Working in Community
Questions often come up about doing deep work with community members, where we’ll likely run into one another. In traditional therapy, practitioners are bound by rules that prohibit what are called “dual relationships,” or having a second relationship with a client other than therapist/client, such as friend, or even co-attendees at social events. This is to protect the sanctity of the therapist-client relationship.
Massage therapists and other somatic practitioners are not bound by such rules. Even though Wisdom of The Body practitioners also are not bound by those rules, we’d like to address the issue, since it may impact you as a client, and your choices.
We actually rather love working with people in community, and with whom we are in relationship. We’ll tell you why—and then we’ll address some common concerns.
What we love about working within community...
Wisdom of The Body is about tuning in deeply to a person’s needs, desires, stuck places, and showing up for them in ways that help them heal. What more beautiful gift to give a friend or loved one? In tribal communities, shamans work with the same people they see every day. They may have known their clients since they were children. From this deep knowing comes trust, respect, and ease. These are great foundations for accelerating the healing process beyond what might be possible with a stranger.
We also like to think that showing up in the same places is a way of continuing to offer our silent support and vote of confidence for your wholeness and unfolding, even as we keep our therapeutic relationship sacred and confidential.
Our Introductory Playshops are evolving into a sort of community gathering place where people new to the work, as well as people familiar with the work can come and learn and practice. Over time, as with other groups, we expect that this format will work better and better, as we all get to know each other more deeply.
Finally, Wisdom of The Body evolved in community. Founder Jill Nagle was heavily influenced by her years of contact improvisation, Nonviolent Communication and freeform dance, and many of her first practicum clients came from these communities to receive her work. Because of their shared background in community, these first clients experienced an especially high resonance with the work.
We love our many tribes. And, we understand you may have questions or concerns.
I would wholeheartedly suggest experiencing Jill’s unique healing practice. She creates a warm, safe place to be held and nurtured. Stillness, deepening, more presence results.
Josiah Knight, Berkeley, CA
Here are some of the guidelines we agree to:
If we meet you in a Wisdom of The Body one-one-one or couples context, we won’t initiate any other kind of relationship with you.
If we want to pursue another kind of relationship with you, we’ll end our WoB relationship. We’ll do so honestly by saying that our desires for another kind of relationship are getting in the way of being primarily a practitioner.
If we meet at a group Wisdom of The Body event, and meet later at a non-WisBo event, we’ll negotiate the kind of relationship we want to have as peers.
We may work with friends, lovers, family members and community members. We don’t expect existing relationships to change in nature as a result of working with us through WoB. However, for ALL clients, even people we know well, we abide to the best of our ability by these confidentiality guidelines:
We will not bring up the content of your sessions to you or anyone else (except in cases of professional consultation) or act according to our knowledge of anything we learn about you in session, though you, of course, are free to reveal whatever you wish.
We will not tell anyone that you are or have been a client of ours, though again, you of course are free to reveal whatever you wish. We may mention that you attended one of our Introductory events, as these are public, unless you would prefer that we not do so.
We will plan to keep our regular schedules for activities in which we may cross paths with you. If that ever becomes uncomfortable, or if you have a request for us for a particular need, we’ll discuss it and seek a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
If we have an existing relationship, and you want to focus on doing WoB work together, we may wish to choose a focus for a period of time. That is, we may meet only as practitioner and client, and put any other kind of relationship on hold in order to create the strongest possible container for the work. This is up to the client and practitioner to decide.
If you ever have a question or concern about doing this kind of work in shared community, please raise it with us, we are happy to keep exploring these questions with you!
By having the practitioner (you) hold present space and touch, without an agenda or expectation, allowed me, the client, to deepen my inner sense of acceptance and well being.
Receiving a Wisdom of the Body session was a gift for myself, where I could tune into what I needed and practice fully stating that and have someone (the practitioner) create a safe container to provide the healing touch without expectation. I was able to fully be myself and in my body.
Susan S., MFT Intern, Oakland, CA