Touch in Psychotherapy and Counseling

Resources & References

Online Courses:
Touch in Psychotherapy I: The Ethics of Touch in Psychotherapy and Counseling
Touch in Psychotherapy II: Advanced Standard of Care, Clinical and Ethical Explorations
Somatic Psychotherapy: An Introduction

Overview & Ethical Guidelines


Schools, Techniques, Methodologies

Top of Page

References on the Use of Touch in Psychotherapy and Counseling

Abbey, A., & Melby, C. (1986). The effects of non-verbal cues on gender differences in perceptions of sexual intent. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 15(5-6), 283-298.

Ahmad, A., Larsson, B., & Sundelin-Wahlsten, V. (2007). EMDR treatment for children with PTSD: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 61(5), 349-354.

Ainsworth, M. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Allen, J. G. (1995). Coping with trauma: A guide to self-understanding.  American Psychiatric Press, Inc.

Alvarez, M.J., Fernandez, D., Gomez-Salgado, J., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, D., Roson, M., & Lapena, S. (2017). The effects of massage therapy hospitalized preterm neonate: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 69, 119-136.

Alvarez, M.J., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, D., Roson, M., Lapena, S., Gomez-Salgado, J., & Fernandez-Garcia, D. (2019). Effects of massage therapy and kinesitherapy to develop hospitalized preterm infant’s anthropometry: A quasi-experimental study. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 46, 86-91.

Alyn, J. H. (1988). The politics of touch in therapy: A response to Willison & Masson. Journal of Counseling & Development, 66(9), 432-433.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012, July 30). Corporal punishment.

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2018, November 5). American Academy of Pediatrics updates policy on corporal punishment.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (2015). AAMFT Code of ethics. 

American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA Code of ethics.

American Psychological Association. (2012). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works.

American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct.

Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M., & Cunningham, M. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61(5), 1617-1627.

Aponte, J. F., & Wohl, J. (2000). Psychological intervention and cultural diversity. Allyn & Bacon.

Aquino, A. T., & Lee, S. S. (2001). The use of non-erotic touch with children: Ethical and developmental considerations. Journal of Psychotherapy in Independent Practice, 1(3), 17-30.

Balint, M. (1968). The basic fault: Therapeutic aspects of regression. Tavistock.

Ball, A. (2002). Taboo or not taboo: Reflections on physical touch in psychoanalysis & somatic psychotherapy. Psychoz Publications.

Bar-Levav, R. (1988). Thinking in the shadow of feelings: A new understanding of the hidden forces that shape individuals and societies. Simon & Schuster.

Bar-Levav, R. (1993). A rationale for physical touching in psychotherapy. International Journal of Psychotherapy and Critical Thought, 1(1), 5-7.

Bar-Levav, R. (1998). A rationale for physical touching in psychotherapy. In E. W. L. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 52-55). Guilford Press.

Barnett, L. (2005). Keep in touch: The importance of touch in infant development. Infant Observation, 8(2), 115-123.

Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature: A necessary unity. Dutton.

Bauer, B. (1977). Tactile-sensitive behavior in hyperactive and non-hyperactive children. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 31(7), 447-453.

Benjamin, B. E., & Sohnen-Moe, C. (2014). The ethics of touch: The hands-on practitioner’s guide to creating a professional, safe, and enduring practice. Sohnen-Moe Associates, Inc.

Bellehumeur, C. R., & Chambers, J. (2017). Contributions of sensory anthropology and Durand’s anthropology to the symbolic study of touch and the understanding of boundaries in psychotherapy. In M. Rovers, J. Malette, & M. Guirguis-Younger (Eds.), Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice, and ethics (pp. 52-68). University of Ottawa Press. 

Berendsen, P. (2017). The intervention of touch in psychotherapy and trauma treatment. In M. Rovers, J. Malette, & M. Guirguis-Younger (Eds.), Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice, and ethics (pp. 85-105). University of Ottawa Press.

Bersoff, D. N. (Ed.). (1999). Ethical conflicts in psychology (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

Black, S. C. (2017). To cross or not to cross: Ethical boundaries in psychological practice. Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Service Association, 25(1), 1-18. 

Blatner, A. (2002). About non-verbal communications: General considerations.

Bonitz, V. (2008). Use of physical touch in the “talking cure”: A journey to the outskirts of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45(3), 391-404.

Borys, D. S. (1992). Nonsexual dual relationships. In L. VandeCreek, S. Knapp, & T. L. Jackson (Eds.), Innovations in clinical practice: A source book (Vol. 11, pp. 443-454). Professional Resource Exchange.

Borys, D. S. (1994). Maintaining therapeutic boundaries: The motive is therapeutic effectiveness, not defensive practice. Ethics & Behavior, 4(3), 267-273.

Borys, D. S., & Pope, K. S. (1989). Dual relationships between therapist and client: A national study of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 20(5), 283-293.

Bowlby, J. (1952). Maternal care and mental health: A report prepared on behalf of the World Health Organization as a contribution to the United Nations programme for the welfare of homeless children. World Health Organization.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment: Separation & loss (Vol. 1). Basic Books.

Bremner, J. (2002). Does stress damage the brain?: Understanding trauma-related disorders from a mind-body perspective. Norton.

Bremner, A.J., & Spence, C. (2017). Chapter 7: The development of tactile perception. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 52, 227-268.

Brodsky, A. M. (1985). Sex between therapists and patients: Ethical gray areas. Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 3(1), 57-62.

Brody, V. A. (1978). Developmental play: A relationship-focused program for children. Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, 57(9), 591-599.

Brown, L. S. (1985). Power, responsibility, boundaries: Ethical concerns for the lesbian feminist therapist. Lesbian Ethics, 1(3), 30-45.

Brown, L. S. (1994). Boundaries in feminist therapy: A conceptual formulation. In N. K. Gartrell (Ed.), Bringing ethics alive: Feminist ethics in psychotherapy practice (pp. 29-38). The Haworth Press.

Burkholder, D., Toth, M., Feisthamel, K., & Britton, P. (2010) Faculty and student curricular experiences of nonerotic touch in counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 32(2), 168-185.

Caldwell, C. (1996) Getting our bodies back: Recovery, healing, and transformation through body-centered psychotherapy. Shambhala

Caldwell, C. (1997). Getting in touch: The guide to new body-centered therapies. Quest Books.

Calmes, S. A., Piazza, N. J., & Laux, J. M. (2013). The use of touch in counseling: An ethical decisionmaking model. Counseling and Values, 58(1), 59–68.

Cascio, C. J., Moore, D., & McGlone, F. (2019). Social touch and human development. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 35, 5-11.

Chillot, R. (2013, March 11). The power of touch. Psychology Today.

Clance, P. R., & Petras, V. J. (1998). Therapists’ recall of their decision-making processes regarding the use of touch in ongoing psychotherapy: A preliminary study. In E. W. L. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 92-108). New York: Guilford Press.

Chen, S.C., Yu, B.Y., Suen, L.K., Yu, J., Ho, F.Y., Yang, J.J., & Yeung, W.F. (2019). Massage therapy for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 42, 389-399.

Clay, V. S. (1966). The effect of culture on mother-child tactile communication [Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University]. PocketKnowledge.

Cleveland, L., Hill, C., Pulse, W. Dicioccio, H., Field, T., & White-Traut, R. (2017). Systematic review of skin-to-skin care for full-term, healthy newborns. Journal of Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing, 46, 857-868.

Cohen, S. S. (1987). The magic of touch. Harper & Row.

Comas-Diaz, L., & Green, B. (Eds.). (1994). Women of color: Integrating ethnic and gender identities in psychotherapy. Guilford Press.

Conger, J. P. (1994). The body in recovery: Somatic psychotherapy and the self. Frog Books.

Corey, G., Corey, A. S., & Callanan, P. (1984). Issues and ethics in the helping professions. Brooks/Cole.

Cornell, W. F. (1997). Touch and boundaries in Transactional Analysis: Ethical and transferential considerations. Transactional Analysis Journal, 27(1), 30-37.

Courtney, J. A., & Siu, A. F. Y. (2018). Practitioner experiences of touch in working with children in play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 27(2), 92-102.

Courtois, C. (1998). Healing the incest wound: Adult survivors in therapy. Norton.

Cowen, E. L., Weissberg, R. P., & Lotyczewski, B. S. (1983). Physical contact in interactions between clinicians and young children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51(1), 132-138.

Craig, J. D. (1991). Preventing dual relationships in pastoral counseling. Counseling and Values, 36(1), 49-54.

Davis, P. (1999). The power of touch. Hay House, Inc.

Davis, I., Rovers, M., & Petrella, C. (2017). Touch deprivation and counselling as healing touch. In M. Rovers, J. Malette, & M. Guirguis-Younger (Eds.), Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice, and ethics (pp. 13-31). University of Ottawa Press.

Dineen, T. (1996). Manufacturing victims: What the psychology industry is doing to people. Robert Davies Publishing.

Downey, D. L. (2001). Therapeutic touch in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 36(1), 35-38. 

Dunne, C., Bruggen, P., & O’Brian, C. (1982). Touch and action in group therapy of younger adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 5(1), 31-38.

Durana, C. (1998). The use of touch in psychotherapy: Ethical and clinical guidelines. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 35(2), 269-280.

Edwards, D. J. (1984). The experience of interpersonal touch during a personal growth program: A factor analytic approach. Human Relations, 37(9), 769-780.

Eiden, B. (1998). The use of touch in psychotherapy. Self & Society 26(2), 3-8.

Epstein, R. S., & Simon, R. I. (1990). The Exploitation Index: An early warning indicator of boundary violations in psychotherapy. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 54(4), 450-465.

Etzioni, A. (1991). A responsive society: Collected essays on guiding deliberate social change. Jossey-Bass, Inc.

Eyckmans, S. (2009). Handle with care: Touch as a therapeutic tool. Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand, 6(1)40–53.

Fagan, J. (1998). Thoughts on using touch in psychotherapy. In E. W. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 145-152). Guilford Press.

Fawns, G. (2014). The ethics of touch in contemporary psychotherapy. [eBook edition]. 

Field, T. (1995). Infant massage therapy. In T. M. Field (Ed.), Touch in early development (pp. 105-114). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Field, T. (1998). Massage therapy effects. American Psychologist, 53(12), 1270-1281.

Field, T. (2005). Touch deprivation and aggression against self among adolescents. In D. M. Stoff & E. J. Susman (Eds.), Developmental psychobiology of aggression (pp. 117-140). Cambridge University Press.

Field, T. (2014). Touch (2nd ed.). MIT Press.

Field, T. (2016). Massage therapy research review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 24, 19-31.

Field, T. (2019). Pediatric massage therapy research: A narrative review. Children, 6(6), 1-12.

Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F., Abrams, S., Richardson, S., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Massage therapy for infants of depressed mothers. Infant Behavior & Development, 19(1), 107-112.

Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Quintino, O., Drose, L., Field, T., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. (1997). Sexual abuse effects are lessened by massage therapy, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 1(2), 65-69.

Field, T., Lasko, D., Mundy, P., Henteleff, T., Kabat, S., Talpins, S., & Dowling, M. (1997). Autistic children’s attentiveness and responsivity improve after touch therapy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27(3), 333-338.

Field, T., Morrow, C., Valdeon, C., Larson, S., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. (1992). Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31(1), 125-131.

Field, T., Seligman, S., Scafidi, F., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Alleviating posttraumatic stress in children following Hurricane Andrew. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 17(1), 37-50.

Field, T., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., Fierro, K., Henteleff, T., Mueller, C., Yando, R., Shaw, S., & Burman, I. (1998). Bulimic adolescents benefit from massage therapy. Adolescence, 33(131), 555-563.

Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., Wormuth, B. K., Vanderminden, J., & Hamby, S. (2019). Corporal punishment: Current rates from a national survey. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 1991-1997.

Fosshage, J. L. (2000). The meanings of touch in psychoanalysis: A time for reassessment. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 20(1), 21-43.

Frank, J. D. (1970). Persuasion and healing: A comparative study of psychotherapy. Schocken Books.

Frank, L. K. (1957). Tactile communication. General Psychological Monographs, 56, 209-255.

Fridlund, A. (1994). Human facial expression: An evolutionary view. Academic Press.

Fuller, D. K. (2006). Training students on the ethics of touch in psychotherapyNewsletter of Association of Directors of Psychology Training Clinics, 8(2).

Gabbard, G. O. (1994). Teetering on the precipice: A commentary on Lazarus’s “How certain boundaries and ethics diminish therapeutic effectiveness.” Ethics & Behavior, 4(3), 283-286.

Geib, P. (1982). The experience of nonerotic physical contact in traditional psychotherapy. In E. W. L. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.) Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 109-126). Guilford Press.

Geib, P. (1998). The experience of nonerotic physical contact in traditional psychotherapy. In E. W. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 109–126). Guilford Press.

Gendlin, E. T. (1982). Focusing (2nd ed.). Bantam Books.

Giannone, Z. (2015). The magic touch: A literature review of non-erotic touch in psychotherapy. Health Professional Student Journal, 2(1), 27-31. 

Givens, D. G. (2004). Center for non-verbal studies.

Glickauf-Hughes, C., & Clance, P. R. (1998). An individualized and interactive object relations perspective on the use of touch in psychotherapy. In W. L. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 153-169). Guilford Press.

Goodman, M., & Teicher, A. (1988). To touch or not to touch. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 25(4)492–500.

Gottlieb, M. C. (1993). Avoiding exploitive dual relationships: A decision-making model. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 30(1), 41-48.

Greene, B. (Ed.). (1997). Psychological perspectives on lesbian and gay issues: Vol. 3. Ethnic and cultural diversity among lesbians and gay men. Sage Publications.

Greenspan, M. (1995, July/August). Out of bounds. Common Boundary Magazine, 51-56.

Guindon, M., Packard, R., & Charron, N. (2017). The ethics of touch in the helping relationships. In M. Rovers, J. Malette, & M. Guirguis-Younger (Eds.), Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice, and ethics (pp. 213-235). University of Ottawa Press.

Gurman, A. (1977). The patient’s perception of the therapeutic relationship. In A. Gurman & A. Razin (Eds.), Effective psychotherapy: A handbook of research (pp. 503-543). Pergamon Press.

Gutheil, T. G., & Gabbard, G. O. (1993). The concept of boundaries in clinical practice: Theoretical and risk-management dimensions. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 150(2), 188-196.

Halbrook, B., & Duplechin, R. (1994). Rethinking touch in psychotherapy: Guidelines for practitioners. Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 13(3), 43-53.

Hall, J. (1984). Non-verbal sex differences: Communication accuracy and expressive style. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13(12), 673-685.

Harlow, H. F. (1971). Learning to love. Albion.

Harrison, C., Jones, R. S.P., & Huws, J. C. (2012). “We’re people who don’t touch”: Exploring clinical psychologists’ perspectives on their use of touch in therapy. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 25(3), 277-287.

Hartley, D., & Strupp, H. (1983). The therapeutic alliance: Its relationship to outcome in brief psychotherapy. In J. Masling (Ed.), Empirical studies of psychoanalytic theories (Vol. 1, pp. 1-37). Erlbaum.

Helfer, R. E. (1978). Childhood comes first: A crash course in childhood for adults. (n.p.).

Heller, S. (1997). The vital touch. Henry Holt & Company.

Heller, S. (1999, Sept). Touch taboos. Mothering, 96:44 et seq.

Help, A. (2018, December 22). Is there a touch taboo in psychotherapy?: Five arguments in favor of the use of touch in therapy. NeuroAffective Touch.

Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (1992). Dual relationships in counseling. American Association for Counseling and Development.

Herman, J. (1992). Trauma and recovery. The aftermath of violence-from domestic abuse to political terror. Basic Books.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Hossain, Z., Theakston, H., & Burman, I. (2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4(1), 31-38.

Hetherington, A. (1998). The use and abuse of touch in therapy and counselling. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 11(4)361–364.

Hilton, R. (1997). Touching in therapy. In L. E. Hedges, R. Hilton, V. W. Hilton, O. Brandf Caudill, Jr. (Eds.). Therapists at risk: Perils of the intimacy of the therapeutic relationships. Jason Aronson, Inc.

Hoffman, D. (2016). Touch-inclusive therapy with survivors of sexual trauma: A phenomenological investigation into the experience of touch in sexual trauma therapy. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology].

Hollender, M. H., & Mercer, A. J. (1976). Wish to be held and wish to hold in men and women. Archives of General Psychiatry, 33(1), 49-51.

Hollinger, L. (1986). Communicating with the elderly. Journal of Gerentological Nursing, 12(3), 8-13.

Holroyd, J. C., & Brodsky, A. M. (1977). Psychologists’ attitudes and practices regarding erotic and nonerotic physical contact with patients. American Psychologist, 32(10), 843-849.

Holroyd, J. C., & Brodsky, A. M. (1980). Does touching patients lead to sexual intercourse? Professional Psychology, 11(5), 807-811.

Holub, E. A., & Lee, S. S. (1990). Therapists’ use of nonerotic physical contact: Ethical concerns. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 21(2), 115-117.

Horton, J. A., Clance, P. R., Sterk-Elifson, C., & Emshoff, J. (1995). Touch in psychotherapy: A survey of patients’ experiences. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 32(3), 443-457.

Hovdestad, W. E., & Kristiansen, C. M. (1996). Mind meets body: On the nature of recovered memories of trauma. Women & Therapy, 19(1), 31-45.

Hunter, M., & Struve, J. (1998). The ethical use of touch in psychotherapy. Sage Publications.

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. (1998). Childhood trauma remembered: A report on the current scientific knowledge base and its applications. Author.

Ironson, G., Field, T., Scafidi, F., Hashimoto, M., Kumar, M., Kumar, A., Price, A., Goncalves, A., Burman, I., Tetenman, C., Patarca, R., & Fletcher, M. A. (1996). Massage therapy is associated with enhancement of the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. International Journal of Neuroscience, 84(1-4), 205-218.

Jain, S., McMahon, G. F., Hasen, P., Kozub, M. P., Porter, V., King, R., & Guarneri, E. M. (2012). Healing touch with guided imagery for PTSD in returning active duty military: A randomized controlled trial. Military Medicine, 177(9), 1015-1021.

Jakubiak, B. K., & Feeney, B. C. (2016). Affectionate touch to promote relational, psychological, and physical well-being in adulthood: A theoretical model and review of the research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21(3), 228-252.

Jean, A. D. L., Stack, D. M., & Arnold, S. (2014). Investigating maternal touch and infants’ self-regulatory behaviours during a modified face-to-face still-face with touch procedure. Infant and Child Development, 23(6), 557–574.

Johnson, D. (1983). Body. Beacon Press.

Johnson, D. (2018). Diverse bodies, diverse practices: Toward an inclusive somatics. North Atlantic Books.

Johnson, D., & Grand, I. J. (Eds.). (1998). The body in psychotherapy: Inquiries in somatic psychology. North Atlantic Books.

Jones, S. E. (1994). The right touch: Understanding and using the language of physical contact. Hampton Press.

Joshi, P. D., Almeida, M., & Shete, P. D. (2010). Attitudes towards physical contact in a therapeutic setting: Role of gender and expertise. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 36(1), 35-43.

Jourard, S. M. (1966). An exploratory study of body accessibility. British Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 5(3), 221-231.

Kagle, J. D., & Geilbelhausen, P. N. (1994). Dual relationships and professional boundaries. Social Work, 39(2), 213-220.

Karbelnig, A. (2000). Physical contact between psychotherapist and patient: Ethical, legal, and psychoanalytical considerations. The California Psychologist, 33(6), 32-34.

Katherine, A. (1993). Boundaries: Where you end and I begin. Fireside/Parkside.

Katsurada, E. (2012). The relationship between parental physical affection and child physical aggression among Japanese preschoolers. Child Studies in Diverse Contexts, 2(1), 1-10.

Keith-Spiegel, P., & Koocher, G. P. (1985). Ethics in psychology: Professional standards and cases. Random House.

Keleman, S. (1981). Your body speaks its mind. Center Press.

Keleman, S. (1987). Embodying experience: Forming a personal life. Center Press.

Kerr, F., Wiechula, R., Feo, R., Schultz, T., & Kitson, A. (2019). Neurophysiology of human touch and eye gaze in therapeutic relationships and healing: A scoping review. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 17(2), 209-247. 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003549

Kertay, L., & Reviere, S. L. (1993). The use of touch in psychotherapy: Theoretical and ethical considerations. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 30(1)32–40.

Kertay, L., & Reviere, S. L. (1998). Touch in context. In E. W. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 16–35). Guilford Press.

Kitchener, K. S. (1988). Dual role relationships: What makes them so problematic? Journal of Counseling & Development, 67(4), 217-221.

Klaus, M. (2009). Commentary: An early, short, and useful sensitive period in the human infant. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, 36(2), 110-112.

Klaus, M., & Kennel, J. (1976). Maternal-infant bonding. C.V. Mosby Co.

Knapp, M. L., & Hall, J. A. (2001). Non-verbal communication in human interaction (5th ed.). Wadsworth Publishing.

Koocher, G. P., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1998). Ethics in psychology: Professional standards and cases (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Kurtz, R. (1990). Body-centered psychotherapy: The Hakomi method. Life Rhythm.

Lakin, M. (1991). Psychology practitioner guidebooks: Coping with ethical dilemmas in psychotherapy. Pergamon Press.

Lamb, M. E., Thompson, R. A., Gardner, W., & Charnov, E. L. (Eds.). (1985). Infant-mother attachment: The origins and developmental significance of individual differences in strange situation behavior. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Lambert, M. J. (1991). Introduction to psychotherapy research. In L. E. Beutler & M. Crago (Eds.), Psychotherapy research: An international review of programmatic studies (pp. 1-11). American Psychological Association.

Lambert, M. J. (1992). Implications of outcome research for psychotherapy integration. In J. C. Norcross & M. R. Goldfried (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy integration (pp. 94-129). Basic Books.

Langs, R. (1976). The therapeutic relationship and deviations in technique. In R. J. Langs (Ed.), International journal of psychoanalytic psychotherapy: Vol. 4 (pp. 106-141). Jason Aronson.

Langs, R. (1988). A primer of psychotherapy. Gardner Press.

LaPierre, A. (2012). Healing touch: Honoring the somatic dimension of psyche. Available from

Lawry, S. (1998). Touch and clients who have been sexually abused. In W. L. Smith, P. R. Clance, & S. Imes (Eds.), Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 201-210). Guilford Press.

Lazarus, A. A. (1994). How certain boundaries and ethics diminish therapeutic effectiveness. Ethics and Behavior, 4(3), 255-261.

Lazarus, A. A., & Zur, O. (Eds.). (2002). Dual relationships and psychotherapy. Springer.

Lepner, J. (2001). Touch in Gestalt body process psychotherapy: Purpose, practice, and ethics. Gestalt Review, 5(2), 97-114.

Levine, P. A., & Frederick, A. (1997). Waking the tiger: Healing trauma: The innate capacity to transform overwhelming experiences. North Atlantic Books.

Levitan, A. A., & Johnson, J. M. (1986). The role of touch in healing and hypnotherapy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 28(4), 218-223.

Little, M. I. (1990). Psychotic anxieties and containment: A personal record of an analysis with Winnicott. Jason Aronson.

Lowen, A. (1958). Physical dynamics of character structure. Greenwood.

Lowen, A. (1976). Bioenergetics. Penguin.

Malik, A. (n.d.). Touch: Its crucial role in the emotional & physical health of Americans. Touch Angels.

Marziali, E. (1984). Three viewpoints on the therapeutic alliance: Similarities, differences, and associations with psychotherapy outcome. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 172(7), 417-423.

McGrane, C. (2019). An exploration on the use of touch in the therapeutic relationship. [Master’s thesis, Dublin Business School].

McGuirk, J. (2012). The place of touch in counselling and psychotherapy and the potential for healing within the therapeutic relationship. Inside Out.

McLaughlin, J. T. (1995). Touching limits in the analytic dyad. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 64(3), 443-465.

McNeely, D. A. (1987). Touching: Body therapy and depth psychology. Inner City Books.

Mead, M. (1955). Cited in D. M. Schneider & G. C. Homans, “Kinship terminology and the American kinship system” American Anthropologist, 57(6), 1194-1208.

Mead, M. (1967). Male and female. William Morrow (pp. 83-84).

Mehrabian, A. (1971). The silent language: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes. Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Menehan, K. (1996). The perinatal bonding project: Infant massage to reduce child abuse. Massage Magazine. Spokane, WA.

Menninger, K. (1958). Menninger Clinic monograph series: Theory of psychoanalytic technique.  Basic Books.

Menninger, K. (1961). Theory of psychoanalytic technique.  Science Editions.

Milakovitch, J. C. (1993). Touching in psychotherapy: The differences between therapists who touch and those who do not. Dissertation Abstracts International, 54(6-B), 3347.

Miller, L. A. (1979). An explanation of therapeutic touch: Using the science of unitary man. Nursing Forum, 18(3), 278-287.

Mindell, A. (1983). Dreambody: The body’s role in revealing the self. Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Mintz, N. L. (1971). Patient fees and psychotherapeutic transactions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 36(1), 1-8.

Mitchell, G. (1979). Behavioral sex differences in nonhuman primates. Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Moffatt, G. K. (2017, March 7). The healing language of appropriate touch. Counseling Today: Member Insights.

Montagu, A. (1971). Touching: The human significance of the skin.  Columbia University Press.

Montagu, A. (1986). Touching: The human significance of the skin (3rd ed.). Harper & Row.

Moszkowski, R. J., Stack, D. M., Girouard, N., Field, T. M., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Diego, M. (2009). Touching behaviors of infants of depressed mothers during normal and perturbed interactions. Infant Behavior & Development, 32(2), 183-194.

Muller, R. T. (2017, July 26). A hands-on approach to psychotherapy? Psychology Today.

Murray, R. M., Pugh, J. L., & Clance, P. R. (2004). The ethics of touch and imagery in psychotherapy: A Gestalt resolution. In R. G. Lee (Ed.), The Values of Connection: A relational approach to ethics. The Gestalt Press.

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics. Retrieved from

Neale, S. (2018, July). When is it okay to hug your therapist? PsychCentral.

Niemi, A.K. (2017). Review of randomized controlled trials of massage in preterm infants. Children, 4(4), 21.

Norwood, D. (2017, June 29). Touch in therapy: helpful or harmful? One therapist’s perspective. Good Therapy.

Novak, E. T. (2017). A model of informed physical contact in psychotherapy. Transactional Analysis Journal, 48(1), 18-32.

O’Brien, M., & Lynch, H. (2011). Exploring the role of touch in the first year of life: Mothers’ perspectives of tactile interactions with their infants. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(3), 129-136.

O’Connor, T. S.-J. (2017). Exploring touch. In M. Rovers, J. Malette, & M. Guirguis-Younger (Eds.), Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice, and ethics (pp. 1-9). University of Ottawa Press. 

Ogden, P. (1997). Hakomi integrated somatics: Hands-on psychotherapy. In C. Caldwell (Ed.), Getting in touch: The guide to new body-centered therapies, (pp. 153-178). Quest Books.

O’Keefe, D. (2016). Therapeutic relating embodied: An exploration of psychotherapists’ experiences of touch in therapy. [Master’s thesis, Dublin Business School].

Older, J. (1982). Touching is healing. Stein & Day.

Pederson, P. B., Draguns, J. G., Lonner, W. J., & Trimble, J. E. (Eds.). (1996). Counseling across cultures (4th ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.

Perls, F. (1973). The Gestalt approach and eye witness to therapy.  Science and Behavior Books.

Pert, C. (1997). Molecules of emotion. Scribner.

Peterson, M. B. (2001). Recognizing concerns about how some licensing boards are treating psychologists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32(4), 339-340.

Petrella, C., & Rovers, M. (2017). Inter-partner touch in couple counselling: Theory and emerging practice. In M. Rovers, J. Malette, & M. Guirguis-Younger (Eds.), Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice, and ethics (pp. 125-143). University of Ottawa Press.

Phelan, J. E. (2009). Exploring the use of touch in the psychotherapeutic setting: A phenomenological review. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 46(1), 97-111.

Pinson, B. (2002). Touch in therapy: An effort to make the unknown known. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy: On the Cutting Edge of Modern Developments in Psychotherapy, 32(2-3), 179-196.

Pope, K. S. (1982). Implications of fantasy and imagination for mental health: Theory, research, and interventions. Report commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health, Order No. 82M024784505D). Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Mental Health.

Pope, K. S. (1990a). Therapist-patient sex as sex abuse: Six scientific, professional, and practical dilemmas in addressing victimization and rehabilitation. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 21(4), 227-239.

Pope, K. S. (1990b). Therapist-patient sexual contact: Clinical, legal, and ethical implications. In E. A. Margenau (Ed.), The encyclopedic handbook of private practice (pp. 687-696).  Gardner Press, Inc.

Pope, K. S., & Bouhoutsos, J. C. (1986). Sexual intimacy between therapists and patients. Praeger.

Pope, K. S., Schover, L. S., & Levenson, H. (1980). Sexual behavior between clinical supervisors and trainees: Implications for standards of professional practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 11, 157-162.

Pope, K. S., Sonne, J. L., & Holroyd, J. (1993). Sexual feelings in psychotherapy: Explorations for therapists and therapists-in-training. American Psychological Association.

Pope, K. S., & Tabachnick, B. G. (1994). Therapists as patients: A national survey of psychologists’ experiences, problems, and beliefs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 25(3), 247-258.

Pope, K. S., Tabachnick, B. G., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1987). Ethics of practice: The beliefs and behaviors of psychologists as therapists. American Psychologist, 42(11), 993–1006.

Pope, K. S., & Vasquez, M. J. T. (1998). Ethics in therapy and counseling: A practical guide (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Porreca, A., Parolin, M., Bozza, G., Freato, S. & Simonelli, A. (2017). Infant massage and quality of early mother-infant interactions: Are there associations with maternal psychological wellbeing, marital quality, and social support? Frontiers in Psychology, 7.

Prescott, J. W. (1975). Body pleasure and the origins of violence. The Atomic Scientist, 31(9), 10-20.

Prescott, T. J., Diamond, M. E., & Wing, A. M. (2011). Active touch sensing. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Series B, Biological Sciences, 366(1581), 2989-2995.

Redleaf, A. (1998). Behind closed doors: Gender, sexuality, and touch in the doctor/patient relationship. Auburn House.

Reich, W. (1972). Character analysis. Simon & Schuster.

Rogers, C. (1970). Carl Rogers on encounter groups. Harper & Row.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. Norton.

Rovers, M, Malette, J., & Guirguis-Younger, M. (2017). Touch in the helping professions: Research, practice and ethics. University of Ottawa Press.

Rubenfeld, I. (2000). The listening hand: Self-healing through the Rubenfeld Synergy Method of talk and touch. Bantam.

Rutter, P. (1989). Sex in the forbidden zone: When men in power betray women’s trust. New York: Psychiatric Annals, 21, 614-619.

Saint Arnault, D., & O’Halloran, S. (2015). Biodynamic psychotherapy for trauma recovery: A pilot study. International Body Psychotherapy Journal: The Art and Science of Somatic Praxis, 14(1), 20-34. Retrieved from

Salvio, M., Beutler, L., Wood, J., & Engle, D. (1992). The strength of the therapeutic alliance in three treatments for depression. Psychotherapy Research, 2(1), 31-36.

Samovar, L., Porter, R., & Jain, N. (1981). Understanding intercultural communication. Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Satir, V. (1972). Peoplemaking. Science & Behavior Books.

Scheflen, A. E. (1972). Body language and the social order: Communication as behavioral control. Prentice-Hall.

Schneider, D. M., & Homans, G. C. (1955). Kinship terminology and the American kinship system. American Anthropologist, 57(6), 1194-1208.

Schultz, L. G. (1975). A survey of social workers’ attitudes and use of body and sex psychotherapies. Clinical Social Work Journal, 3(2), 90-99.

Sehlstedt, I., Ignell, H., Backlund Wasling, H., Ackerley, R., Olausson, H., & Croy, I. (2016). Gentle touch perception across the lifespan. Psychology and Aging, 31(2), 176-184.

Shoghi, M., Sohrabi, S., & Rasouli, M. (2018). The effects of massage by mothers on mother-infant attachment. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 24(3), 34-39.

Siegel, D. J. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. Bantam Books.

Simon, R. I. (1991). Psychological injury caused by boundary violation precursors to therapist-patient sex. Psychiatric Annals, 21(10), 614-619.

Simon, R. I. (1992). Treatment boundary violations: Clinical, ethical, and legal considerations. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 20, 269-288.

Simon, R. I. (1994). Transference in therapist-patient sex: The illusion of patient improvement and consent, part 1. Psychiatric Annals, 24, 509-515.

Simon, R. I. (1995). The natural history of therapist sexual misconduct: Identification and prevention. Psychiatric Annals, 25(2), 90-94.

Slater, V. (1995). Toward an understanding of energetic healing. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 13(3), 209-238.

Smith, D., & Fitzpatrick, M. (1995). Patient-therapist boundary issues: An integrative review of theory and research. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 26(5), 499-506.

Smith, E., Clance, P .R., & Imes, S. (Eds.). (1998). Touch in psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice. Guilford Press.

Sonne, J. L. (1989). An example of group therapy for victims of therapist-client sexual intimacy. In G. Gabbard (Ed.), Sexual exploitation in professional relationships (pp. 101-114). American Psychiatric Press.

Sonne, J. L. (1994). Multiple relationships: Does the new ethics code answer the right questions? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 25(4), 336-343.

St. Germaine, J. (1996). Dual relationships and certified alcohol and drug counselors: A national study of ethical beliefs and behaviors. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 14(2), 29-45.

Steele, K., & Colrain, J. (1990). Abreactive work with sexual abuse survivors: Concepts and techniques. In M. Hunter (Ed.), The sexually abused male: Volume II (pp. 1-55). Lexington Books.

Stenzel, C. L., & Rupert, P. A. (2004). Psychologists’ use of touch in individual psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(3), 332-345.

Stockwell, S. R., & Dye, A. (1980). Effects of counselor touch on counseling outcome. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 27(5)443–446.

Strasburger, L. H., Jorgenson, L., & Sutherland, P. (1992). The prevention of psychotherapist sexual misconduct: Avoiding the slippery slope. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 46(4), 544-555.

Sue, D. W., Ivey, A. E., & Pedersen, P. B. (Eds.). (1996). A theory of multicultural counseling and therapy. Thomson Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.

Swade, T., Bayne, R., & Horton, I. (2006). Touch me never? Therapy Today, 17(9), 41–42. 

Thayer, S. (1982). Social touching. In W. Schiff & E. Foulke (Eds.), Tactual perception: A sourcebook (pp. 263-304). Cambridge University Press.

Tirnauer, L., Smith, E., & Foster, P. (1996). The American Academy of Psychotherapists Research Committee Survey of members. Voices, 32(2), 87-94.

Tomm, K. (1993, January/February). The ethics of dual relationships. The California Therapist, 7-9.

United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. (2003). Description of body psychotherapy.

United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. (2007). Ethics guidelines.

Van der Kolk, B. A., McFarlane, A. C., & Weisaeth, L. (Eds.). (1996). Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. The Guilford Press.

Van Hoose, W. H. (1986). Ethical principles in counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 65(3), 168–169.

von Mohr, M., Kirsch, L. P., & Fotopoulou, A. (2017). The soothing function of touch: Affective touch reduces feelings of social exclusion. Scientific Reports, 7(13516), 1-9.

Waddell, M. (2010). Therapists’ attachment style and the use of touch in the therapeutic relationship: A project upon an independent investigation [Masters thesis, Smith College]. Semantic Scholar.

Walker, L. E. A. (1994). Abused women and survivor therapy: A practical guide for the psychotherapist. American Psychological Association.

Walsh, J. (2017). The appropriateness of physical contact with clients who have schizophrenia. Social Work in Mental Health, 16(1), 34-45.

Warnecke, T. (2011). Stirring the depths: transference, countertransference and touch. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 6(3), 233-243.

Watson, J. B. (1924). The psychological care of the infant. University of Chicago Press.

WebMD. (1992). Way too personal: The temptation and consequences of patient-therapist sex. By Colleen Bates Dunn, WebMD feature.

Westland, G. (2011). Physical touch in psychotherapy: Why are we not touching more? Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 6(1), 17–29.

Westland, G. (2015). Verbal and non-verbal communication in psychotherapy. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Whitcher, S. J., & Fisher, J. D. (1979). Multidimensional reaction to therapeutic touch in a hospital setting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(1), 87-96.

White, K. (2002). A study of ethical and clinical implications for the appropriate use of touch in psychotherapy. USA Body Psychotherapy Journal, 1(1), 1-8.

Whitfield, C. L. (1993). Boundaries and relationships: Knowing, protecting and enjoying the self. Health Communications, Inc.

Williams, M. H. (1997). Boundary violations: Do some contended standards of care fail to encompass commonplace procedures of humanistic, behavioral, and eclectic psychotherapies? Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 34(3), 238-249.

Willison, B. G., & Masson, R. L. (1986). The role of touch in psychotherapy: An adjunct to communication. Journal of Counseling & Development, 64(8), 497-500.

Wilson, J. M. (1982). The value of touch in psychotherapy. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52(1), 65-72.

Winnicott, D. W. (1975; 1958). Through paediatrics to psycho-analysis: Collected papers. Karnac London.

Wolberg, L. R. (1967). The technique of psychotherapy (2nd ed.). Grune & Stratton.

Wolfgang, M. E. (1969). Violence and human behavior, In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association, Washington. D.C., August.

Woody, R. H. (1988). Fifty ways to avoid malpractice: A guidebook for mental health professionals. Professional Resource Exchange, Inc.

Young, C. (2005). About the ethics of professional touch.

Young, C. (2007). The power of touch in psychotherapy [eBook edition]. Edinburgh.

Young, C. (2008). The history and development of Body-Psychotherapy: The American legacy of Reich. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 3(1), 5-18.

Young, C. (2011). The history and development of Body Psychotherapy: European collaboration. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 6(1), 57-68.

Young, C., & Westland, G. (2014). Shadows in the history of body psychotherapy: Part I. International Body Psychotherapy Journal: The Art and Science of Somatic Praxis, 13(1), 13-30. Retrieved from

Zhang, X., & Wang, J. (2019). Massage intervention for preterm infants by their mothers: A randomized controlled trial. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 24(2), 1-7. 12238

Zur, O. (1994). Rethinking “Don’t blame the victim”: Psychology of victimhood. Journal of Couples Therapy, 3(4), 15-36.

Zur, O. (2000). In celebration of dual relationships: How prohibition of non-sexual dual relationships increases the chance of exploitation and harm. Independent Practitioner, 2(3), 97-100.

Zur, O. (2001). Out-of-office experience: When crossing office boundaries and engaging in dual relationships are clinically beneficial and ethically sound. Independent Practitioner, 21(1), 96-100.

Zur, O. (2005). Dumbing down of psychology: Manufactured consent about the depravity of dual relationships in therapy. In R. H. Wright & N. A. Cummings, (Eds.), Destructive trends in mental health: The well-intentioned road to harm (pp. 253-282). Brunner-Routledge. 

Zur, O. (2007a). Touch in therapy. In O. Zur, (Ed.), Boundaries in psychotherapy: Ethical and clinical explorations (pp. 167-185). APA Books.

Zur, O. (2007b). Touch in therapy and the standard of care in psychotherapy and counseling: Bringing clarity to illusive relationships. U.S. Association of Body Psychotherapy Journal, 6(2), 61-93.

Zur, O. (2009). Re-thinking the “power differential” in psychotherapy: Exploring the myth of therapists’ omnipotence and patients’ fragility. Voice: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, 45(1).

Zur, O. (2015). Ethical and legal aspects of touch in psychotherapy. Retrieved from

Top of Page