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Posted by Mai Brain, Jun 26 2012 9:32AM

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embody article on Elizabeth Farrow

Having read Elizabeth Farrow's article she comments about a qualification being worth an expensive hourly rate and that some practitioners are in reality an entry level or level 3 or 4 at the most. I am one of these level 3 at the most people and I felt that I worked hard at college and having retrained for a new career after being made redundant. I felt that she poo pooed my qualification and set herself on a bit of a pedestal. We all were deemed competant to treat the public with our qualifications and deserve payment for our skills which I may add is not always the way unless you work for yourself as you are paid less than a cleaner as a spa therapist and have to work jolly hard for your hourly rate even though you may be treating in a pleasant environment. I have learnt by experience along the way and feel quite annoyed by her dismissal of our training.
Angela Smith
Jun 29 2012 12:17PM
Hi Mai,
I've read the article. My charges are not based on providing 'a beautiful environment and products'. I don't think it is fair to say this is 'perfectly reasonable' and then go on to judge the therapist’s professionalism and level of qualification!
My clients are looking for a safe place to share and address their most personal and meaningful concerns – in particular their state of health – mental, physical and emotional and this work takes place on the ‘inside'. The environment I provide supports this, through offering them respect and care. My clinic room is quite neutral and certainly not 'beautiful'! But that's how I work and we are all offering something different.
I'm sorry to hear you feel de-valued by the article. Many therapists, myself included, come to this kind of work later in life for a whole host of reasons and we bring with us many transferable skills. Your intent sounds strong, as does your commitment. My advice - which is based on my experience - is to channel your frustration into your work!! You wouldn’t have a qualification to practice if you were not competent, and the way I see it, it's what you do with your qualification and how you learn from your clients that matters.
The article comments on standards, ethics and requirements for professional practice; this is addressed within Embody's membership package. I wouldn't subscribe to Embody if this were not the case. I receive supervision and feedback from a range of professionals so that my work is safe and relevant. I don't accept the suggestion that complementary therapists act in ways that are unaccountable and unsafe. This is not the case. I think most of us really care about what we do and are capable of knowing our own limitations so we work within safe parameters and get support and guidance when necessary via professional associations.
All I am left with is feeling it is really important that we keep supporting each other!
Mai Brain
Jun 30 2012 8:22PM
thank you for your support Angela, I felt annoyed more than devalued. I love my work and have great feedback from clients so although I go home tired I feel quite positive about myself and my skills, isn't it a great feeling to know you have helped someone and spread the positive attitude for complementary therapies.
Elizabeth Farrow
Jul 31 2013 2:41PM
I have only just found your comments, which is some time after they were posted but last year I had surgery and took time to recover I then had to take things at a much slower pace.

I think you have misunderstood the article and it's intentions although I am pleased it invoked some discussion and dialogue. Had you have sent me some comments personally I would of course have responded to you. I always leave my e mail address on articles and welcome any comments and feedback.

You will appreciate that; undertaking training means that by default you are in a process that may mean undertaking work voluntarily to gain experience or offering treatments as part of your case studies. It may mean that you can at some point charge for your services but this will probably be at a reduced rate. This is I am sure what we have all done. I lecture in further and higher education and value the principles of learning and appreciate all that is involved from that perspective but also from my own learning experience. I value your training as you do and in time to come I am sure you will understand more clearly the point I was making.

The point I made about surrounding is simply that; some spas are expensive not because of the quality or qualifications of the therapists but to pay for the surroundings and high specifications of the building. Overheads will vary and these have to be factored into costings when charges are made obviously. However,I was trying to differientiate between those who can charge higher fees because they are highly experienced and qaulified and those who can charge higher fees because of what they are offering in terms of the quality of the setting. Both are valid from a busienss perspective, but more transparency is needed to help the public make informed decisions.

This brings me to the next point my article was making. We need greater transparency in complementary therapies generally and until we have regulation; most ethical practitioners will strive to provide the best quality of care and service in the most cost effctive way as possible or as competitively priced as possile but............there is unfortunately poor practice and unqualified and unregulated therapists, which could potentially damage the reputation of complementary therapy, which is a safeguarding issue in terms of protecting the public, which needs to be challenged.

Recently I found a therapist charging much more than I do for a consulation that is carried out in their back living room. I also discovered that they did not have formal qualifications or training in what they were offering. I have taken professional advice about this and discovered that this is not a one off example. In contrast I studied at University for 7 years 3 years full time and 5 years working voluntarily in a range of organsiations to gain post graduate work experience. This has taken comittement dedication and hard work. Can You tell me why and how they can charge more than me and I charge the going rate for a qualified and experienced practitioner with reasonale overheads. I would value your comments - meantime I will carry on paying off my student loans.

I feel dialogue is useful and important and I value professinal opinions and observations rather than personal criticism. Please note my observations and opinions do not reflect those of the CThA as they are my own.

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