Is it OK to use touch in psychotherapy?

Is it OK to work with clients who know each other?

I would like to suggest that there is no right way. There are different ways, and each way has advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes I use touch, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I work with clients who know each other, sometimes I don't."

When I asked one of my supervisors, David Boadella, what contract he had with his clients, he answered "which client and when?"

The creative process does not work according to any standard formula. Flexibility is the key.

If we really care about our clients; if helping our clients is more important to us than an allegiance to any particular theory, point of view, school or Association, then surely we will be willing to use whichever method or combination of methods works best.

Techniques are to be used in the service of our clients, not the other way around. When techniques, or allegiance to a particular theoretical orientation or belief system, become more important to us than the wellbeing of our clients, the problems begin. That is when the likelihood of abuse is greatest.

The best safeguards against abuse are integrity and awareness, and these are not the property of any particular school, professional association, method or point of view.

In my work as a therapist and educator, I do not assume that I know what is right for my clients. Only you know what is right for you. Only you can experience your own reality. My task is to help create a safe space, using the most effective methods that I know, to enable you to find your own answers and your own truth.

In the words of somatic psychotherapist and radix trainer, Narelle McKenzie:

"Living with not knowing and feeling good about it takes a lot of courage
and we need to find ways to support each other in valuing this approach.
It is the approach of the future and not the past".

I end with another favourite quote:

"Again and again some people in the crowd wake up
They have no ground in the crowd
And they emerge according to much broader laws.
They carry strange customs with them
And demand room for bold gestures.
The future speaks ruthlessly through them". -Rilke, 1899

Posted on 03 March 2006 in - Library - Therapy

Donald Marmara

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