The Touch Taboo in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life

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Author: Tamar Swade

Publisher: Routledge

Published: 14/04/20

ISBN: 9780367234058

Touch has been a taboo in mainstream Western talking therapies since their inception. This book examines the effects on us of touch, and of touch deprivation – what we feel when we are touched, what it means to us, and the fact that some individuals and cultures are more tactile than others.

The author traces the development and perpetuation of the touch taboo, puts forward counterarguments to it, outlines criteria for the safe and effective use of touch in therapy, and suggests ways of dismantling the touch taboo should we wish to do so. Through moving interviews with clients who have experienced life-changing benefits of physical contact at the hands of their therapists, the place of touch in therapy practice is re-evaluated and the therapy profession urged to re-examine its attitudes towards this important therapeutic tool.

This book will be essential reading for therapists, counsellors, social workers, educators, health professionals and for any general reader interested in the crucial issue of touch in everyday life.