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  • Writer's pictureMadilynn Beck

Emotional landfill

Ever found yourself caught in the crossfire when your client decides to unload their emotional baggage on you?...and you're not their therapist? 😕 Yup, it's like navigating through a trauma landfill without a map. Let's talk about the art of setting boundaries and keeping your own sanity intact in the age of oversharing.

👩‍💼Accidental Therapist

So, you're working on your client's lowerback, when suddenly, they drop a bomb of emotional chaos. It's not just a vent; it's a full-blown trauma dump, complete with all the gory details. Hold up – this is a deep tissue, not deep session! You're massage therapist not a psychotherapist. Sometimes silence is the only space that needs to be held. Not responding is actually a wonderful way to support your client, while also not getting tied up in their lives. There's a significant difference between giving opinion and leaning into professions you aren't trained in. Best to stick with "mmm"s and "uh-huh"s letting your client work it out for themselves while you work on their calves.

🚦Setting Boundaries 101

First things first – it's okay to say no. Your mental health matters too. Politely but firmly, let your client know that you're not equipped to handle their emotional baggage. Suggest they talk to a professional – therapy is a game-changer. Boundaries are like the cool kids of self-care; they set the tone for your mental and emotional space.

🎨The Art of Redirecting

Now, redirecting the conversation doesn't mean you're heartless – you're just being strategic about preserving your own peace. If you've got a talked on your hands, or your conversation opens a can of unexpected worms, pivot the discussion towards lighter topics, share a funny story (that's entirely unrelated), or engage in some self-care talk. Remember, you're a wellness professional, not a 24/7 crisis hotline.

🕸️Creating a Support System

Encourage your client to build a solid support system... beyond you. Suggest group therapy, online communities, or other resources where they can share their struggles. There are plenty of wellness communities out there (The Better Spot...cough, cough, nudge nudge). This reinforces your support of them by providing them with options of support outside of you.

In Conclusion...

It's crucial to maintain a balance between being a supportive wellpro and safeguarding your own brain and heart space. Trauma dumping can be overwhelming, but with a sprinkle of boundaries and a dash of redirecting, you can navigate the emotional landfill while keeping your cool.


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