Last night I watched an episode of “The Good Wife.” The story line was about the process the law firm went through in determining whether they would represent a massage therapist who wanted to sue a Nobel Peace Prize winner for sexual assault. Does this sound at all familiar? I am sure the episode was inspired by the claim against Al Gore.
I was very curious as to how the show’s writers would portray the therapist and the situation. Surprisingly, I think they did a fairly good job. Of course, this is a television show and not a documentary….
I wrote an article on this topic titled, “When a Client Crosses the Line” that was published in the September 2010 issue of Massage Today. In researching the article, some of the references had conflicting accounts and I couldn’t understand why she just didn’t leave. I talked with a psychotherapist who deals with trauma and she said that “freezing” up or becoming passive is a very common reaction with people who have had a history of abuse. She was not at all surprised that the therapist didn’t have the courage to walk away—particularly since the alleged perpetrator was such a prominent political figure.
The TV show also addressed that psychological phenomenon and I give them kudos for that. In addition, the character on the show talked about how she was afraid of losing her seniority as a VIP therapist. I’m curious as to how many therapists put up with inappropriate behavior from clients (those that come right up to, but don’t cross the line). I think this needs to be brought into the light if there is to be any hope of inspiring hotel/spa directors to be more concerned about protecting their therapists.
Originally published in the WIBB (Massage Today‘s Women In Business Blog).