Book Review of The Ethics of Touch

Rosen Method Professional Association
February 2005
by Carol Cober

Are you curious about how honor and integrity affect your bodywork practice? Have you encountered a situation where you were perplexed about what response would be the most professional one? Applying our professional code of ethics to practical behavior is not always easy without support and clarity from other professionals. Fortunately there are a few outstanding resources available to us.

Recently, I had the opportunity to use and review this book [The Ethics of Touch] as part of a continuing education study package. The book is designed for a number of hands-on professionals to use. It is clearly and concisely written and includes excellent real-world examples drawn from many hands-on practitioners such as massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, Shiatsu practitioners and so on. The information is useful, applicable and thought provoking. I recommend this book as a reference for all levels of practitioners because the examples and reflective questions are designed for either beginning or highly experienced professionals.

The book addresses difficult subjects that are often perplexing to practitioners. It describes and defines issues, reviewing theoretical foundations and then names specific principles and strategies for addressing each concern. The information on resolving ethical dilemmas was very useful. Each chapter ends in a reflective exercise that the reader can use to draw personal insight and conclusions. Topics include information on ethical congruency, the impact of power differentials, transference and boundaries, to name a few. In addition, there are self-assessment tools to help practitioners discover their own boundary issues.

One entire chapter addresses business ethics. The authors posit that ethical dilemmas are unavoidable hence it is critical that practitioners take steps to protect those they intend to serve by educating themselves about business practices, laws that govern their profession and by setting clear ethical standards.

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