Communication skills include the ability to listen to and understand another person and the capability to convey ideas and information in both spoken and written language. These skills affect every aspect of your massage training and professional practice. Students must be able to communicate effectively with instructors and fellow classmates to get the most from their massage training program.
As professionals, therapists must convey their values and business approach to potential clients and encourage those clients to feel welcome and safe. During a health intake interview, the client’s safety and satisfaction with the session both rely in part on the ability of the therapist to gather meaningful information and mold it into an effective treatment plan. Therapists must also be able to share their boundaries, policies, regulations, and business practices with clients in a way that is assertive yet therapeutic. When talking with other health care professionals, therapists also want to use appropriate health care terminology and express their knowledge and understanding of the body.
This chapter introduces basic communication concepts and skills (Topic 8-1), communication blockers (Topic 8-2), active communication skills (Topic 8-3), and conflict resolution (Topic 8-4). This chapter is closely related to Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 because establishing the therapeutic relationship and maintaining professional boundaries involves the ability to communicate effectively. Equally important, written communication is discussed in depth in Chapter 12 and 19 in the sections on documentation and charting.
Having read the chapter and used the related student learning tools, the student will be able to:
- Explain the concept of personal space and recognize verbal and physical space violations in daily interpersonal interactions.
- Distinguish among submissive, assertive, and aggressive relating behaviors in daily interpersonal interactions.
- Analyze different learning styles and mental processing differences, and recognize these differences in others.
- List three communication blockers and describe how they obstruct open communication.
- Categorize the components of active communication and describe the basic concepts of awareness, active listening, and the delivery of a message.
- Describe three points in a massage session at which client and therapist communication plays a vital role for achieving treatment goals.
- Appraise the benefits of using an assertive communication model with clients.
- Describe three strategies for reaching a fair and equitable resolution to a conflict.