Peer Supervision for Massage Therapists
Peer supervision is a fairly new concept for the massage profession. Supervision is not the kind of supervision that most think of - someone telling you what to do. Supervision comes from the psychology profession where psychologists and counselors are required to engage in supervision with a more experienced therapist to help them to deal with issues that arise in their practice or in their lives that affect their practice.
Peer supervision for the massage profession is a group of massage therapists (peers) that get together on a regular basis (usually once a month or once every 3 weeks or as needed) to provide support for whatever comes up in practicing massage. It can be used by self employed massage therapists or massage employees.
It isn't about getting someone to tell you what to do. It is about becoming more aware of the feelings that you have under various circumstances that come up in the general practice of massage and bodywork. The dynamics of the massage therapist/client relationship creates issues for clients that are transferred onto the massage therapist. As massage therapists, you also have many of your own issues that arise when you work touching someone and trying to run a successful business. Because of these dynamics it is important to address your own needs outside of the relationship with the client which will in turn help you be a better massage therapist as well as teach clients how to be more responsible for their own health.
Things like why/how do you help others and what is the real need behind the need to help or charging what you are worth and why it is difficult to enforce a cancellation policy. It is learning to become more confident in yourself so that you can do the things that you need to do to be successful. It is about learning about the dynamics of relationships and becoming more conscious of your own unconscious beliefs and thoughts and how they impact your massage sessions. While we are not psychologists, it is important to understand the therapeutic relationship.
The main premise of peer supervision groups is "No fixing, no saving, no setting each other straight". That phrase comes from something called the Circle of Trust developed by Parker Palmer.When massage therapists hear that they wonder what will they talk about then? The main objective is to just listen to each other and to let each other know that you have heard them. When people feel heard and understood, they usually can find their own answers to whatever they are dealing with.
The way a group works is the group sets the guidelines for meeting. A group is usually at least 3 people but not more than 8 people. Each meeting each participant asks for time based on their needs. While it is impossible to always allow everyone to talk, when one person talks the other people listening are usually the ones who actually get the most out of it. Many things that are talked about are common experiences.
Individual supervision sessions can also be helpful. The one on one situation may be needed when a massage therapist is faced with more stress than usual or they want to enhance their practice even more than just using the peer group setting.
I also offer one on one supervision session in person in the Seattle area or by phone or Skype as necessary for $85 per hour session. You can read more about me. I also offer email supervision with unlimited email contact for a month for $85 per month. Please contact me with your questions and to set up appointments or email help.
I am also leading a few groups in the Seattle area from my downtown Seattle office that you can read more about on my clinic website at www.massageseattle.net
Please contact me for more information. Do you understand what peer supervision is?