Help keep CYC-Net open access for all ...


Discussion Threads

Transcripts of some of the group discussions on CYC-Net
Listen to this

Touch in CYC


I am a final year student studying social work at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland currently undertaking the research stage of my dissertation.
The purpose of my study is to explore the views of residential child care staff in relation to the use of touch.
I would like to invite you to share your thoughts and experiences of using, or not using touch in residential care settings in order to generate a discussion.
How will I use the findings?
The information collated from the discussion will be collated and analysed to identify common themes.  This information will be written up and included in my undergraduate dissertation.  All identifying information from the participants will remain confidential and will not be included in the research
Thank you, and I look forward to reading your contributions
Kathy Grant

Dr Bruce Perry has some interesting things to say about touch in his book The Boy Who Was raised As A Dog
Peter Hoag
Hi Kathy,
In regards your question about the use of touch in a Residential care setting, I recently read a book I would highly recommend: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog.  Dr. Bruce Perry is a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist.  This book examines the lasting psychological effects of severe trauma in children. One thing that really struck me is his belief in the need to hold a child, at whatever age, to allow the child to proceed developmentally.  It is a great read.
See also these threads from a while back:

While these re not specific to CYCC these will get you started:
Zur, O., & Nordmarken, N. (2010). To touch or not to touch: Exploring the myth of prohibition of touch in psychotherapy and counseling
Stenzel, C. L., & Rupert, P. A. (2004). Psychologists’ use of touch in individual psychotherapy.  Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training
Phelan, J. E. (2009). Exploring the use of touch in the psychotherapeutic setting: A phenomenological review. Psychotherapy: theory, Research, Practice, Training
Connor, A., & Howett, M. (2009). A conceptual model of intentional comfort touch. Journal of Holistic Nursing
Bonitz, V. (2008). Use of physical touch in the “talking cures”: A journey to the outskirts of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Training

Patricia Kostouros
Regarding the use of touch and physical stimulation and how you can work with it: see this free education program: . When opening the page, click "sessions" and go through sessions 4 (for the effects of lack of early touch and balance stimulation) and 8 (for practices that increase brain activity and dopamine production (dopamine is released by the brain also by touch, and it's an important element in mutual attachment and social behavior). The principles described are applicable also to older children and youth.
I used another book years ago which has a wonderful compilation of various research results regarding touch:
Or, you can read this book concerning also how touch can be part of work with severely deprived and disturbed children:
med venlig hilsen/ Yours sincerely
Niels Peter Rygaard
I have not read the book by Bruce Perry but would love to do so.  I am a student at Monash South Africa and I agree with Laura that it is important to show physical affection to any child. There is no telling how a child needs that show of affection. If adults need all the love and care and to be held to be comforted, then how much more so for a child?

Talent Mathe


Registered Public Benefit Organisation in the Republic of South Africa (PBO 930015296)
Incorporated as a Not-for-Profit in Canada: Corporation Number 1284643-8

P.O. Box 23199, Claremont 7735, Cape Town, South Africa  |  P.O. Box 21464, MacDonald Drive, St. John's, NL A1A 5G6, Canada

Board of Governors  |  Constitution  |  Funding  |  Site Content and Usage  |  Advertising  |  Privacy Policy   |   Contact us

iOS App Android App