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No Touch Agreement

Hunter, M., Struve, J. (1998). The ethical use of touch in psychotherapy. Wise publications. The limits of psychotherapy have been the subject of increasing debate in recent decades, with touch being a central element of the subject. Therapists who affect their clients have often been considered problematic and their action has been seen as a border problem often related to, or similar to, sexuality and harm. Lazarus and Zur (2002) stressed that there is no definition of what constitutes an appropriate limit in psychotherapy. They highlight the lack of differentiation between crossing borders and violating borders. As a result, confusion, false accusations and fear spread. Moffatt, G. K. (2017, March 7). The healing language of the appropriate touch.

Tip today: Member Insights. ct.counseling.org/2017/03/healing-language-appropriate-touch/ Jones, S.E. (1994). The right touch: Understand and use the language of physical contact. Hampton Press. America in general is a low-touch culture. Within American culture, there are differences in contact between different regions, ethnic groups or minorities. For example, Californians touch each other more casually and frequently than New Englands (McNeely 1987). However, California is an ethnically diverse state and Californians, whose heritage is linked to Far Eastern cultures, are generally less moving than citizens of other ethnic backgrounds (Samovar, et al., 1981).

People in the centre-west, deeply rooted in German and Scandinavian cultures, are relatively reluctant in their contact behaviour. In contrast, Americans with Latino heritage, the most common population in the southern parts of the country, touch each other easily and often. Americans of Mediterranean heritage touch and embrace each other freely (McNeely, 1987). Americans of Indian descent are more sensitive to class differences in touch. Unspoken social taboos are reflected in contact behaviours. Upper-class people may reach lower-class people, but not the other way around. Despite alleged advances in civil rights for African Americans since the mid-1960s, many unspoken protocols and fundamental prejudices continue to hold back the link between Caucasians and modern African Americans in the United States.