Therapists and Prejudice

Therapists and Prejudice

24 Feb 2022

Pro-Age Aesthetics Academy

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This informal CPD article Therapists and Prejudice was provided by Tatiana Vorontsova director at Pro-Age Aesthetics Academy, a wellness and beauty education clinic in London.

Effective treatments

It’s no secret that the most effective treatments are results of the therapist’s knowledge, expertise and compassionate care. These three components are essential to deliver results. Today I’d like to share with you my thoughts on therapist’s state of mind and its impact on our clients.

When we serve from a humble place with no ego attached, when we are calm inside - we are being authentic. Our body is relaxed. Our hands are soft. We are focused. At an energy level we are not perceived as “danger” by the client and they immediately relax and feel at ease. Their body and mind welcome the treatment. Their tissues “give in” in the best sense of the word, because subconsciously they “read” us as safe. That’s where magic happens. That’s where healing takes place. That’s where blocks dissipate, tensions dissolve and nature’s equilibrium is restored resulting in a beautiful smile and tears of gratitude at the end of the session. That’s where we begin to feel like ourselves again.

What happens if the therapist can’t help but to judge? Let’s be honest - in the recent years the beauty camp has divided into two polarities - the proponents of “quick fixes” aka Botox, fillers, plastic surgery, threads etc.... versus the promoters of “all things natural”. From my experience of interacting with therapists who chose the natural approach, I often see their judgment of clients with “work done”. Sometimes it’s an open disliking and condemnation, but most often it’s hidden under the mask of “good intentions to cause them good”. 

Even our thoughts and our internal conversation matter! Regardless of how hard we disguise our true feelings driven by our own preconceived opinion, the client’s body will “read” us as “danger”. No matter how much “good” we want to cause them, the client’s body will “read” us as “intruder”. It’s all non-verbal but oh so real.

What happens at the physical level?

When we judge, we tense up automatically. To judge something we have to perceive it as “negative and bad”. Negativity only breeds negativity, aggression breeds aggression. When we are tense inside, our bodies tense up inevitably causing our hands to tense up. When we touch our clients with tensed hands, their tissues are faced with aggression and will automatically tense and reject your manipulations to protect them from the perceived “aggressor” (you) - so don’t be surprised if the effect of your treatment will be hardly visible, if any at all! The worst thing - you can cause damage to fine facial muscles let alone the ruined mood of your client.

So, what do you do?

All new therapists - please take note. Sometimes we tense up subconsciously without realising that, but the consequences are still the same. To stay non-judgemental if you “strongly believe in something” is hard, I get it! It requires internal discipline and enormous maturity to stay neutral. So what do we do? I’d like to offer you my personal go-to tool which I use in many areas, not just work.

Be CURIOUS! Yes, replace judgement with curiosity! It’s the best strategy against judgement. When we are curious, our egos are out of your sight because we are looking to understand something beyond ourselves. When we are curious, we are not fixed on our own ideas, beliefs and agendas. When we are curious, we become researchers, students of life, servants to a greater good. I adore a quote by Albert Einstein: “I’m neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.”

"I’m neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious."

Albert Einstein

Although not everyone of us is candidate to a Nobel Prize, I’m sure if we apply the principles of curiosity, we can only win and spread more light around. So, when you feel fillers underneath your fingers, instead of mentally cursing your client, become a researcher! Feel the texture, the amount, the placement. Touch gently with curiosity. Question yourself: “What am I feeling? How’s this different to surrounding tissue?” When your client comes and says they had Botox - touch gently with curiosity. Feel for what’s happening underneath your fingers. “Listen” with your fingers as to how the muscles respond. Be really, truly curious! Be mindful of changes which are happening. Forget the results - concentrate ONLY on what’s happening NOW. Stay present. Over time your gentleness and curiosity will be replaced with compassion as you practice this!

Your growing understanding and appreciation of diversity will help you to mature as a specialist and a compassionate human being. You’ll no longer be asking how many movements you need to perform, how much pressure you need to apply, how many sessions they need to come for etc... you’ll feel all these things and many more!

I’d like to finish with another quote by Einstein: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.”

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Pro-Age Aesthetics Academy, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Pro-Age Aesthetics Academy

For more information from Pro-Age Aesthetics Academy, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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