How to Deal with Difficult Clients

Once while in massage school, a young lady asked what should you do in case you come across a client you don't like? The teacher turned to me and asked, since I was already working with clients (as a colon therapist) what do I do? On the spot, I spoke from my heart. And I still believe my answer to this day...

Every person has a part of them that needs help and/or healing. We are not working to make friends or to judge people. I felt my job, and any therapist's job, is to look at that part that needs help, and help them.

I know this sounds corny or perhaps even difficult. But we did come into a profession where people come to you for help. During times like this, people may feel more vulnerable which causes mixed feelings of fear, insecurity and even anger.

On top of these buried feelings, many people today find it hard to be touched by a stranger. Maybe even for good reason for some.

The bottom line is, we don't know the person's background, we don't know what they're feeling or what's going on in their life at the present. So take what you do know and work with that.

You do know they have come to you (or your place of employment). Whether you're a colon therapist, a nutritional counselor or massage therapist, you are the professional. A professional does her/his job with dignity and non-judgement. Your client is paying good money and must have some trust in you if they are there - so respect that. Also, since you're there, you must have that special something - compassion.

It's your compassion that helps the scared person inside of them. Remember, we all have different sides to us - whether good or bad. Choose which side of your client to look at without considering anything else. Stick to your job and you won't have to worry about whether you like the person or not.

Now there are clients who may have purchased a program and you will see them many times, or they just come on a regular basis. When getting to know someone this intimately, you may find it more challenging to stay "enlightened" and work with them. We'll talk about some techniques to help next issue of the Professionals Corner.

P.S.This is not to say that you should tolerate any sexual harassment. I think we all know what that is and if the person/client is there for that - get them out - the sooner the better.

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