resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
March, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 03
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
Author's note: The following article is adapted from The Ethics of Touch: The Hands-on Practitioners Guide To Creating a Professional Safe and Enduring Practice, by Ben Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe.
A client seeks treatment believing the practitioner knows best.Clients defer to the practitioner's judgment because they desire to be helped by an authority figure that possesses greater knowledge, healing ability and, therefore, power. Since a power differential exists in any health care relationship, the client may be inclined to respond to the practitioner as he or she would other authority figures, and in doing so, may recreate elements of similar past relationships. This situation is known as transference, a normal, unconscious phenomenon that appears during a therapeutic process. Professional helping relationships usually have a strong transference element in which the parent-child relationship is unconsciously re-established. In transference, unresolved needs, feelings and issues from childhood are transferred onto the helper. Whenever there is a power differential in a relationship, there is a strong potential for transference and counter-transference to arise. Transference also may occur in other relationships in which there is a real or perceived power differential, such as with a boss, teacher or clergy.
The power of touch in stimulating transference hasn't been formally studied, but anecdotal evidence suggests that touch, especially when it's intentional and done with care, can create regressive experiences. Clients frequently disclose personal information, talk about their emotional problems or demand special treatment. On an unconscious level, clients often expect practitioners to help them emotionally and in other areas, as well. These are transference reactions. Practitioners need to understand and deal with these situations in a gentle, appropriate manner. In mature adult clients, these feelings will likely be recognized and not control their behavior; however, in individuals incapable of handling these feelings, transference may become the dominant reality and cause frequent disappointment and feelings of rejection, often followed by anger and withdrawal. Maintaining clear boundaries is crucial for handling transference and ensuring it does not negatively impact the therapeutic relationship.
Signs of Transference
The Blending of Transference and Counter-Transference
Together, transference and counter-transference form a potentially volatile mixture within power differential relationships. Transference and counter-transference affect the answers to the questions we posed before: How is the person who holds the power using that power, and how is the person with less power responding? When both individuals in a relationship are psychologically mature, there is greater assurance that they will use or handle power in a healthy way; nevertheless, such maturity doesn't ensure that transference and counter-transference won't occur.
The practitioner working with psychologically immature clients has a serious responsibility, because such clients may be unaware of the transference they bring to the therapeutic relationship. The practitioner must cultivate his/her own awareness of both transference and counter-transference and consciously mitigate against their effects. Individuals more prone to transference include children or adolescents, needy clients, and clients that have been referred by mental-health professionals to assist in the processing of psychological issues.
A good goal for practitioners is to minimize the potential for unconscious "acting out" of power issues in the therapeutic relationship; nevertheless, the person who holds the power in a relationship may have difficulty recognizing transference and counter-transference. Getting supervision on a regular basis gives the practitioner the opportunity to explore these issues, gain clarity and learn methods for dealing effectively and ethically within the situation.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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