions work the best can only be determined by trying them.
Any massage therapist or aromatherapist needs to respect this knowledge that their clients have and work with it rather than taking an, “expert view.” All too often, doctors, nurses (which I was one of till fairly recently) and others in a caring role assume the role of expert in the client’s lived experience rather than restricting that, “expert role” to their technical and theoretical knowledge.
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