I recently made the piece thinking of the power of a hug, and physical connection.
As therapists we are often encouraged to limit touch within a session even if it is a pat on the back. Touch is something very intimate and personal to each individual. Although there are some standard unspoken laws around personal space and touch we also have our own personal rules and boundaries which can be affected by out past experiences. For some clients it may be what they need, a supportive, grounding pat on the shoulder or maybe even a hug but for others it can be trigger as they may have experienced abuse and it can reconnect them to the trauma.
Personally I lie somewhere in the middle. I always consider:
• what the need is and who’s need it is i.e. are you wanting to pat a client because you may need or because it will be grounding for the client?
• Think of the client’s past and reasons for therapy
• If I choose to go ahead, I ask the for the client’s consent
What are your thoughts?