04 Aug WHAT IS THERAPEUTIC TOUCH
So what touch is therapeutic then, for touch to be therapeutic it needs to happen within a therapeutic relationship in which there are strongly held boundaries to facilitate the ubiquitous transference. As therapists we must continuously ask ourselves what is this touch about, is this to meet my own needs or is this an unconscious wish to shut down the emotional expression of the client. Is this touch erotic or romantic countertransference with the client? Is this touch an effort to control what is happening in the therapy? What am I getting from this touch, what does it mean to me, the more we ask these questions of ourselves as therapists, the actual need for touch within the therapeutic relationship shifts into a more connected, guided, vulnerable and emphatic interaction where touch is not actually needed to facilitate the here and now therapeutic interaction.
The times when touch can be profoundly healing is when a client is connected to a previously dissociated affective state and his/her natural response is to withdraw from connection, bringing the clients awareness to this response and encouraging the client to stay in contact in the here and now can be transformative thus changing the pattern of neuronal activity and creating a corrective action with new neuronal activity and a new set of beliefs such as “ when I am feeling sad it is possible to connect with another and be seen, heard and witnessed without being hurt and shamed” This therapeutic dyad can be amplified by touch in the form of the therapist placing some light touch on the client in a caring and supportive way with permission which is completely different to the experience of the original wound in the client.
In Tantra Counseling or Tantra bodywork sessions where there can be a much stronger emphasis on touch and requirement of touch from the therapist onto the client as part of the therapeutic interaction, the navigation between, is this touch appropriate or not, is this touch for me or the client and is this touch facilitating or hindering the healing process for the client can be a difficult and taxing journey of personal and professional development. In many other forms of therapy and psychotherapy, there is a strong therapeutic framework to enable and encourage trauma recovery work to take place. There is code of ethics and requirements for clinical supervision, I believe clinical supervsion to be an essential investment and commitment for any person holding a therapeutic space for another person, i would also extend to say I also believe that continous and regular personal development is also essential in the form of group therapy, workshops, seminars, clinical reading etc otherwise personal and professional deveopment can not happen as therapy is always in the relationship, relationships by nature are fluid , also changing, never static , always bi directional . We as therapists are not merely observers in the therapeutic dyad, we bring to this space our beliefs , our own trauma history, our unresolved relational imagos,our reactions, our emotions, our judgements,implicit and explicit , expressed and unexpressed. Therefore the greater awareness of our own trauma and relational blueprint not just at one point in ime but as they emerge within current therapeutic relationships the better for our clients.
“Where there had been only fearful emptiness or equally frightening grandiose fantasies,
an unexpected wealth of vitality is now discovered. This is not a homecoming,
since this home has never before existed. It is the creation of home.”
― Alice Miller
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Life Change Health Institute offers world unique individual & group psychotherapy, Sacred Sexuality workshops, classes and Retreats. We specialize in long-term relational trauma recovery, sexual trauma recovery and early childhood trauma recovery. We offer a very gentle, safe, supportive and compassionate space for deep relational work with highly skilled, trained and experienced psychotherapists. All of our psychotherapists are accredited or working towards accreditation with Irish Group Psychotherapy Society (I.G.P.S), which holds the highest accreditation standard in Europe. Our therapeutic approach is an overall evidence-based treatment approach for working with complex trauma and dissociation, that addresses the root causes of trauma-based presentations and fragmentation, and so results in long term recovery. Highly effective psychological and somatic techniques are woven into a carefully staged treatment approach, which systemically integrates significant relationships into the treatment process. Dynamic (PT) PsychoSocialSomatic Therapy seeks to heal early experiences of abandonment, neglect, trauma, and attachment loss, that otherwise tend to play out repetitively and cyclically throughout the lifespan in relationship struggles, illness and addictions. It is unique in that it approaches the body first (bottom-up processing) and unlike any other form of therapy also integrates the social element of looking at the clients nutrition, environment, support structures, relationships, level of intimacy and attachment style.
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