Is it Ever Appropriate to Touch Clients?
In Today’s Lesson:
References in this video: The 2-part counseling session with Debbie
When is it appropriate to touch clients? How should it be done? Should it ever be used with some clients? Why is it helpful?
These are some of the questions we answer in this video lesson. In humanistic sandtray therapy, touching clients may be one way that therapists convey empathy, support and connection. Novice therapists do not have enough training or supervised practice to use touch but those with more experience and clinical judgment may find touch to be very helpful with many clients.
Some clients should never be touched and I talk about why in the video you are about to watch. Sexually abused clients would be the most obvious category of clients that therapists should not touch. As I mention in the video, touch sends the wrong message to these clients and should be avoided.
In the video clip with Debbie I touch her on the shoulder and on the DVD that comes with Sandtray Therapy: A Humanistic Approach, I touch the client because I am trying to convey in the most meaningful way I know that I am there with them while they are experiencing pain. None of us want to feel pain and clients who experience it on a deep level do not want to go through it alone.
Watch the video above and you’ll see me explain how and why I use touch with clients and some of the cautions I give about its use.
In a few days, we will focus on how to respond to sandtray clients who talk for extended periods of time.
Talk to you soon.