Ethics: The Compassionate Therapist

Most often, when people come to see us in our clinics and spas, they are looking for help; they want relief from pain, from stress, from feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. And we probably want to help them, or we wouldn’t be in our chosen fields.

How often have you had thoughts like:

I really hope she gets better.
We can fix this.
If this doesn’t work, I’m not charging anything *or I am not charging regular price*
I know this will work. or I’m afraid this won’t work.
Maybe I did something wrong.

Well, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. I have had thoughts like that as well. But you know, those thoughts didn’t help either of us. Ever. I personally feel like our clients know (on some level) when we feel inadequate, insecure with our work or too attached to the outcome of their treatments.

Oh! You don’t do that?


What if you are working on someone very close to you? A dear friend who is in serious pain? A relative who is deeply depressed? Your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, child?

How do you feel when that person who means the world to you comes to you for help?

My point is, we all do it; and if you don’t, just wait for it; it’ll happen. Someone will call you and ask you if you will give a comforting hand massage to their loved one in Hospice. Or you may receive a request to give CranioSacral therapy to a child because her parents want her to be able to walk again so badly.

Is the therapy going to work?
Am I doing it right?
Should I charge them if it doesn’t make a noticeable difference?

These are several of the questions that we address in my ethics class, “The Compassionate Therapist”.

This 3-hour class teaches massage therapists how to be fully present with their clients while remaining neutral and separate from the client’s pain or trauma.

If you would like to take this class or any of my other continuing education classes, send me a message on my contact page, or contact me directly at


Instructor:  Dana Tate Bailey

CE hours:  3 (MS and NCBTMB)

Relevance:  The Compassionate Therapist teaches massage therapists how to be fully present with their clients while remaining neutral and separate from the client’s pain or trauma.  This class is beneficial for any massage therapist, but is especially indicated for CranioSacral therapy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Definitions:  therapeutic compassion, present, neutral, boundaries and safe space
  • Students will discuss examples of the above and how to incorporate these practices into their sessions
  • Students will learn to focus on the client’s body while allowing the client to authentically express themselves in a safe environment
  • Students will be given examples of how to gently disengage from a client who is emotional and respectfully bring closure to their session

Cost: $60