A Study of Ethical Issues of Touching in Dance Therapy

Keywords
culture, code of ethics, psychoanalysis, transferance, countertransferance, informed consent

This article was translated into English by Ikeda Tomoko, from Yukari’s publication in JADTA, the Japanese Journal of Dance Therapy vol.3, 4(1):1-10, 2004. Ikeda recently studied dance movement therapy in Australia at the IDTIA.

Touch often occurs between therapists and clients or between clients and clients in dance therapy. Therefore, dance therapists have to ensure that touch is used for therapeutic purposes, considering that its use raises ethical issues. To better understand the ethical use of touch in psychotherapy in both cultural groups, the author compared the Code of Ethics from several Japanese and American academies of psychotherapy. The review of the guidelines from the professional organisations reveals that therapists have to clarify the guidelines for the use of touch. Informed consent is also discussed in regards to establishing mutual agreement about the conditions in which touch is acceptable. (pp 21-26)

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