Ethics and the Power Differential

$30.00 members / $50.00 nonmembers     2.0 CE credits

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Determine how power affects the massage therapist and client relationship, and how power is defined, amplified and misused in this relationship. Explore how ethical monitoring of the power differential can improve your client’s satisfaction, ease and build trust.


Learn how to share power with clients in professional relationships while maintaining your professional power and fulfilling your responsibilities. When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Define power and the power differential in therapeutic relationships.
  • List four conditions each for both clients and massage therapists that amplify the power differential in therapeutic relationships.
  • Describe the ethical management of the power differential.
  • Describe the role of the inequality of power in therapeutic relationships.
  • List four aspects of each of the roles (client and massage therapist) in a therapeutic relationship that determine power.
  • List seven ways to exercise your responsibility in the power role of a therapeutic relationship.
  • List four common ways massage therapists over-use power in a therapeutic relationship.
  • List five common ways massage therapists under-use power in a therapeutic relationship.
  • Describe how self-discipline and empowering clients result in a collaborative therapeutic relationship.

Note: this course can be use to fulfills the NCBTMB Standard V requirement.


This course contains information that is proprietary. None of the material contained within this course may be used without the express written permission of AMTA unless otherwise indicated in the course. As a reminder, before practicing any new modalities or techniques, check with your state’s massage therapy regulatory authority to ensure they are within the state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy.

About the author(s)

Kathy Ginn has been active in the profession of massage therapy and bodywork since 1991. She is an NCBTMB approved provider.  She has completed advanced training in Hakomi, a body- mind centered therapy.

Kathy currently lives in Madison, WI, where she is a faculty member with two massage schools, facilitates a peer supervision group, and is in private practice. Kathy is a member of the Right Use of Power teacher’s guild. This group of  educators is committed to the often fragile and dynamic study of ethics. She served on the NCBTMB ethics and standards committee for eight years. She is currently serving with the national AMTA teacher development committee.

Kathy cares deeply about our profession’s unwavering commitment to ethical conduct and personal responsibility.  She shares her knowledge and passion for the study of ethics throughout the country.

You may visit Kathy at You may contact her at

Course approval codes

MSP #127; LCEU0002176

Course expiration

Please note that you must complete each AMTA online learning course and pass the exam one year from the date of purchase. If you do not complete the course and pass the exam within one year, you will be required to re-purchase the course.


Online courses are non-refundable. AMTA will not cover fees incurred from duplicate payments, insufficient funds, stopped payments or credit/debit cards over credit limits.

"It's nice to know that I am part of an organization that is backing me 100 percent."

Kristie W., AMTA member since 2011