ADVANTAGES

Some of the negative and frightening messages we have been inundated with come from prominent therapists, many of whom are psychoanalytically oriented. One example is Menninger, who asserts that physical contact with a patient is "evidence of incompetence or criminal ruthlessness of the analysts" (cited in Horton, et. al., 1995, p. 444). Simon, in a similar vein, instructs therapists to "Foster psychological separateness of the patient. . . interact only verbally with clients. . . minimize physical contact" (1994, p. 514). Wolberg (1972), agrees: "Physical contact with the patient is absolutely a taboo (since it may) mobilize sexual feelings in the patient and the therapist, or bring forth violent outburst of anger" (1967, p. 606). Similarly Karbelnig (2000) shockingly stated: "Fourth, any type touch by psychotherapists may be construed as incestuous" (p.33). He summarizes his list of nine arguments against physical touch by stating "Most likely, physical contact at the very least risks adversely affecting the psychotherapeutic relationship in any number of ways . . ." (p.34).

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