Tag Archives: Transference

Does Touch Have a Culture?

Posted by: Priya Senroy on November 14, 2012 3:44 pm

I  thought I made  an error of judgment  when I consoled a grieving, inconsolable client by touching her on her knees…..I had an urge to give her a hug —–knowing full well that I was feeling strong transference….but I caught on  when my right brain kicked in….and offered tissues   instead….Coming from a culture where it is okay to show how you feel by touching-appropriately off course, is not a taboo …..to being told by my child’s  kindergarten teacher about the policy of no touch is taking a lot of shifting of gears in my head both personally and professionally—-personally won’t my children grow up all warped and unsure about when  it is okay( and who)  and when  it is not okay to touch…….professionally , having to constantly telling myself and reminding my clients why they cannot give me a hug when they are happy or why I can’t hold their hand when they are crying, is, I think is acting as a barrier  for me from making genuine connections with the clients when it is needed….I know the boundaries and the  ethics and all in between, what’s  acceptable and what’s not…but the  conflict always remains, I always feel that something is missing, something just did not ’hit the spot’ and I am wondering if I am feeling like that what about my clients….I am sure there are many studies, articles and ethics which suggest the pros and cons of touching and having have read a number of those, I would like to recommend reading-To Touch Or Not To Touch: Exploring the Myth of Prohibition On Touch In Psychotherapy And Counseling-Clinical, Ethical & Legal Considerations By Ofer Zur, Ph.D. & Nola Nordmarken, MFT .The article can be found on http://www.zurinstitute.com/touchintherapy.html. The purpose of this blog s not to dispute why should or shouldn’t touch be used in counseling or therapy but more as a discussion question being posed to other practitioners who find themselves in similar conflict as I do and ask the question: Does Touch have a culture?

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