Monday, April 16, 2012

Professional Boundaries

Like an auto body shop, your job as a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist is to work with your client's body.
 Just as you're pulling into a parking spot, you child spills a cup of soda in your lap, and you get distracted. You accidentally bump into the parking meter and dent your car's front  fender.
When you take it to the body shop to fix the dent, that's exactly what you expect the shop to fix the dent. You don't expect the shop's employees to improve your concentration or warn you against drinking soda in the car. Their job is to fix your car and only your car .As a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist, you will be in a slightly different position because you will work with people, not objects. When your clients come to you, you know that a lot of what you address in their bodies may be caused by events in their lives. For example, your client may feel frustrated because his child spilled soda in his lap, and he dented the front fender of his car. As you see how tense his shoulders are, he may tell you he's angry at his child's carelessness.Your responsibility as a personal fitness trainer is to increase his range of motion, for example. Although it is perfectly acceptable for you to share basic relaxation tips for instance, stretching and breathing exercises it is not within your scope of practice to advise your client as to how to deal with his anger unless you're a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist. he has come to you seeking a specific kind of help personal fitness training. Let's take this situation one step further by acknowledging that this client is also your next door neighbor. When you get home from your training session that day, you discover that his child has told your son, Dad hits me when he gets angry. Now the situation is more complicated. What are your responsibilities as a personal fitness trainer? What are your responsibilities as a neighbor, both to your client and to his son? To resolve these issues, it's crucial to understand the nature and pitfalls of dual relationships and where your boundaries professional, legal, and personal lie.

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