This week I am talking to Allissa Haines about client confidentiality. Now I know that all, or hopefully all of us believe that client confidentiality is an important factor in running a practice ethically. However I thought it would be good to bring in someone to talk about where there might be some grey areas for some therapists. How far do we take it? What is the ethical standard we are shooting for? Are there circumstances where it doesn’t really apply? Where do we commonly make mistakes in on this topic?
I ask some of these questions and more of Allissa, who also has a massage podcast called “Massage Business Blueprint”. She has written articles in many publications, including a regular column in Massage and Bodywork Magazine. She teaches all over the country, has been running a thriving private practice for over 13 years, and is a big advocate of online marketing for massage. Producing the podcast has allowed her to cultivate a community of massage therapists who are passionate about growing their business and being the best therapists they can be. For those of you not familiar with it, I would highly suggest you check it out.
Now despite how it might see that the topic of client confidentiality is pretty narrow, the conversation actually covers quite a bit of ground. From handling multiple family members, to handling the death of your client. Because Allissa runs an online forum for bodyworkers, I also had to get her two cents on how to get the most out of social media and online communities. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Allissa.
In this episode:
[2:39] Common mistakes around confidentiality
[11:53] Why do massage therapists make these mistakes?
[13:45] Pregnant client example
[17:45] Competence vurses excellence
[20:13]} Is it the ego?
[22:59] Death of a client
[32:35] Asking celebrity clients for testimonial
[37:23] Social media
[42:39] Using social media more constructively
[47:10] Allissa failure
[53:50] Her top books for massage
Important quotes from Allissa:
“I try really hard to make sure I get the kids permission to share their treatment information with their parent.”
“It’s okay to say I’ve worked with people who run track, but you don’t want to say you’ve worked with a bunch of kids from the north ateborough track program”
“You can accidentally get the reputation of being a blabbermouth.”
“If you have a client on the table and you talk about some other client, they are going to feel really uncomfortable wondering if you talk about them. and they are never going to refer anyone to you knowing that you might talk about them.”
“In a perfect world we would all be required to take continuing education.”
I think handling confidentiality extremely well means that you constantly and consistently reexamine how you talk with and about clients.”
“Ethics is never a thing that you do, and then you are done. Its constantly evolving.”
“Are you willing to be uncomfortable and awkward with a situation so that you can handle it better?”
“We exist on the periphery of peoples lives.”
“Sometimes we handle things badly because we don’t get the credit we think we deserve in someone’s life.”
“Sometimes we broadcast what we shouldn’t because we want to feel known.”
“Asking a celebrity to bring you clients makes you like all the other beggars who want a piece of them.”
“Being a professional massage therapist means protecting a clients confidentiality even more than they do.”
“Its really easy to publicize a dual relationship without meaning to.”
“When you are a massage therapist and you are dating online, pay for the upgrades so you can browse invisibly. Take my word for it.”