Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic Touch

Research, Practice and Ethics

Edited by: Martin Rovers, Judith Malette, Manal Guirguis-Younger

260 Pages · 9x6 · August 22 2017

Paper ISBN: 9780776625478

PDF ISBN: 9780776625485

Availability: In stock

Product Name Price Qty
29.95 $ CA
PDF eBook
0.00 $ CA


In the helping professions, touch seems to be one of the least understood or talked about subjects. Yet we know that touch is incredibly powerful in counselling, psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy, spiritual care, palliative care, teaching, nursing, and medicine. 

This book weaves together scholarly evidence, research, and clinical practice pointing to the importance of touch in human physical and emotional development. It is structured along three axes: the theory of touch, the practice of touch in therapy, and the ethics of touch. It discusses the roles of gender, age, culture and life experience, as well as subjects such as canineassisted therapy, touch deprivation, sacred objects, as well as key ethical considerations. The varied perspectives—philosophy, theology, psychology, anthropology—challenge assumptions about the role of touch in the helping professions. They provide historical-cultural-professional context and draw from a range of source material. 

The book emphasizes that healthy, non-sexual touch is not taught enough as part of professional training and oversight. The lack of dialogue, due to fear of contravening ethical boundaries, is denying an open and responsible discussion on the use of touch in therapy, adding to the theoretical basis of our understanding of this fundamental need.



Introduction: Exploring Touch

                    Thomas St. James O’Connor

 Section 1: The Theory of Touch

 Chapter 1 - Healing and the Forbidden Touch: A Reflection on Selected Scripture Stories

                    Karlijn Demasure

Chapter 2 - Thinking about Touch

Richard Feist

Chapter 3 - Contributions of Sensory Anthropology and Durand’s Anthropology to the Symbolic Study of Touch

and the Understanding of Boundaries in Psychotherapy

                    Christian Bellehumeur & Jane Chambers

Chapter 4 - Touch Deprivation and Counselling as Healing Touch

                    Isaac Davis, Martin Rovers & Cassandra Petrella.  

Section 2:  The Practice of Touch in Psychotherapy

Chapter 5 - The Intervention of Touch in Psychotherapy and Trauma Treatment

                    Patricia Berendsen

Chapter 6 - A Puppy’s Touch:  Destressing with Dogs in a University Environment

                    Kristine Lund

Chapter 7 - Inter-Partner Touch in Couple Counselling:  Theory and Emerging Practice

                    Cassandra Petrella & Martin Rovers

Chapter 8 - The Practice of the Laying on of Hands in Islamic Spiritual Care

                    Nazila Isgandarova

Chapter 9 - An Angel in my Pocket:  Touch, Sacred Objects and Spiritual Coping

                    Linda Mayorga Miller

Chapter 10 - Touched(ed) in Palliative Care Nursing:  Moving with/in an Uncertain Practice

                    Lacie White & Christine McPherson

Chapter 11 - Touch in Supervision

                    Cynthia Bilodeau

Section 3:  The Ethics of Touch and Conclusion

Chapter 12 - The Ethics of Therapeutic Touch

                    Marilyn Guindon, Reesa Packard & Natalie Charron

Chapter 13 - Conclusion:  Issues of Touch:  An Overall View and Integration

                    Martin Rovers, Judith Malette & Manal Guirguis-Younger