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What are the key principles and steps to practice energy healing with integrity? How can you offer your healing gifts in a way that is both ethical and aligns with your values?
MEET Midge Murphy
As an energy healing practitioner and the first attorney to receive a Ph.D. in energy medicine, Midge Murphy has a deep understanding of both the law and alternative healing arts. Her unique perspective sent her on a quest for knowledge that ultimately led her to create a guide for her fellow professionals. However, she also realized that the knowledge in the book was only the first step. The second step is for practitioners to take the exam based on the book and earn a Certificate of Completion in ethics, legal issues, and risk management strategies for practitioners of energy healing methods. By earning this certificate, practitioners receive a professional credential that demonstrates that they have an understanding of and competency in ethics and legal issues in the practice of energy healing methods. Having a Certificate of Completion not only raises the standards of the industry but also provides an extra layer of protection for practitioners because of the legal vulnerabilities that are inherent in offering energy healing services to the public. It also offers clients assurances of the level of professionalism and ethical standards of the practitioner. It becomes a means to ensure the trust that attracts more clients. Midge also has an affiliate program for energy healing training organizations. It offers a revenue opportunity for organizations that incorporate her book and exam as part of the required ethics/legal training for its students and practitioners.
IN THIS PODCAST:
- What does integrity in energy healing mean? 5:25
- Why is it important for therapists to get more training in ethics and risk management? 17:35
What Does Integrity In Energy Healing Mean?
- The importance of finding the right client for you
- What are the legal risks for licensed practitioners wanting to integrate energy healing into their practice?
- How to mitigate your risks
- The importance of having a very clear and patient-informed consent process
Why Is It Important For Therapists To Get More Training In Ethics And Risk Management?
- The importance of finding the right training and certification for your field
- Ethics in marketing your services
- Can you use testimonials on your website and advertising?
- Resources for energy-based modalities in Psychotherapy
Connect With Me
Join the private Facebook group
Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com
Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:
Chris McDonald: Are you ready to unlock the secrets of energy healing while staying true to your values and the law? Get ready to embark on an enlightening journey with us as we uncover the depth of the book, practice energy healing and integrity, the joy of offering your gifts legally and ethically. In this episode, you'll hear of Midge Murphy's personal journey, the challenges she's faced, and the invaluable lessons she's learned.
Discover how you too can practice energy healing with authenticity, honor, and a deep sense of integrity. Are you a seasoned energy healer looking to take your practice to the next level? Or perhaps you're just beginning your journey and seeking guidance on how to offer your gifts in a way that aligns with your values.
and the law. Either way, this episode promises to be a learning experience for everyone on this episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice. This with confidence.
I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey.
Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I gotta tell you something, one of the top questions I get from listeners is How can I integrate energy healing into my therapy sessions or. Am I allowed to integrate energy healing into my sessions? The concern about the legalities and ethics behind this are very real.
There's a lot of fear around this and not a lot of clear information. Today's guest is going to help you start the journey to helping understand and mitigate the risks As well as gain more clarity. Today's guest is Midge Murphy. She became the first attorney to earn a PhD in energy medicine in 2001.
And because of her unique skills as an attorney and energy healing practitioner, in 2001, she began teaching about the ethics and legal issues. In energy healing, Mitch opened her consulting practice and ethics, legal issues and risk management strategies and the practice of and training and energy healing methods.
She is author of the enlightening book integrity, the joy of offering your gifts legally and ethically. Her work has touched the lives of so many. Inspiring them to harness their healing abilities while navigating the often complex world of regulations and ethics. Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, Midge.
Midge Murphy: Thank you, Chris. It's great to be here. Can
Chris McDonald: you share a little more about
Midge Murphy: yourself? Well, let's see, where shall I start? I'm kind of this, uh, interesting combination of things. I am an attorney and I'm the first attorney to receive a PhD in energy medicine from Holos
Chris McDonald: That's why I called you a unicorn before.
Midge Murphy: That's perfect. And I'm also an energy healing practitioner myself. So I, I have this level of expertise in both the energy healing world and the world of business, law, regulations, and all those other kinds of things we do need to consider. when we're offering our services to the public. So I'm, I'm considered like a bridge between two worlds.
And in 2015, I wrote a book called, uh, Practice Energy Healing in Integrity, the Joy of Offering Your Gifts Legally and Ethically. And I'm very honored that it's become the gold standard in the field. And it's really a resource, essential resource, because what I discovered when I received my PhD and started to say, well, what am I going to do with this?
And the universe sort of just said, Look, there's a huge void here. There is no one addressing the ethical and legal issues, either from a licensed person's standpoint or a non licensed person's standpoint, and they each have very distinct different risks, and we'll talk about those today. And so, I've really been on this path of service to bring this essential information to the mainstream healthcare industry in terms of, let's get that energy healing field more professional, more in integrity because it's the wild, wild west.
I was going to say that. Yeah, if anyone can hang up a shingle and say, Oh, I'm an energy healing practitioner. And so that's, that's troublesome. And so what the government is doing now is saying, we need to start to look at regulating these folks because they're offering professional healthcare services to the public.
And there's this myth out there that, Oh, if they're safe, they're non invasive, no one ever gets hurt. And that's a complete. do get harmed. There are people who are acting unethically that do a great deal of harm to their clients. And sometimes it's not even, they're not even aware of it because they've had absolutely no training in ethics and legal issues and how you have a professional therapeutic relationship with a client.
Now, the mental health care field. You have the training and background, you understand what a therapeutic relationship should look like. What is a client centered practice? So we can really kind of go more because of your audience into that realm rather than into the unlicensed realm. Yeah. Yeah. So I also have an exam based on my book.
So people can earn a professional credential and they receive a certificate of completion and it indicates that they've had some level of training and competency and understanding in the legal and regulatory issues and ethical issues. in the practice of energy healing methods. And so this is again a path of service to me for the community so that we can begin to be able to demonstrate we do have some training and background in ethics and legal issues in using energy healing methods with our clients.
And in your
Chris McDonald: book, I know you discuss the concept of integrity and energy healing. Can you define what that means so my listeners understand more?
Midge Murphy: Well, it's kind of one of my personal honor codes is in integrity is that you, you have done the very best to be in alignment with. The ability to be neutral, non compassionate, and non judgmental with a client.
So that you have the ability and the training and discernment to know what client is appropriate for you. So there's another myth out there, and not so much with the licensed folks because they know better, is that anybody that walks into your office is, is, yeah, I can help you. And that's just not true, you know.
And I talk about in the book, how do you assess someone who's going to be a good candidate for any kind of energy healing work? And there's some folks that just are not suited for it and they can have a psychotic break. They can disassociate. There's lots of different things that could happen that you don't want to have done to a client or a patient if you're, if you're a licensed folks.
So it's about having the requisite training. and the ability to have your own personal honor code to really know what's your stuff and what's their stuff. So, and you get a lot of that training when you're a licensed mental health care professional. You understand the issues of transference and counter transference and what does it really mean to be a client centered practice and when a patient may trigger you and all of a sudden you're into your stuff instead of not in their stuff and you don't hold your boundaries.
These get amplified hugely when you're working in the energetic realm. So, it's what's great about what I've done is I've really studied a lot about what are the ethics in the mental health care field and the legal issues. And I said, let's expand on those. Let's talk about going into the energy, subtle energy systems of the body.
And when you evoke change on that level, how does that affect the mental health or the health and wellbeing in general of the person that you're working with? Can we start
Chris McDonald: with the, the legal risks for licensed practitioners, especially the mental health therapists that want to integrate this? energy healing, whatever training they have.
And I would just wonder what, what that is.
Midge Murphy: The biggest risk that licensed folks face is being subject to professional discipline for practicing below the standards of care or outside their legally defined scope of practice. And unfortunately, licensed folks have lost their licenses. So Let's give an example.
Some, and this has happened, there was a mental health care professional who did a lot of shamanic work with clients, with patients, removing entities and things like that, that were interfering with the mental health of a, of a patient. Well, their licensing board said, this is not the practice of psychotherapy.
If you read the Psychology Practice Act or the Psychotherapy Practice Act that you are governed by, under your license, it's not going to talk about energy healing at all. So you have to be very mindful that licensing boards get upset and a client can get upset if they feel like what you're doing is not part of the standards of care.
So that's a huge risk that licensed folks face. The other risk is a malpractice claim. Again, for practicing below the standards of care, outside their legal and defined scope of practice, and especially if you don't have a very clearly, legally written, legally sound, patient informed consent agreement for services that includes these non traditional methods and discloses some of the risks, the fact that they're not fully accepted into the mainstream healthcare field.
So, if you have a legally sound patient informed consent that maybe incorporates Reiki or EFT tapping or yoga or some of these other modalities, this is the way you can mitigate your risk, is to make sure you have a legally sound, Patient informed consent agreement for services that includes these, and all the disclosures that you need to make, that these are still considered experimental.
The other thing that happens is, so you have your licensing board you have to deal with. The other issue you have to deal with is your patients, and if they don't have a really clear understanding about what it is you're offering, if you can't explain very briefly in a few sentences the theoretical basis of these alternative or non traditional methods that you are offering.
Clients can get confused and then sometimes they say well that was weird. So it's about having a very robust informed consent process with your clients making sure that they are the right candidate for this kind of maybe combined psychotherapy with energy work. We know it can be extremely effective.
So again you have issues with your patients as well as with your licensing board. Now if your licensing board came after you, here's some risk management strategies. One is, I just mentioned, make sure you have a legally sound patient informed consent agreement for services. That's critical. The second piece is if you were ever questioned by your licensing board, they're saying, you are doing this weird thing.
It's like, what is breath work? Or you're putting your hands on people or whatever it is. And licensing boards really don't like that. So if you can present yourself and say, well, I'm a member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. international organization that has a code of ethics.
They've done a ton of research on EFT tapping and the safety and efficacy of that modality that can be incorporated into a psychotherapy practice. And I'm a member of that and I've been certified in EFT tapping as if that's one of your modalities that you offer. If you are doing Reiki, make sure you've had adequate training in Reiki so that you look like a professional that's been certified or had the appropriate training in these other modalities so that you come across as someone who's professional.
Now what licensing boards don't like is if you come, you get in trouble and they send you a cease and desist letter and they ask you, so you're integrating this Reiki into your practice and that's really not what we would define as psychotherapy. So what's your training in that? Oh, I went to a weekend workshop.
You don't look very good in front of a licensing board if that's the only amount of training and then you think you can incorporate it into your practice. So another really big risk management strategy is to make sure if you do offer anything that is considered an energy healing method that you have been fully trained and you can support that training if you're ever questioned.
Does that make sense?
Chris McDonald: Yeah. So, so what you're saying too is just that to get the most training that you can and as licensed professionals to getting supervision or consultation, I'm guessing would be also
Midge Murphy: helpful. Yeah, definitely. In fact, if you're going through a certification program, what's missing in most of them now.
And they're starting to get going is this concept of, yes, you're getting the training, you're working with practice clients, but someone has to watch you. Someone who knows what they're doing, who has the skills and the talent and the experience in the background to say, I need to watch you actually do this energy healings.
session with a practice client. So I don't call it supervision when it's in a realm of not being licensed because there are legal obligations and things that go with supervision as you may be aware of as a mental health care professional. But definitely mentoring is so critical so that someone who says yes, you know how to do this modality and you know how to do it ethically and you understand the concepts of how to actually run, do a session with a person, a real live person and someone has watched you at.
critiqued you and mentored you to make sure that you're understanding all of the ramifications of what it is to offer your services in a therapeutic setting to another individual. So that's
Chris McDonald: critical. Because I'm just wondering, I know you mentioned yoga because I use yoga with therapy clients, but I did get my certification and I still have mentors.
So I'm, you know, I just feel like getting the most education you can is going to be helpful. And I have a separate. Consent form for yoga. It's all part of integrated in my informed consent. So I guess, is it being the more clear we can be with clients as well? So they understand what it is
Midge Murphy: and what we're doing.
Yeah, exactly. I think, and I did notice that you work with yoga. Cause I looked at your website and I thought that's great. And I. I have a client here and Eugene is a psychologist and she also incorporates yoga into her therapy. And what we have to be really careful is it doesn't look like it's two separate services sometimes depending on what you're doing.
So for instance, if I'm working with a psychologist who wants to incorporate Reiki, that's a little tricky, very tricky because you're not going to just do a Reiki session on someone. However, if you're using Reiki and you've been fully attuned and you've had all the training that you need, Reiki to help balance.
and calm the client or the patient that you're working on. It creates a better therapeutic outcome. So you're using as, as an accessory, as an alternative tool, as a way to make the therapy go better. Then you're on much stronger grounds in terms of why you're incorporating this into your practice, because it can be a tool that enhances the therapeutic outcome.
But if you're just doing Reiki on your own under your psychotherapy license, that's confusing and that could get you into trouble.
Chris McDonald: So a tool to enhance the therapeutic process. So remember that listeners.
Midge Murphy: Yeah. When I draft these agreements, that's, and that's critical so that the perception is you're using this not as a standalone offering.
Oh, I come to my office and then for a hundred bucks, I'll give you a Reiki session. under my psychotherapy license. That's troublesome right there because you're definitely operating below your standards of care and outside your scope of practice. So what I've done for a lot of my psychotherapy clients that I worked with over the years, a lot of them are really interested in saying, you know, I'm, I'm kind of a little tired of psychotherapy.
I'm getting a little burned out. Uh, and a lot of these tools I've learned like either Reiki or especially EFT tapping. If you're familiar with that, there's some other modalities. It's like, I think I would like to be more like a coach to people and be able to work across state lines because we know you can only practice in the state in which you're licensed.
So a lot of folks I've helped to say yes we can do that if we do it extremely mindfully and that means you have to have two very. completely separate practices. You don't put your coaching practice under your psychotherapy license or under your, even that website. So you have to be separate bank accounts.
You have a coaching agreement and disclosure statement. And of course, your orientation and your focus with your coaching clients is extremely different than with your psychotherapy patients. And we have to disclose it. Although Chris is a licensed professional counselor in the state of North Carolina, she does not offer any services.
As a psychotherapist and only offers her coaching services, nuances of the language. So that's very clear that if anyone was questioning, you say, I don't, I'm not going to treat mental health disorders. And coaching is really about setting life goals, working maybe with energy modalities that can help make you feel more positive, can help reduce some of those limiting beliefs that we have.
They're. holding us back. So there's a kind of, there is a fine line between coaching and psychotherapy and you make it really clear what that is, but there's no reason why that you can't do that and have a separate coaching practice. As long as you make it clear, you're not going to be doing psychotherapy with any of your coaching clients that you come across.
So that's another option for people, but it has to be done extremely carefully so that you don't jeopardize your license.
Chris McDonald: So being careful with the wording and hopefully getting some legal help too with whatever you come up with for consent forms for coaching versus therapy.
Midge Murphy: Exactly. Yes.
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So why is it important do you think for therapists to get more training in ethics and legal issues and risk management?
Midge Murphy: Well, I think that there's a whole landscape that's changing and I really specialize in energy healing methods. So I think that it's interesting though, I have to say. I also have a revenue sharing program with training organizations that are certifying or training schools that are training energy healing practitioners in a variety of different energy healing methods.
And it's interesting because part of the core curriculum for these training organizations or certification programs is that the students going through the training or the certification program have to read my book and take the exam based on my book as part of the requirements for becoming certified.
And so there's a number of times where I've got psychotherapists who are going through this particular training program. And the comments I get on the exam is like, wow, I've taken a lot of ethics courses. I've never taken anything like this before. It's so, goes so deep. It covers all these different issues I never really thought about because I really expand on.
sort of the core ones that you all as licensed psychotherapists are well familiar with, but we go much deeper in terms of working with the human energy field and the nuances of marketing yourself, whether you're licensed or non licensed. So it's, it's a resource for being able to help psychotherapists feel more confident and empowered about.
Maybe taking on these non traditional methods, these energy healing methods, that they're really interested in and can see the results they get with their patients. And they get excited about that because they see resolution of issues that may have taken years to get to that can be resolved very quickly.
with, especially with EFT tapping, emotional freedom techniques. There's been a ton of research been done the last 25 years. And I think this is a wonderful tool for psychotherapists, uh, especially around issues with PTSD and trauma and anxiety, and it tends to calm the mind. And so I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs.
I'm not a scientist, but I do know that. We have
Chris McDonald: another episode on that.
Midge Murphy: Oh, excellent. Yeah. Yeah. That's wonderful. So
Chris McDonald: I know you mentioned marketing with energy healing practice. So are there some ethics that therapists should keep in mind if they offer energy healing as a therapist?
Midge Murphy: Yeah, definitely.
First of all, You have to be mindful that if you're doing, if you have a website and you're doing any kind of marketing, that you're subject to the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission. And that's the regulatory agency that governs how we advertise our services and products to the consumer.
And one of the major issues for licensed therapists is when I'm working with them, is to look at the rules and regulations under their licenses. Because there are some states that are you not allowed to use like a patient testimonial on your website. So you have to be make sure you're following the rules and regulations in terms of how you can advertise your services to the public as a licensed psychotherapist.
So that's one thing I look at and want to recommend. And I think it's important to understand that a lot of people will put on their websites, both licensed and non licensed, client testimonials, and If you're allowed to do that as a, as a psychotherapist, you want to make sure that you're not creating some kind of either a, an expressed claim, a claim of curative ability of some kind of modality that you're using.
So for instance, if you're doing, working with people and you have a client or a patient who says, Oh, I went to see Sally and she's a wonderful psychotherapist. And in three sessions, uh, she cured my PTSD. using X, Y, and Z. So you have to be really careful about that kind of language. And so again, it's the nuances of the words and what you use and not so much your title.
However, you do have to be aware that energy psychology is not a recognized branch of psychotherapy or psychology at this time. So I do know there have been some folks who are very well educated in the field of energy psychology and sort of EFT tapping goes underneath that and they're members of ASAP, Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, but they've gotten in trouble with their licensing boards, uh, by saying they do energy psychology, number one.
If they're not a licensed psychologist, they really can't say the word psychology. Psychological is fine. So licensing boards are very sensitive about using a title. I'm an energy psychologist. Um, because it's not a recognized branch and you have to make sure you're using words that you are allowed to use, they're not restricted in terms of the laws and regulations that apply to you as a licensed psychotherapist.
Chris McDonald: As far as I know, I'm a licensed clinical mental health counselor. I know for my licensure, we can't use testimonials, period. And as far as the other ones in North Carolina, I know we have LCSWs and LMFTs. From what I understand, because I'm a clinical supervisor, too, that... Oh, you are? Okay. I don't know that any...
Yeah. I don't know that any can use any of those licensures can use testimonials. So, and hopefully nobody is at this point. If you have it on your website, take
Midge Murphy: it down. Well, yeah. And I think that that's not uncommon for states to restrict the use of testimonials because it's really, you're offering a professional service, a licensed professional service.
So, There are a little bit more restrictions in terms of that, but there's some states that do. So again, you just have to be aware of what the laws and regulations are that apply to you in use of any kind of testimonial on your website.
Chris McDonald: You mentioned something, um, I'm trying to remember the name of it, the Complementary Medicine Association.
Midge Murphy: right? Well, there's the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. Comprehensive. Okay. Yeah. We call it ASEP and their website is energypsych. org. And that's a great resource. I mean, they're, they're the, they're really the leading international organization that has really been looking at bringing in energetic meridian based modalities into the practice of psychotherapy.
And so it really started with. Thought Field Therapy and Roger Callahan many years ago, and then kind of morphed out to all the EFT tapping and the meridian based techniques that they use. But that's an energy based technique because you're tapping on meridian points.
Chris McDonald: See, I never thought of that with, yeah, EFT as energy.
It's interesting. Yeah.
Midge Murphy: Yeah. It's definitely an energy based modality because you're tapping on meridian points while saying these phrases. Yeah. So there's, there's a lot out there. And so if, if that's an area that you're really interested in, You know, being a member of ASEPT and accessing the research that's been done and all of the conferences and educational tools that they have, that's a great risk management tool to implement if you're interested.
Plus, you know, they also have a certification program in EFT. And they also have a certification program for people that are licensed mental health care professionals. I call it, I think, a diplomat in comprehensive energy psychology. They also have a separate track for people that are not licensed and for those it's called a certified health practitioner.
So, energy health practitioner, C E H P. So, they have a lot to offer if that's kind of the direction you're interested in around using the meridian tapping techniques as part of a practice, either licensed or non licensed.
Chris McDonald: So, do you have any other Advice for therapists as far as risk management strategies that they could start doing to protect themselves.
Midge Murphy: Well, we really covered a lot. One is making sure you have a legally sound, patient informed consent agreement for services. Really discloses what you need to disclose in terms to protect your license so you're not subject to professional discipline. Uh, the other big piece is to make sure you get as...
trained, certified as possible in any kind of energy healing modality that you want to incorporate into your practice, and that some of them may not be appropriate. What you want to keep in mind is that if you're integrating these non traditional methods into your practice to make sure that it's, they're done not as a separate service, but as a way to enhance the therapeutic outcome.
in a positive way by using these techniques in addition to your traditional talk therapy, whatever kind of psychotherapy that you're doing. And then the third piece is to make sure if you have a website that you have it audited to make sure that you're not inadvertently creating some kind of a legal problem for yourself, either under your laws and regulations that are applied to you.
under your license, but also making sure you're in compliance with Federal Trade Commission rules and regulations about how you advertise your services to the public. And then if those of you who really are interested in setting up the coaching practice completely separate from your psychotherapy practice, it is very doable, but it has to be done mindfully.
And that includes a package. that making sure that you have a separate coaching agreement, that you have a separate website to offer these services, and that you have a completely separate business, which means separate bank accounts, so you're not co mingling funds and all of that. But it's very doable, it just has to be done mindfully.
And then you can offer coaching services across state lines.
Chris McDonald: I appreciate that. Uh, I think it's always good to hear some of these things more than, more than one time too. Cause it is a lot. It's a lot to really think about and consider like, what do I have on my website? And that's what I'm thinking. What do I have on there?
Oh gosh. And I'm sure listeners are thinking that as well. And you know, are we saying the right things? Are we doing the right
Midge Murphy: things? Yeah. Well, that's why my book is a great resource. And that taking the exam is also a great resource. So the book is available on Amazon. Again, it's Practice Energy Healing and Integrity, The Joys of Offering Your Gifts Legally and Ethically.
And the PDF version of the book is available on my website. Amazon has the print and the Kindle version. And the exam can be purchased on my website. It's 150. It's, it's open booked. It's self paced. There's no pressure. And you just can sit there and go through the exam and the book's in front of you. And then it just submitted online and I would grade it and issue your certificate of completion.
So yeah, there's some resources out there that you can educate yourself about. And the book does cover both. I really address. The issues that licensed folks face and also issues that non licensed folks face. So it's comprehensive and it deals with both populations. Can
Chris McDonald: we just rewind real quick to the one thing you just mentioned about, I think you said that it should be integrated, right?
Like, like if you're going to be offering the energy healing. Just making that clear on your therapist website that it's integrated, not a separate service, right?
Midge Murphy: Correct. Yes. Because otherwise you're running a separate business under your psychotherapy license and you're not allowed to do that. I mean, ultimately your scope of practice is legal and defined by the laws and regulations that apply to you.
So as a licensed psychotherapist, you have to look what, what does your practice act say? What is, what is the legal definition of the practice of psychotherapy? in your state, under your license, whatever, whichever one it is. So that's where you, that's where you start. And in a lot of these other kinds of, you know, methods that are energy healing, whether it's Eden Energy Medicine, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, Matrix Energetics, there's so many different, Polarity Therapy, there's so many ones that are out there that you don't want to be used or be brought before your board for unprofessional conduct because you're practicing below the standards of care or outside your legally defined scope of practice.
Chris McDonald: And I know you brought up therapeutic touch. So is there different things that therapists should keep in mind, uh, as far as actually touching clients? Is that a whole other realm of
Midge Murphy: legality? Yeah, it definitely is. And I know that there's some states, again, you really have to look at your rules and regulations, that if you touch a client, you can lose your license.
Period. So there is no touching. So therapeutic touch, for instance, and Reiki for that matter, they can be done slightly off the body. You don't have to actually touch someone. Um, but when I work with a psychotherapist who uses a modality, uh, that incorporates touch, now there are a lot of different modalities that use muscle testing.
Yes. And so I always address that in the patient informed consent agreement for services that, you know, this, this particular modality includes touch could be tapping like most you, if you're doing EFT tapping, you're tapping on yourself. But I always say in the event, that for some reason you're not able to tap for yourself and I may, I will tap for you because you want to deregulate the situation when it makes sure that the client is safe or the patient is safe, has not disassociated in some way and kind of gone off the wheels there.
But as a licensed psychotherapist you not have to help people to self regulate. So in that regard, You, you say, before I will tap on your body, I will ask permission and that's in your patient informed consent and other language in there to say, if you have any aversion to touch, uh, please let me know. I can always do something different so that you're always honoring the right of the patient to say, no, I don't want you to touch me because.
Inadvertent touch that's not done properly, that's not done energetically in the way it needs to be done can really get you into hot water, especially if the patient thinks it was inappropriate. It may not have been inappropriate to you, but if you haven't gone through the process of really making sure that the client is comfortable with you touching them, whether it's slightly stroking them with respect to, you know, therapeutic touch or something like, or holding your hands over a particular chakra or something like that.
Again, As a professional and someone who's licensed, you can really read whether or not the client is comfortable. They may say yes, but if you're sensing any kind of, you know, disruption or nervousness about being touched, then you have to really honor that. That's how you really work with the power differential in a therapeutic relationship is to make sure that you're honoring that and that client is because they're more vulnerable saying, well, yes, you can touch me, but they really don't want you to.
So that's kind of a long winded answer, but you can certainly do it, but it needs to be addressed in your patient informed consent, as well as how you build rapport and trust with your patients around the use of touch in your practice. That makes
Chris McDonald: a lot of sense. And it just makes me think about to like trauma informed care and language that we use and what you're mentioning is very trauma informed.
Definitely. Asking for permission or you can stop at any time, those kind of things I think is so essential. So yeah, this has been a great conversation. Was there anything else that you want to leave with
Midge Murphy: today? I mean, people, I do have a number of risk management packages on my website that some licensed folks may be interested in.
I have a lot of blog articles as well. And they're free. So my website is really simple. It's midgemurphy. com. But I certainly would highly recommend that if this is of interest to you as a licensed psychotherapist, that you really take a look at my book. And if you want to earn a certificate of completion, that's a professional credential.
And I. The exam's 150. That's really a minor investment in increasing the integrity and professionalism of your practice. Absolutely.
Chris McDonald: And we'll have all that in the show notes, listeners, so you can access that. But thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Midge. Well, thanks
Midge Murphy: for having me, Chris. I really enjoyed it.
Chris McDonald: listeners, thanks for tuning in. This brings us to the end of another episode. I appreciate you being here with me and hope you learned a little bit more about offering your gifts legally and ethically. And if you're a new listener to this podcast, I want to say welcome. As a listener, you have access to my free nine part email course, how to build confidence as a holistic therapist.
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org forward slash holistic therapist. This is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love. Till next time, take care. Thanks for listening. The information in this podcast is for general educational purposes only. And it is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are giving legal financial counseling or any other kind of professional advice.
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