Touch Papers: Dialogues on Touch in the Psychoanalytic Space

Editor : Graeme Galton

Touch Papers: Dialogues on Touch in the Psychoanalytic Space

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2006
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 220
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 22717
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855754454
  • ISBN 10 : 1855754452

Also by Graeme Galton

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For the first time, the controversial issue of physical contact in the consulting room is explored by distinguished psychoanalysts and psychotherapists representing a diverse range of psychoanalytic viewpoints. The contributors focus on the unconscious meanings of touch, or absence of touch, or unwelcome touch, or accidental touch in the psychoanalytic clinical situation. There are plenty of clinical vignettes and the discussions are grounded in clinical experience.

Out of all medical and therapeutic treatments, psychoanalysis remains one of the very few that uses no physical contact. Sigmund Freud stopped using the 'pressure technique' in the late 1890s, a technique whereby he would press lightly on his patient's head while insisting that they remembered forgotten events. He gave up this procedure in favour of encouraging free association, then listening and interpreting without touching his patient in any way. Psychoanalysis was born and the use of touch, as a technique reminiscent of hypnosis, was explicitly prohibited. The avoidance of physical contact between the analyst and patient was established as a key component of the classical rule of abstinence. Today, touch remains virtually non-existent in adult psychoanalysis.

Gwen Adshead; Camilla Bosanquet; Sarita Bose; Abraham Brafman; Sharmila Charles; Nicola Diamond; Em Farrell; Brett Kahr; Pearl King; Robert Langs; Susie Orbach; Maria Emilia Pozzi; Angela Pryor; Emma Ramsden; Valerie Sinason; and Nick Totton.

Reviews and Endorsements

'This is surely a time for us to put our thinking about touch on the agenda. I think psychoanalytic clinicians may need to gather and reflect on our own desire to touch, our fear of touching, our responses when asked to touch, our responses to being touched or wanting to. The essays in this collection... are an attempt to open up a space in which the issues around touch can be thought about afresh.'
- Susie Orbach, from the Foreword

'A rich, fascinating and most impressive collection of differing views on touch in psychoanalytical and psychotherapeutic settings, opening a debate long overdue on this controversial and neglected (avoided) subject.'
- Alex Holder, Training and Supervising Analyst; Member of the German and British Psychoanalytical Societies

'The opening up of this whole issue of touch, as presented in this book, when it might be appropriate or inappropriate in the clinical setting of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, is timely and much to be welcomed.'
- Patrick Casement, Training and Supervising Analyst; Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society

About the Editor(s)

Graeme Galton was born in Australia and is an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist working in private practice and in the National Health Service. His clinical work is particularly influenced by attachment and psychodynamic theories. He is a consultant psychotherapist at the Clinic for Dissociative Studies. He also works at the Parkside Clinic in London with individuals and groups in an outpatient psychotherapy service. He teaches trainee psychotherapists at The Bowlby Centre, where he is a registered member and training supervisor.

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Customer Reviews

Our customers have given this title an average rating of 5 out of 5 from 1 review(s), add your own review for this title.

Joanne on 05/03/2007

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

This book is great as it challenges and explores the forbidden taboo of ouch between professionals and clents. It shows how touch can bring healing in the right circumstances. It also shows the damaging effects of crossing that fine line, where touching damages the client. On the whole, this book provides the reader with a balanced view of how touch can aid therapy and hinder it. This is an area that needed exploring as no one has taken up the subject since Freud.

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