An exploration on the use of touch in the therapeutic relationship

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McGrane, Ciara
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The question of whether to use touch brings about diverse opinions amongst practioners within the field of psychotherapy. Touch is an intimate form of connection for humans. To integrate the use of touch into the therapeutic relationship, both the therapist and client are communicating on a non-verbal level. A therapist must acknowledge the power of touch in the therapeutic setting and the impact it has on the client’s process. There are ethical considerations and boundaries that the therapist and client must adhere to should professional touch form part of the session. It is important to question who benefits from the use of touch in the relationship. The research explores professional touch and its appropriateness. It questions the responsibility a therapist has for their client. By exploring the ethics and boundaries of a therapeutic relationship, one can develop a better understanding of whether touch can be a necessary tool in a client’s recovery.