by Coach Cary Bayer
If your bodywork client has suffered an injury--to her back in a car crash, for example--you probably have no problem recommending to her that she come back to see you in two days after the massage that you just gave her. If you do psychological counseling you wouldn't think twice about recommending to your client in a marital crisis to see you more than once a week until the crisis is settled. This is despite the fact that she might not have insurance to cover the cost of your treatment. You also don't think twice about how she might arrange her appointments to see you within 48 hours of stepping off your table--gingerly, of course, if her back is bad--or soberly if she's depressed.
This means that you aren't trying to manage her finances or her time. That's a good thing, because both of these matters are your client's business--not yours.
Sometimes a new client--one who isn't riddled by any particular injury or severe emotional issues--will ask you what you recommend as a good frequency to see you. Why should you have a problem, then--as so many body workers and holistic healers do--telling her to see you weekly? Far too many therapists weakly respond to the new client's question by saying, "Monthly if you can afford it. " This is the kind of answer that elicits the obnoxious buzzer on Family Feud, signaling a wrong answer. The right answer that inspires a "ding ding ding" is, "Once a week is best." Because it is. We live in a very stressful world, and, you know that, weekly massage, counseling, and energy sessions can make a difference. So why don't you tell her so?
Don't manage your client's finances, her schedule, or her emotions with regard to how she might feel about your recommendation. If she can't afford seeing you each week, she'll tell you. If she's too busy to see you each week, she'll tell you. If she's uncomfortable that she can't afford to see you each week and doesn't want to share that, so be it; it's her business, not yours. Your job, as a holistic healer, is to offer her relief from the thousand and one stresses the body and psyche are heir to; it's not to be her financial manager, or her secretary. Just confidently be her holistic facilitator, and let her sort out those issues by herself. You'll have enough issues in her back and neck to work on, if you're a massage therapist, or emotional issues in her mind and heart; don't get bogged down with her time and money. That's why God created boundaries--and yours end at the extremities of your body, and hers at the extremities of hers.
For more information visit www.CaryBayer.com.