Issues related to touch in play therapy has rarely been researched or addressed within the literature. An original touch questionnaire instrument was created for this research—and first pilot tested—to capture practitioners’ professional and clinical attitudes related to touch within child play therapy sessions. The data was analyzed based on the responses from the 246 practitioners who completed the survey in full.This exploratory research examined practitioner attitudes related to varied types of touch (e.g., shaking hands, hugging, holding) in working with children and teenagers in play therapy sessions. Additional findings are presented to include practitioners’ concerns of liability about touch, their knowledge related to professional code of ethics,experiences of training in touch and child restraint, and policy practices such as an informed consent addressing issues of touch within therapy sessions. The outcomes underscored the need for practitioners to develop clinical and ethical competencies in touch with recommendations toward curricula in university graduate programs, and in continuing education trainings including mandatory supervisory seminars.
Discuss the results of a nationwide survey conducted with play therapists and their professional knowledge and attitudes related to the ethical and clinical issues of touch within play therapy.
Practitioners will be able to list five different types of touch that can happen within play therapy sessions.
Understand at least three concerns of liability related to touch in therapy sessions with children.