Touch in the Helping Professions

Touch in the Helping Professions

Research, Practice and Ethics

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

268 Pages · 9x6 · April 10 2018

Paper ISBN: 9780776627557

PDF ISBN: 9780776627564

ePub ISBN: 9780776627571

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Description

Touch may well be one of the least understood or talked about subjects in the helping professions. A discussion on the importance and ethics of positive, caring, and appropriate touch in professions such as teaching, nursing and counselling is long overdue. Touch in the Helping Professions delivers just that, weaving together scholarly evidence, research and clinical practice from a wide range of perspectives encompassing philosophy, theology, psychology, and anthropology to challenge assumptions about the role of touch in the helping professions. 

The contributors to the volume focus not only on the overarching roles of gender, age, culture and life experience, but go beyond to encompass canine-assisted therapy, touch deprivation, sacred objects, as well as key ethical considerations. The prevailing lack of dialogue, due to fear of contravening ethical boundaries, has stood in the way of an open and responsible discussion on the use of touch in therapy. Touch in the Helping Professions
is a welcome and much needed contribution to the field—a window onto a fundamental need.
Acknowledgements................................................................................ xi

INTRODUCTION
Exploring Touch...................................................................................... 1
Outline of the Book.......................................................................... 6

PART I
THE THEORY OF TOUCH

CHAPTER I
Touch Deprivation and Counselling as Healing Touch.................... 13
What Is Touch?................................................................................. 14
Touch Deprivation........................................................................... 15
Touch Deprivation and Attachment.............................................. 18
Counselling as Healing Touch....................................................... 21
Healing Touch in Couple Counselling......................................... 23
Case Study 1.............................................................................. 25
Case Study 2.............................................................................. 26
Conclusion........................................................................................ 27

CHAPTER II
Thinking About Touch........................................................................... 33
Hume on Thinking.......................................................................... 34
Descartes: Touch as Confused Thinking...................................... 36
What Is Touch?................................................................................. 39
Individuating Touch........................................................................ 40
Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Touch.............................. 43
Conclusion........................................................................................ 49

CHAPTER III
Contributions of Sensory Anthropology and Durand’s
Anthropology to the Symbolic Study of Touch and the
Understanding of Boundaries in Psychotherapy............................... 51
The Contributions of Sensory Anthropology.............................. 52
Schopenhauer’s Parable of the Porcupines.................................. 54
The Contributions of Durand’s Anthropology
of the Imaginary............................................................................... 57
The Mythical World of the Mystical Type............................ 58
The Mythical World of the Heroic Type................................ 59
The Mythical World of the Synthetic Type........................... 59
Defining Boundaries in Human Life and in the Context
of Psychotherapy............................................................................. 61
Application of Durand’s Theory to the Understanding
of Boundaries................................................................................... 62
Conclusion........................................................................................ 64

CHAPTER IV
Healing and the Forbidden Touch: A Reflection on Selected
Scripture Stories...................................................................................... 69
Introduction: On the Meaning of Touch....................................... 69
From Sight to Touch........................................................................ 70
To Touch or Not to Touch?............................................................. 72
Touching Jesus and the Hemorrhaging Woman (Mk 5: 25–34). 73
Is Touch a Gender Issue? ............................................................... 74
Does Touching Contribute to Healing? ....................................... 75
Do Not Touch Me: Forbidden Touch (Jn 20: 11–18).................... 76
Closeness and Distance: Who Is Allowed to Touch?.................. 77
The Impossibility of Touch and Transgressive Touch................ 78
Conclusion........................................................................................ 79

PART II
THE PRACTICE OF TOUCH IN PSYCHOTHERAPY

CHAPTER V
The Intervention of Touch in Psychotherapy
and Trauma Treatment........................................................................... 85
Introduction to Touch in Psychotherapy
and Trauma Treatment.................................................................... 85
Exploring Theory and Research: A Rationale for Touch
in Trauma Therapy ......................................................................... 86
The Importance of the Nervous System in
Emotional Regulation and Trauma Treatment............................ 88
Potential Impact of Touch on Clients............................................ 90
Types of Touch in Psychotherapy ................................................ 93
Guidelines for Safe and Effective Touch in Psychotherapy....... 95
Case Example of Using Touch/Physical Contact
with a Teenage Client ..................................................................... 97
Conclusion........................................................................................ 101

CHAPTER VI
A Puppy’s Touch: Destressing with Dogs in a University
Environment............................................................................................ 107
Introduction...................................................................................... 107
Initial Research................................................................................. 109
Biophilia Hypothesis................................................................ 110
Social Support Hypothesis...................................................... 111
Context of the Research.................................................................. 113
Methodology.................................................................................... 114
Findings............................................................................................. 114
1. Energy of the Dogs............................................................... 117
2. Distraction from Current Stress......................................... 117
3. Touch or Contact with the Dogs......................................... 117
4. Unconditional Love and Acceptance................................. 118
5. Reminder of Home or Pet.................................................... 118
Discussion......................................................................................... 118
Conclusion........................................................................................ 122

CHAPTER VII
Inter-Partner Touch in Couple Counselling:
Theory and Emerging Practice............................................................. 125
What is Touch?................................................................................. 125
Defining Touch.......................................................................... 125
Psychobiological Function of Touch...................................... 126
What is the Importance of Touch for Psychological
Well-Being?....................................................................................... 127
Touch Promotes Human Development................................. 127
Touch Provides Attachment Security.................................... 128
Touch for Comfort and Well-Being........................................ 130
Touch in Times of Distress...................................................... 131
Touch Leads to Spiritual Health, Experience,
and Connection......................................................................... 132
Touch in Couple Counselling........................................................ 132
Touch in Today’s Couple Counselling................................... 133
A Spirituality for Inter-Partner Touch........................................... 134
An Emerging Model for Touch in Couple Counselling............. 135
Look, Touch, Talk, Hug........................................................... 136
Twenty-Second Hug................................................................. 138
Moving Forward.............................................................................. 139
What Implications Does Touch Have for Couple
Counselling?.............................................................................. 139
Ethical Considerations............................................................. 140
Need for Future Research............................................................... 140

PART III
THE PRACTICE OF TOUCH IN A SPECTRUM OF PRACTICE

CHAPTER VIII
The Practice of the Laying on of Hands in Islamic Spiritual Care... 147
Literature Review............................................................................ 148
A Place for the Laying on of Hands in Islamic Spiritual Care . 151
Ethics of the Laying on of Hands in Islamic Spiritual Care...... 154
Ethics of the Tawhid Principle ........................................................ 155
Ethics of Physical and Spiritual Purification............................... 156
Ethics of Providing Proper Care ................................................... 156
Conclusion........................................................................................ 157

CHAPTER IX
An Angel in My Pocket: Touch, Sacred Objects,
and Spiritual Coping.............................................................................. 161
Touch in Hospital Chaplaincy....................................................... 161
Spiritual Coping .............................................................................. 162
Locus of Control.............................................................................. 163
The Spiritual Dimension of Touch................................................ 164
Objects of Spiritual Significance.................................................... 164
The Function of the Sacralized Object.......................................... 166
Focuses the Mind...................................................................... 167
Tool of Connection................................................................... 167
Source of Emotional Support.................................................. 167
A Beneficial but High-Maintenance Coping Strategy................ 168
Evolution of the Sacred Object....................................................... 170
Sacralized Objects in Meaning-Making........................................ 172
Challenges with the Research........................................................ 173
Conclusion........................................................................................ 173

CHAPTER X
Touch(ed) in Palliative Care Nursing: Moving with/in
An Uncertain Practice............................................................................ 177
Touch in Nursing: An Aesthetic and Embodied Practice.......... 179
(In)visible and (Dis)embodied Practices of Touch in Nursing.. 180
At the Margins of Care: Personal and Professional
Boundaries Affecting Touch........................................................... 182
To Touch and Be Touched: Cultivating Capacity........................ 183
Mindfulness............................................................................... 183
Attuning Mind, Body, and Emotions..................................... 184
Moving with Uncertainty and Vulnerability:
Flowing of Frozen Waters?...................................................... 184
Storytelling....................................................................................... 186
Going Slow to Know: Storying Meaning.............................. 186
Evoking the Body: Storying Practices of Touch .................. 186
Cultivating a Community of Practice: Storying Relations. 187
Conclusion........................................................................................ 188
Appendix A: With Mary................................................................. 189
Appendix B: With Jerry.................................................................. 190
Appendix C: With Jake and Family.............................................. 190

CHAPTER XI
Touch in Supervision.............................................................................. 195
A Model for Supervising Touch.................................................... 198
Touch Between Supervisor and Supervisee................................. 202
Recommendations........................................................................... 205
Conclusion........................................................................................ 206

PART IV
THE ETHICS OF TOUCH IN THE HELPING RELATIONSHIPS
AND CONCLUSION

CHAPTER XII
The Ethics of Touch in the Helping Relationships............................. 213
A Question of Personal Boundaries.............................................. 214
Therapeutic or Not?................................................................. 214
Current Context............................................................................... 216
What Professional Ethics Say.................................................. 216
The Benefits of Touch in the Helping Relationships........... 217
How to Decide to Touch or not to Touch?................................... 218
Who Touches?........................................................................... 218
Who Is Touched?...................................................................... 222
Contraindications.............................................................. 223
In What Context Does Touch in the Helping
Relationships Occur?............................................................... 224
For a Better Practice of Touch in the Helping Relationships..... 226
Guidelines and Recommendations........................................ 226
Training, Supervision and Consultation............................... 228

CONCLUSION
Issues of Touch: An Overall View and Integration............................ 237
Touch Helps Us Thrive................................................................... 238
Touching You; Touching Me; Touching Puppies;
Touching in the Helping Relationships........................................ 239
Contracting Touch in the Helping Relationships........................ 242
Clients Who Want to Touch or Be Touched................................. 243
The Ethics of Touch......................................................................... 244
What Touch Might Mean Within a Therapeutic Relationship.. 245
Touch as Presented Within Academic Education
and Training..................................................................................... 246

Contributors............................................................................................ 249