Book Review of The Ethics of Touch

Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists Newsletter
Book Review
by Fay C. Hiscocks

It was interesting that I received this book to review just before our Spring 2003 AGM. One of our speakers, Carol Kostiuk, gave a presentation on research work she was involved with which deals with abused women. I had done my initial first read of the book and realized how valuable it was not just for working with abused clients but with everyone involved in Touch Therapies. According to statistics Carol presented one in three women is abused sexually and in cult situations. That means that up to a third of our clients could be abused. The authors of The Ethics of Touch have used Stephen Hassan as a reference and he says "there are 5,000 destructive cults in America with approximately 15 million members." This makes this reference a very valuable tool for our member Aromatherapists.

This is a very large reference book (300 pages [Ed.: 320 pages]) with detailed information and references. It's purpose is to be "The Hands-on Practitioner's Guide to Creating a Professional, Safe and Enduring Practice."

The first major concept, which is the basis of working with our clients, is the understanding of boundaries. The authors do a very good job of describing [5] types of boundaries, how boundaries develop, boundary crossings and violations.

Benjamin and Sohnen-Moe give excellent examples of every concept they present and then go through exact examples of how to deal with every type of problem that can develop. They deal with almost any problem that might face the therapist from marketing, client relationships, even to receiving tips and what to do with clients that are late, cancel at the last minute and don't pay. They even give a script and exact wording to use when coping with all problems.

We as therapists can easily cross over some of the boundaries of our clients or may allow clients to over step our boundaries. This book is a very clear, concise text and workbook that we can all learn from. It will help to make us more professional and effective in communicating with and treating our clients.

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