Just shut it!

Silence is golden for the introvert, while extroverts like to chat.  What does this mean for the therapist? Should you try to find out whether you’re dealing with an introvert?

I say no. With every client, it’s the therapist’s responsibility to respond to what they bring to the table that day. And it’s not even true that introverts want it quiet all the time–they just don’t like smalltalk. My online buddy Trina posted a wonderful list of myths about introverts.

In any business relationship, you have to follow your client’s lead on how to engage. It’s your responsibility to create an atmosphere of safety. Chatting away pointlessly never gets you there.

A massage therapist who talks all the time is the number one reason for clients not to come back.

To the extroverts, a talkative therapist is just a bad listener–and the extrovert wants to be heard. Just ask questions, don’t tell stories! An extroverted client will be happy to get into a conversation about pretty much anything.

The introvert, on the other hand, will answer your question with as few words as possible. Monosyllables from ANY client are your sign to just shut it. Play some music to ease your discomfort with silence. Something very boring. Like the Pandora station I made specifically for relaxation.

In regards to introverts, it’s really important not to engage in smalltalk. It feels stressful, to some individuals even painful, and a stressed client won’t benefit from your treatment.

So what about extroverts? Won’t they get antsy when you give them the silent treatment?

Some will, some won’t. Some deliberately come to you because they know they have to get more self-awareness.

So the groundrule I go by is simple: Don’t tell stories. Just respond to what the client is willing to share, don’t make your client your audience.

What do you think? As a therapist, what is your experience with clients who just won’t shut up? And as a client–have you ever had a therapist who annoyed you because they didn’t talk much?

Would you agree that when in doubt, it’s better to be quiet?

Say “no”.

Let’s say I have a friend named Linda.

She is always running late. She keeps forgetting things she promised to get done. She stood me up several times when we wanted to meet for lunch. Last time we really talked, she told me about trouble at work. She was very upset, because people who she had a good relationship with were complaining about her.

Really, she’s one of the kindest, sweetest people you can imagine. But she’s letting people down because she just can’t say “no”.

Saying “yes” to every request just means that you can’t get anything done, you’re constantly stressed out, and by trying to please everybody, you end up pissing everybody off.


Don’t be Linda. Just say “no” more often.


What is Rolfing® anyway?

Rolfing Structural Integration is in an identity crisis: We don’t know what the term means. Even Rolfers argue about the correct definition.


In Unit I of my Rolfing training we went over anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, and we learned the typical myofascial mobilization technique used in Rolfing treatments. Unit II is all about the famous Ten Series, the classic application of Rolfing.

In the fall of 2006, on the first day of my Unit II, we were asked what we hoped to accomplish during the 8-week course.

The sensible answers regarded the expected curriculum, treatments of specific cases, and the desire to break out of the spa industry.

Since I was at the end of the circle, everything I could think of was already said. So my answer was “I hope that two months from now I’ll be able to say what Rolfing is.”

Now, after Unit I, II, III, the Rolf Movement certification, loads of continuing education classes and multiple discussions with colleagues,  and with five years of practicing, I still can’t fully explain what it means.

Usually my attempts go like this: Continue reading

I don’t take phonecalls.

ImageHaven’t done it in a month now. The only exception is my father–it’s rare enough that we get to talk, so when it’s him, I pick up.

Otherwise? Nope. I schedule phonecalls, and only pick up if it’s a call I’m expecting.

Results are AMAZING. I’m a lot more relaxed, free time starts feeling “free” again, and best of all I don’t have these annoying phone conversations.

Of course I can only do that because I have office staff seven days a week, and when they can’t answer, we have remote operators.

How do you handle phonecalls? Which ones do you answer?