Book Review of The Ethics of Touch

Autumn 2005
by Lil Hackett, AMTA - AZ Education Committee Chair

A few months ago, I was asked to review The Ethics of Touch by Ben E. Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe and report my findings to the AMTA-AZ membership.

Let me state that I was absolutely amazed at the amount of insightful information these two authors have managed to `stuff' into this book!

I found this book to be educational, entertaining and thought provoking. It is written in easy to read language and has everything from real life stories and anecdotes to role playing and mental exercises, lending a `reality' to the chapters and the subjects presented. This is the ultimate book for information on how to better manage boundaries and set up and run ethical practices.

There is a tremendous amount of information in this book, from `Ethical Principals, Boundaries, Ethical Practice Management, Special Considerations In Cases of Trauma, Sex, Touch and Intimacy,' and on and on. They even have a section on `Policies' that has sample forms you can view to help you set up similar ones in your own practice such as `Client Bill of Rights' or `Massage Therapy Informed Consent.'

Frankly, I wish I had been given a book like this when I was in school. It gives great examples of day to day encounters and ways in which to better approach or respond to them.

I personally think this book should be mandatory reading material for both students and experienced practitioners. I prefer to call it a `manual' rather than a book.

I keep mine on my desk at work and refer to it regularly. Thanks to Ben and Cherie for this excellent read.

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