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Psychological Defenses and Boundaries in Massage Therapy

6 CE Hours - E1041

Average rating based on the following evaluation questions:

  1. The presentation of the subject was clear and to the point.
  2. Content was interesting to me.
  3. I gained new knowledge.
  4. The materials held my attention.
  5. I can use this information in my practice.
  6. This program met my personal expectations.
  7. Overall quality of course content and materials were excellent.

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Learn new insights into the psychological factors that influence your work and your client relations. Based on the text The Psychology of the Body, this course explores the ethical issues related to the psychological defenses and body boundaries that profoundly influence people. Learn fresh approaches to recognizing and responding to ethical issues; using therapeutic frames, and confidently collaborating with mental health professionals. The textbook includes numerous case studies and suggestions for applying the concepts through self-directed exercises.

In this course, you will:

  • describe ways of identifying or responding to each of the 10 types of client defenses
  • identify the essential elements in therapeutic relationships and roles; self-awareness and supervision
  • discover the difference between massage therapy and psychotherapy in terms of scope of practice
  • review key elements of sexual boundaries; social boundaries and financial boundaries, and identify examples of how each relates to massage therapy or bodywork practice
  • identify "therapeutic frame" and recognize how it applies to safe and ethical practice

Earn even more credits with the Psychology of the Body and Ethics Package.

Featured Reviews

The best on-line CEU I've ever taken. Very useful and easy to quickly bring into practice! Already seen more interest in my business due to changes made from information in this course. Thanks!

- Cynthia Gilmore, LMT

The course itself was very interesting, especially for an ethics course. I feel like it advanced my knowledge of the psychological connections in massage, something that I feel as a professional is needed as he/she develops a clientele.I also liked that I could learn along with taking the test. I feel I had direction this way which made me retain the information. The website layout and ease of access was perfect. I will be taking classes here in the future!

- Sadie Haney, LMT

I really enjoyed the content of this course. The textbook used was very well written. The material will be useful in my practice and goes above and beyond the previous information I have learned on this topic

- Erin Hemphill, LMT

The Psychology of the Body Course was very thought-provoking and truly put me through the paces regarding ethics in Massage Therapy. It helped define further the limitations on our profession's scope of practice, and gave me new ideas and insights into how I can grow as an LMT. Thank you for offering this, Psychology of the Body by Greene and Goodrich-Dunn belongs on every therapist's bookshelf.

- Dakota Heinemeyer, LMT, NCTMB

Very detailed text, but a little long winded, could tighten it up, less repetition; that being said, intellectually above average which is greatly appreciated compared to other online courses, overall, book is an impressive work. I have, after 15 years in the profession have been a better massage therapist this week applying principles emphasized in this course, I made a point to talk less to my clients and listen to their words and bodies more (and I already have been doing this...) I did it better and will do it even better going forward because of this course.

- Manorama Rakhmanov, LMT, NCTMB

I really enjoyed this course and I am very glad it is offered. I have a massage license as well as a BA in psychology and a MA in Human Development Counseling. My career goals involve more than just providing massage therapy. I want to teach people how emotions,thoughts,and feelings affect our over all health and well being. I would like to be known as a bodywork counselor. Therefore, I would love to see more of these types of courses Thanks!

- Connie Batsell, LMT, NCTMB

I really enjoyed this course and actually shared it with my Primary Care Physician because I brought the book to an appointment. She was very interested in it and may purchase the book for herself. It gave excellent insights and valuable ways to handle different situations with clients regarding Psychological issues that can come in session. I am going to keep this book in my office for a reference guide.

- Allison Milk-Rowe, NCTMB

This course was informative with many examples of different situations. Very detailed, somewhat challenging but a must for massage therapists in order to clarify good decision making and how to interpret different scenario's.

- Daphne Godejohn, LMP

Some of the literature was clearly stated but was obscurely stated the test question portion. Nevertheless, this course was greatly informative and essential to therapists.

- Carroll Ruiz, LMT

I worked in a Mental Health Profession for 15 years and we were required to uphold strict ethical standards so this information and behavior is not new to me. However, I have thought that the massage industry as a whole has been lacking in providing a thorough understanding of ethics and the importance of ethics in our industry. This ethics course should be standard teaching in all massage schools. It provides very clear explanations to why ethics is so important in massage therapy. It also provides many examples which are beneficial in understanding the sometimes difficult concepts. Thank you for providing such a great course!

- Tina Griffith

This course really helped me to refresh on transference and counter-transference as well as other psychological aspects of massage.

- Toni Sawyer-Lee

I highly recommend this approach and deeper look at boundaries and ethics. This course is very valuable in our profession as massage therapists, at any stage of our experience.

- Esther Bannwart, LMT, BCTMB

This Ethics course far exceeded my expectations. The subject matter was truly fascinating, which, I'll admit is not always the case with Ethics courses. The sensitivity, intelligence and care with which the authors presented this material made for an incredibly thought provoking, illuminating and profoundly resonant course. I'm grateful for what I've gained from this text and am confident that the material will be valuable to me for the rest of my career. Thank you!

- Emily Cooney, LMT

I found this to be one of the most challenging home study courses I have taken. Interesting content. Interesting perspective. It has been nice to learn a lot of totally new information. Thank you.

- Valerie Bower, LMT

Very good course! Study materials were adequate and easily understood.

- Ron Parker, LMT

Great course. Thank you!

- Samantha Rickey, NCTMB

Very fascinating course, will definitely recommend to to others!

- Jennifer Barnard, LMT, NCTMB

I have never been disappointed in a course from I. I .H.. The ethic courses are always varied and interesting!

- Melody Henderson, LMT, NCTMB

Incredible, I soaked up the information. It was conveyed in a digestable and organized way. I would highly recommend this course.

- Michelle Baslow

I already had a little background with client defenses and boundaries, this class enhanced the gray areas I still had. It was precise and to the point. Thank-you

- Lisa Albertin

The psychological concepts were described incredibly well. There many ethical issues that were addressed and clarified in this course. Material was extremely well presented and the test was excellent as well.

- Jayni Marie Day, LMT

This course was more interesting than I anticipated. Having degrees in psychology and social work as well as massage therapy, the topic is imperative to my work. I appreciated gaining more insights. Thanks!

- Miriam Reich, LMT, NCTMB

The book/course presents a body-centered view of ethics that is especially useful for massage therapists.

- Elliot Greene, LMT, NCTMB

I find any additional knowledge I can gain from your courses are beneficial not only to me but my clients

- John Foutz, LMT, NCTMB

Information presented was very informative and interesting. I think this will aid my understanding of client issues and how to deal appropriately with these.

- Carrie Tremelling, LMT, NCTMB

Never thought of massage in this light. It explains the moments I had puzzling over some clients and their behavior. It also confirms that Im doing the right things. Thanks

- Peggy Dildine, LMT, NCTMB

Very satisfied. This was my first time taking courses from you. I was very pleased in all aspects of this course! Thank you!

- Rebecca Maddock, RMT, ALM, LMT - Medfield, MA

Thank you. The book is wonderful. (Wish I'd found it years ago!)

- J. Kenyon, LMT, NCTMB

Very useful information.

- M. Ard, LMT, NCTMB


  • Text - 304 pages
  • Multiple-choice test - if you prefer to test online please select the "test online" option
  • Certificate upon completion - if you prefer to print your certificate at home instantly, please select the online option

Display Certificates suitable for framing are available for $10 in addition to the certificate included with your tuition. Click here to order a Display Certificate.


The Institute is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Approved Provider 049478-00.

Credits also accepted by the AMTA, ABMP and NAHA.

For information regarding your specific state massage license requirements and approvals, visit our Massage Therapy Continuing Education Requirements page by clicking here.

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