Webinar: Ethics: Preventing Sexual Misconduct in Massage Therapy

Ben Benjamin, PhD

This ethics course addresses the critical topic of sexual misconduct in massage therapy. Viewers will learn the definition and history of sexual abuse, how to maintain sexual boundaries in draping and quality of touch, and the warning signs of predator therapists. Ethical guidelines for schools, spas, clinic owners, therapists, and clients are given to prevent sexual, physical, and emotional harm in massage therapy. Use this webinar as your guide to create a safe and ethical practice.

Read Dr. Benjamin's accompanying Massage & Bodywork magazine article, "Massage Therapy and Sexual Misconduct" in the September/October 2017 issue.


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Course Outline
  • Learning from Real Abuse Cases
  • Sexual Abuse in Context
  • Maintaining Sexual Boundaries
  • Warning Signs
  • Guidelines for Schools, Spas, Therapists, and Clients
Learning Objectives

Having viewed the online massage therapy ethics CE course, participants will be able to:

  • Define sexual abuse.
  • Describe the power differential that exists between therapist and client and list ethical ways to mitigate that differential.
  • Describe proper boundaries for draping the thigh, low back, buttocks, chest, and upper inner thighs.
  • List the prerequisites for ethical treatment regarding working potentially sensitive areas of the body.
  • Identify the warning signs of a predator therapist.
  • List ethical guidelines that schools, spas, clinics, therapists, and clients can follow to minimize the risk of sexual misconduct during a massage therapy session.
Ben Benjamin, PhD

Ben Benjamin, PhD, has been practicing massage since 1963, and founded the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1974. Dr. Benjamin enhanced his practice by studying under Dr. James Cyriax, widely known for his pioneering work in orthopedic medicine. He maintains a private practice, consults on ethics cases as an expert witness, and leads seminars on ethics, communication, and injury assessment and treatment. With a passion for helping individuals cope with and overcome pain, Dr. Benjamin has been lecturing internationally for more than 35 years. He is also the author of Listen to Your Pain, Are You Tense?, Exercise Without Injury, and coauthor of The Ethics of Touch. He was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame in 2010. For more information, visit his website at www.benbenjamin.com.

Topics and Techniques

This massage ethics CE course addresses the critical topic of sexual misconduct in the bodywork profession. Topics include the definition of sexual abuse and how to set and maintain boundaries for both quality of touch and draping. Dr. Ben Benjamin also shares the waring signs to look for to identify predator therapists and ethical guidelines to prevent harm.


Visit the ABMP Education Center FAQ page for a full list of resources.

How do I earn a CE certificate for this ethics course?
After you complete the webinar video, a quiz will appear on the page. Earn a CE certificate by scoring 70% or higher on the course quiz.

How do I access my CE certificates?
CE certificates are available on your “My CE Transcripts” page and on the course page.
Visit your “My CE Transcript” page by clicking “My CE” on the navigation bar at the top of your screen.

Is this course approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB)?
Yes! All of the courses are approved under ABMP’s NCBTMB Approved Provider account (451086-09).


"Dr. Ben Benjamin has left no stone unturned. This was one of the most detailed ethics classes I have encountered. Thank you."

"The information was well presented, relevant, and effective. I will know better how to respond in the future when something isn't quite right."

"This was a great presentation of this sensitive but much-needed subject. Thank you!"

"Dr.Benjamin's presentation was very informative, giving clear examples of how to respond to inappropriate touch or conversation, and how to recognize patterns of predatory behavior. He reinforced proper draping for working near sensitive areas."