ADVANTAGES

The link between non-sexual touch and sexual violation is almost an epidemic in the field. In 1980 Holroyd & Brodsky titled their article regarding their survey "Does touching clients lead to sexual intercourse?" Not surprisingly they also concluded that it "is difficult to determine where 'non-erotic hugging, kissing, and affectionate touching' leave off and 'erotic contact' begins" (p. 810). Similarly Pope and various colleagues (Pope & Bouhoutsos, 1986; Pope, Schover, & Levenson, 1980; Pope & Tabachnick, 1993; Pope & Vasquez, 1998) have conducted several surveys that gave much more weight to the potential dangers of touching and how it is likely to lead to sexual intimacy rather than the more inquisitive balanced stance of looking at the positive and negative potentialities and unique complexities that touch introduces into therapy. Pope, Tabachnick and Keith-Spiegel (1987) citing several of their colleagues state clearly that the attention to erotic contact in therapy has raised doubt about the "legitimacy and effects of ostensibly non-erotic physical contact" (p. 1001). Almost all ethics texts, like the widely used one by Koocher and Keith-Spiegel (1988) place the section of touch in the midst of chapter on sexual violation.

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