Ethical Dilemma: Advice

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Ethical Dilemma: Advice

After reading "The Advice Trap" article about the ethical dilemma that can arise from giving advice to clients out of the realm of certified expertise, one incident comes to mind. Although I have a small tendency to want to help and make suggestions when clients have needs that I can relate to, I realize the ramifications after I was on the other side of the advice.

I was renting a space in a salon for a year after I received 350 hours of massage school. There were two other women practicing massage there who were both HHPs. One of the women, we'll call her "Jan", became my massage therapist right away. Everybody at the salon raved about her and her 20+ years of experience. She was indeed experienced and being new in the business I thought I could learn a lot from her. During my handful of sessions with her she would only do deep tissue work, against my occasional request for something less abrasive, informing me it was in my best interest. Although I was new in the business I knew my needs were not being met. Still I continued to let her work on me. During this time I was experiencing intense anxiety due to other things going on in my life. She advised me to pick up some St. John's Wort and Holy Basil and take them together twice a day. I went to a health food store and purchased them both. Within an hour I was violently vomiting and my stomach was burning intensely. I have had stomach issues ever since I was a child and at the time I was on medication for it. The combination of all three components was explosive and, needless to say, my anxiety was not relieved. After informing Jan of the consequences of her suggestion she simply said, "I'm sorry, they worked for me."

Knowing what I know now, she was trying to help but was oblivious to the ramifications her advice could have caused her. Shortly after this incident I quit working at this particular business after not only witnessing. but being a victim of compromised ethics. When...
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