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Psychological Defenses and Boundaries in Massage Therapy

6 Hour CE Course

Average rating based on the following evaluation questions:

  1. The presentation of the subject was clear and to the point.
  2. Content was interesting to me.
  3. I gained new knowledge.
  4. The materials held my attention.
  5. I can use this information in my practice.
  6. This program met my personal expectations.
  7. Overall quality of course content and materials were excellent.

Enrollment Options

Text Materials Shipped and Test Online

Contents: Text shipped to you. online multiple-choice test.


Materials and Test Shipped to You

Contents: Text and multiple-choice test shipped to you.


No Text (I Already Own Text) and Test Online

Contents: online multiple-choice test only.
(I already own "Psychology of the Body" text.)


No Text (I Already Own Text) and Test Shipped

Contents: Multiple-choice test shipped only.
(I already own "Psychology of the Body" text.)


Fully Online Materials and Test

Contents: Text and multiple-choice test online.


Do you have the Psychology of the Body textbook? See your enrollment options above for "I already own the text".


Qualifies for 6 CE Hours in Ethics. Through text and cartoons, learn new insights into the psychological factors that influence your work and your client relations. Based on The Psychology of the Body by Elliot Greene and Barbara Goodrich-Dunn, this course explores the ethical issues related to the psychological defenses and body boundaries that profoundly influence people. Learn fresh approaches to recognizing and responding to ethical issues; using therapeutic frames, and confidently collaborating with mental health professionals. The textbook includes numerous cases studies and suggestions for applying the concepts through self-directed exercises. This textbook is the same one used for our Body Psychology course. It is also a valuable reference to use over and over.

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Content Outline

The Psychological Life of the Body 1 hour
Psychological Factors Affecting Massage Therapy
1.5 Hours
Psychological Defenses Affecting Massage Therapy
  • Client defenses
  • Therapist defenses
1.5 Hours
Boundaries and Limits in Massage Therapy
  • Scope of practice boundaries
  • Boundaries concerning limits of behavior
  • The therapeutic frame
1.5 Hours
Open-book Test and Course Evaluation 0.5 Hour
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Very satisfied. This was my first time taking courses from you. I was very pleased in all aspects of this course! Thank you!

Rebecca Maddock, RMT, ALM, LMT - Medfield, MA

Thank you. The book is wonderful. (Wish I'd found it years ago!)

J. Kenyon, LMT, NCTMB

Very useful information.


Very detailed text, but a little long winded, could tighten it up, less repetition; that being said, intellectually above average which is greatly appreciated compared to other online courses, overall, book is an impressive work. I have, after 15 years in the profession have been a better massage therapist this week applying principles emphasized in this course, I made a point to talk less to my clients and listen to their words and bodies more (and I already have been doing this...) I did it better and will do it even better going forward because of this course.

Manorama Rakhmanov, LMT, NCTMB

Very fascinating course, will definitely recommend to to others!

Jennifer Barnard, LMT, NCTMB

I really enjoyed the content of this course. The textbook used was very well written. The material will be useful in my practice and goes above and beyond the previous information I have learned on this topic

Erin Hemphill, LMT

I have never been disappointed in a course from I. I .H.. The ethic courses are always varied and interesting!

Melody Henderson, LMT, NCTMB

Incredible, I soaked up the information. It was conveyed in a digestable and organized way. I would highly recommend this course.

Michelle Baslow

I already had a little background with client defenses and boundaries, this class enhanced the gray areas I still had. It was precise and to the point. Thank-you

Lisa Albertin

The psychological concepts were described incredibly well. There many ethical issues that were addressed and clarified in this course. Material was extremely well presented and the test was excellent as well.

Jayni Marie Day, LMT

The Psychology of the Body Course was very thought-provoking and truly put me through the paces regarding ethics in Massage Therapy. It helped define further the limitations on our profession's scope of practice, and gave me new ideas and insights into how I can grow as an LMT. Thank you for offering this, Psychology of the Body by Greene and Goodrich-Dunn belongs on every therapist's bookshelf.

Dakota Heinemeyer, LMT, NCTMB

This course was more interesting than I anticipated. Having degrees in psychology and social work as well as massage therapy, the topic is imperative to my work. I appreciated gaining more insights. Thanks!

Miriam Reich, LMT, NCTMB

The book/course presents a body-centered view of ethics that is especially useful for massage therapists.

Elliot Greene, LMT, NCTMB

I find any additional knowledge I can gain from your courses are beneficial not only to me but my clients

John Foutz, LMT, NCTMB

Information presented was very informative and interesting. I think this will aid my understanding of client issues and how to deal appropriately with these.

Carrie Tremelling, LMT, NCTMB

Never thought of massage in this light. It explains the moments I had puzzling over some clients and their behavior. It also confirms that Im doing the right things. Thanks

Peggy Dildine, LMT, NCTMB

I really enjoyed this course and I am very glad it is offered. I have a massage license as well as a BA in psychology and a MA in Human Development Counseling. My career goals involve more than just providing massage therapy. I want to teach people how emotions,thoughts,and feelings affect our over all health and well being. I would like to be known as a bodywork counselor. Therefore, I would love to see more of these types of courses Thanks!

Connie Batsell, LMT, NCTMB

I really enjoyed this course and actually shared it with my Primary Care Physician because I brought the book to an appointment. She was very interested in it and may purchase the book for herself. It gave excellent insights and valuable ways to handle different situations with clients regarding Psychological issues that can come in session. I am going to keep this book in my office for a reference guide.

Allison Milk-Rowe, NCTMB

Great course. Thank you!

Samantha Rickey, NCTMB

Very good course! Study materials were adequate and easily understood.

Ron Parker, LMT

The course itself was very interesting, especially for an ethics course. I feel like it advanced my knowledge of the psychological connections in massage, something that I feel as a professional is needed as he/she develops a clientele.I also liked that I could learn along with taking the test. I feel I had direction this way which made me retain the information. The website layout and ease of access was perfect. I will be taking classes here in the future!

Sadie Haney, LMT

I found this to be one of the most challenging home study courses I have taken. Interesting content. Interesting perspective. It has been nice to learn a lot of totally new information. Thank you.

Valerie Bower, LMT

The best on-line CEU I've ever taken. Very useful and easy to quickly bring into practice! Already seen more interest in my business due to changes made from information in this course. Thanks!

Cynthia Gilmore, LMT

This Ethics course far exceeded my expectations. The subject matter was truly fascinating, which, I'll admit is not always the case with Ethics courses. The sensitivity, intelligence and care with which the authors presented this material made for an incredibly thought provoking, illuminating and profoundly resonant course. I'm grateful for what I've gained from this text and am confident that the material will be valuable to me for the rest of my career. Thank you!

Emily Cooney, LMT

I highly recommend this approach and deeper look at boundaries and ethics. This course is very valuable in our profession as massage therapists, at any stage of our experience.

Esther Bannwart, LMT, BCTMB

This course really helped me to refresh on transference and counter-transference as well as other psychological aspects of massage.

Toni Sawyer-Lee

I worked in a Mental Health Profession for 15 years and we were required to uphold strict ethical standards so this information and behavior is not new to me. However, I have thought that the massage industry as a whole has been lacking in providing a thorough understanding of ethics and the importance of ethics in our industry. This ethics course should be standard teaching in all massage schools. It provides very clear explanations to why ethics is so important in massage therapy. It also provides many examples which are beneficial in understanding the sometimes difficult concepts. Thank you for providing such a great course!

Tina Griffith

Some of the literature was clearly stated but was obscurely stated the test question portion. Nevertheless, this course was greatly informative and essential to therapists.

Carroll Ruiz, LMT

This course was informative with many examples of different situations. Very detailed, somewhat challenging but a must for massage therapists in order to clarify good decision making and how to interpret different scenario's.

Daphne Godejohn, LMP

I always find your staff very friendly and accommodating to my needs. I appreciate the discounts. This course was particularly helpful to me. I wish it has been available when I was in massage school in 1997. I have encountered other practitioners and massage schools who were unclear with the boundaries between massage therapy and psychological support and until now, it was confusing to me. I have a better understanding of the boundaries now and feel I can serve my clients in a more professional, respectful manner.

Julia A. Insinger, LMT, BCTMB

The Psychology course was more then I expected. It is a wealth of information and a plus to be able to include ethics within the course. Totally recommend any Massage Therapist to take this course.

Judith Nimtz, LMT, BCTMB

I was very impressed with this course because of the e-mail policy and all of the social media rules that were presented.

Kirsten Miller, LMT, BCTMB

Overall very good course to take for massage therapists. Information will be very useful in my practice to better understand my clients needs.

Kellie Putman, LMT, BCTMB

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Learning Objectives

  1. Describe at least 1 way of identifying or responding to each of the 10 types of client defenses.
  2. Identify the essential elements in therapeutic relationships and roles; self-awareness and supervision.
  3. Describe the difference between massage therapy and psychotherapy in terms of scope of practice.
  4. List at least 1 key element of sexual boundaries; social boundaries and financial boundaries, and identify examples of how each relates to massage therapy or bodywork practice.
  5. Define the term “therapeutic frame” and recognize how it applies to safe and ethical practice.
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Sample Test Question

A massage therapist’s decision about socializing with clients depends on certain variables, such as: how long s/he has been working with the client, the focus and intent of the work, the precise nature of the relationship and the therapist’s

  1. need for a social life
  2. desire to be the center of attention for awhile
  3. understanding of how the client sees him/her
  4. obligation to fulfill the client’s expectations
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