Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Tim Reagan


The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) took strides by including the subject of touch in its most recent edition of ethical guidelines. This literature review evaluates the themes provided by the ADTA’s code of ethics, drawing on the wealth of information from psychotherapy-adjacent fields including cultural anthropology, social psychology, nursing, and neuroscience. The goal of this literature review is to consider the practical and ethical implications of touch in therapy and encourage dialog on the topic. It is every therapist’s ethical duty to self-reflect on personal views or biases around touch. The following review provides a starting point for such reflection. As social distancing and self-isolation become the norm, therapists should contemplate the effects of touch, or lack thereof, in their work.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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