The field of massage therapy can be divided into two major skill areas: (1) hard skills and (2) soft skills. Hard skills in clude knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, tactile precision (what bony marking is felt), and massage acumen (e.g., how to work on a client’s injured hamstring).
Equally, if not more, important are the soft skills of mas sage therapy. These skills include how to manage the relation ship between the client and the therapist , or the therapeutic relationship. This chapter immerses the therapist candidate into the world of the therapeutic relationship. We begin with an overview of the relationship ‘s elements, pausing to exam ine and acquire good communication skills. Next, we discuss how to resolve problems, because conflicts will arise.