In this episode, hosts Andrew and Maxi take a deeper look at the power of touch in the therapeutic relationship.
Andrew discussion the impact of reading The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine, and shares some great quotes which examines how touch augments the therapeutic relationship.
Some of the key topics discussed include:
- How touch can be used both for assessment and connection with the patient.
- The Ted Talks episode by Abraham Verghes – “A Doctor’s Touch”.
- How touching is key to the transformation of a patient’s level of trust, and how as clinicians we often forget the feeling of being a patient.
- Why we need to build a bridge to create a sense of safety in the therapeutic relationship.
- How responsive touch bypasses cognition and engages the neurophysiological system to activate the parasympathetic response which creates trust and safety.
- How the patient’s mental and emotional state can change with each assessment, and using touch to re-build the bridge.
- Using appropriate touch in context to each patient, and communicating why, with added sensitivity to trauma survivors.
- Adjusting our own state of being fully present while touching the patient, and observing their response.
- How safe and appropriate touch can positively impact the patient and allow a deeper healing.
- Why practicing your “presence” skills rather than just touching skills is important.
A key takeaway from this episode is to observe your own state and do an out-breath before you touch a patient, and observe what’s happening with their response, and adjust yourself as needed.