David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Behavior 14 (2):123 – 140 (2004)
Although touch frequently occurs in psychotherapy with children, there is little written on the ethical considerations of therapeutic touch. Because physical contact does occur, therapists must consider if, how, and when it is used, for both their clients' safety and their own. In this review, I further develop the issues suggested by Aquino and Lee (2000) in the use of nurturing touch in therapy by considering many types of touch that occur in psychotherapy with children; the possible positive role of touch; clients' perception of touch in therapy; considerations related to the therapist, the child's safety, and any history of abuse in the child's and family's background; and other practical considerations. I list guidelines.
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