Ethical Dilemmas in Bodywork

“I have come to believe that there are minimum requirements for providing stability and safety that underlie any attempt to examine any ethical dilemma that arises in our practice. In order to reach an ethical solution we have to be honest with ourselves. We develop that honesty by being wiling to look at the unknowns in our own personal make up. Life experience is an invaluable tool for discovering our own beliefs, vulnerabilities, and mistakes. ‘Do not trust anyone who has not made mistakes’ is a good axiom in discovering a true basis for ethics.” ~Jack Blackburn


This class is an experientially based approach to ethics.

You will examine principles and terminology that underlie professional ethical guidelines and how they apply to your practice and personal sense of ethics.

We will be drawing upon real ethical dilemmas from our practices.

This class is not about learning a set of ethical precepts in order to avoid lawsuits.

We will be examining the challenges and benefits of long-term therapeutic relationships.

Ethical Dilemmas is a heartfelt look at problems that arise in human interactions, how to get help from our peers and mentors, how to fill in our own missing pieces, and how to provide an ethical context that is safe and nurturing for you and your clients.

This class meets the NCBTMB and State of Washington requirements.

Goals of the Workshop
Explore ethical problems of therapeutic relationships such as:
・transference, countertransference, dual relationships, personal boundaries

・Explore the ethical differences between giving care and taking care
・Learn and practice basic principles of peer supervision
・Develop greater comfort in working with difficult client issues
・Develop more appropriate boundaries with clients
・Explore how our ethics change as our roles change
・Explore the dynamics of compulsive caretaking
・Look at the sources of ethical guidelines

“Being ethical is not limited simply to knowing and following ethical codes, laws and regulations. Ethical behavior also involves striving to bring the highest values into one’s work and aspiring to do one’s best in all interactions: doing the right thing in the right manner for the right reasons and with the right attitude.”  The Ethics of Touch
by Ben Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe

Click here to download/read Jack’s article on Ethical Dilemmas.

Recommended Reading The Educated Heart by Nina McIntosh. Memphis, Decatur Bainbridge Press 1999.
The Ethics of Caring: Honoring the Web of Life in Our Professional Healing Relationships by Kylea Taylor. Hanford Mead Publishers 1995.