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July 15, 2009

Working In Groups

Well, school started this week. We have lots of group activities which I'll be learning a lot about group dynamics and how successful groups operate. Once again, my readers might be wondering how this applies to massage therapy. This is a relevant question considering so many massage therapists work in isolation.

For those therapists who work in spas, a group dynamic is definitely at work. Consider yourself lucky, especially if you work with several other massage therapists. Nothing is more lonely than working without peers who understand the unique issues that arise with bodywork.

If you find yourself in a multidisciplinary team such as a chiropractor, natural wellness, PT clinic or hospital, successful functioning with a group becomes even more crucial, as each person's roles are even more diverse. With diverse roles comes differing priorities and goals and this can create conflict unless a consensus is met. Usually that consensus comes when our priorities focus on goals that exist outside of the group, such a patient care.

For those therapists who work in isolation, group activities can be a way to bring massage therapists together. In my town of 50,000 people, we had between 20 and 30 massage therapists that I knew of. After talking with several peers, we decided to contact as many therapists as we could to form a group. Our goals were to discuss the challenges we faced on a daily basis as bodyworkers. Also, annual CPR recertification could be done as a group at a time of our convenience. We even had a representative from our state board attend one of our meetings to answer questions regarding policy and community issues. Following our group representing at a local health fair at the mall, participation disintegrated. Knowing more about groups and how they work may have helped our group hang together longer and formulate new goals that allowed our community to work in cooperation.

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Posted by linda at July 15, 2009 8:03 AM

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