CMTBC has developed a new standard of practice on professional boundaries. The proposed standard of practice outlines:
The CMTBC Board has approved the release of the proposed standard of practice to the profession and the public for an eight-week notice period, from April 16 to June 11, 2018. During the notice period, any RMT or member of the public may submit comments about the proposed standard of practice by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College will consider all comments received before submitting the standard of practice to the CMTBC Board for final approval in June 2018.
Practice standards define the minimum level of expected performance for registered massage therapists, and therefore define what constitutes safe, ethical, and competent delivery of care by RMTs.
RMTs are responsible for exercising their professional judgment to apply the standards to the situations that they face in practice.
Boundaries define what constitutes a therapeutic relationship by clearly marking the differences between a therapeutic and non-therapeutic relationship. A therapeutic relationship between a patient and an RMT is based on trust, respect and the patient’s best interests. Professional boundaries specify the behaviours that are appropriate within the therapeutic relationship, and set clear behavioural expectations for RMTs.
The physical nature of massage therapy requires clear boundaries to ensure that the patient’s safety, comfort and dignity are upheld. Clear boundaries allow patients to know what to expect when they seek care from an RMT.
Boundary violation: When the nature of the therapeutic relationship moves from professional to also being personal, such that harm can come to the patient, RMT or massage therapy profession.
Close personal relationship: A relationship with a person that is characterized by warmth and familiarity, and/or has elements of exclusivity, privacy or intimacy.
Counter-transference: When the RMT reacts to transference by transferring his or her experiences or emotions onto the patient.
Dual relationships: When an RMT has a business or personal relationship with a patient outside of his or her practice.
Transference: When a patient projects feelings stemming from the patient’s own personal experiences or emotions onto the RMT.
Therapeutic relationship: The relationship between a health professional and a patient, which is potentially unequal. It is the responsibility of the health professional to recognize and manage this potential inequality in order to provide safe, effective and patient-centred care.