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A therapist wants to know if it’s ethical to charge for making professional quality guided imagery C

05 Dec
A therapist wants to know if it’s ethical to charge for making professional quality guided imagery CDs for her clients, and, if so, how to go about incorporationg this into her practice..
BR, I attended your conference in Falmouth, MA a few weeks ago... wonderful... everything about it was inspiring, interesting, and fun.

I''m interested in making a CD of guided imagery... I have the resources... from you! And also my husband is a musician, who can help me record it in a studio, etc. It would require an investment of my time, effort, and finances.

My question is this: Is it ethical to charge a fee to my clients for them to purchase my CD? Or am I expected to give them one for free? Thank you very much!

TQ



Dear TQ,

Yes, it''s always ethical to charge for anything that takes extra time, trouble and care. You can do it either by charging for the cost of the item itself as an extra, which would be the most simple way to do this; or, if you plan on doing these for individuals on a regular basis, you could also just raise your fees a bit to cover your expenses across the board.

The ethical concerns would come into play if you used your influence and relationship with your clients to press them into buying things from you that they didn''t want or that weren''t appropriate for them; or if you did this to make a profit as opposed to help each individual in the way that was most clinically indicated. And of course, price-gouging would be out of the question. I would just charge for the cost plus the time.

The main thing is to be very delicate in not pressing anyone, because so many clients want to please their therapists, even with an unspoken but implied wish of ours.

You might even consider just giving someone a CD to take home for starters, and if they find it useful, they can buy it later, otherwise, return it. You can put the onus off the personal ("tell me you like this or you''ll hurt my feelings") by saying that some people can really use this technique, others not so much. Saying this might give them more freedom to give it back or not use it.

Then just pay careful attention that this doesn''t change the relationship, and if it does, of course, you must address and process this.

For all these complicated reasons, it might make more sense to just raise your fees a tad and not charge for the item.

I hope this helps.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award