Touch in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice

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9781572306622: Touch in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice

As a therapist, do you ever shake hands with a client? Do you ever lightly touch a client's hand or shoulder as a conversational marker? What happens if you inadvertently touch a client? Nonerotic touch is a powerful form of communication, and research and clinical experience indicate that it can contribute to positive therapeutic change when used appropriately. This thoughtful book brings together experienced clinicians to review the research and to offer ethical, theoretical, and practical guidelines for using nonerotic touch in therapy settings. Featuring extensive clinical commentary and case examples, chapters address such topics as evaluating a client's desire to be touched, working with survivors of sexual abuse, the role of touch in regression and reparenting approaches, communicating with clients about the use of touch, and managing "touch errors."

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About the Author:

Edward W. L. Smith, PhD, ABPP, is a professor of psychology and Coordinator of Clinical Training at Georgia Southern University. Widely published, he has offered professional training in psychotherapy in the US and internationally. He is a former chair of the Training Committee of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, and a fellow of the Georgia Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association.

Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, ABPP, is a professor of psychology at Georgia State University, where she teaches psychotherapy and supervises students who are seeing clients in the GSU Psychology Clinic. Former chair of the GSU Clinical Psychology Program, she maintains a private practice with individuals, couples, and groups, is an associate editor of the Gestalt Review, and serves on the editorial boards of Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice and the Journal of Couples Therapy.

Suzanne Imes, PhD, is a psychologist in independent practice in Atlanta, specializing in body-oriented Gestalt therapy. She is an adjunct assistant professor of psychology at Georgia State University, where she supervises advanced clinical psychology graduate students. She is cofounder and director of the Gestalt Institute of Georgia, a fellow of the Georgia Psychological Association, and a former chair of that association's Women's Division.

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Contents
I. Theoretical and Ethical Considerations
1. Traditions of Touch in Psychotherapy, Smith
2. Touch in Context, Kertay and Reviere
3. A Taxonomy and Ethics of Touch in Psychotherapy, Smith
4. A Rationale for Physical Touching in Psychotherapy, Bar-Levav
II. Research Perspectives
5. Research on Communication by Touch, Fagan and Silverthorn
6. Differences Between Therapists Who Touch and Those Who Do Not, Milakovich
7. Therapists' Recall of Their Decision-Making Processes Regarding the Use of Touch in
Ongoing Psychotherapy: A Preliminary Study, Clance and Petras
8. The Experience of Nonerotic Physical Contact in Traditional Psychotherapy, Geib
9. Further Research on the Patient's Experience of Touch in Therapy, Horton
III. Insights from Practice
10. Thoughts on Using Touch in Psychotherapy, Fagan
11. An Object Relations Perspective on the Use of Touch in Psychotherapy,
Glickhauf-Hughes and Chance
12. Long-Term Client's Experience of Touch in Gestalt Therapy, Imes
13. Touch and Clients Who Have Been Sexually Abused, Lawry
14. The Impact of Physical Touch on Professional Development, Mandelbaum
15. Jean's Legacy: On the Use of Physical Touch in Long-Term Psychotherapy, Torraco

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