Cultivating trust is core for creating a safe environment for our touch session with a client, their family and other team members. Confidentiality is at the core of cultivating trust.
The initial layer of confidentiality is one that many times may be overlooked by practitioners out of a desire to support the client. It involves the practitioner’s ability to hold the client’s personal experience private within the client-practitioner relationship. It can be a very difficult protocol to hold because of the practitioner’s need to help, fix, or change what may seem like discomfort.
Within this protocol the practitioner becomes a listening witness and does not repeat to the client what the client has shared or physically retraced during a session unless the client asks the practitioner about the sharing. Retracing is when a past trauma reveals itself during a session. The client may relive the trauma or share feelings as a result of the memory. This level of confidentiality allows the client to share deeply, knowing that they will not be expected to elaborate or recap the experience.
Mindful touch elicits vulnerability. It creates a deep level of trust. Clients share events of their lives with the touch practitioner that they may not share with anyone else.
Most often when a client shares feelings or physically retraces vulnerable experiences, it is spontaneous and in direct relationship to the personal reflective opportunity that touch offers. These spontaneous moments are very private and may never have been witnessed before.
The intention in this layer of confidentiality is to be present for these moments as a witness and to allow the client privacy within this paradigm of support by not bringing these moments back to client. Doing so may startle the client, create embarrassment or even shame.
I learned this level of confidentiality from my greatest teacher, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Elisabeth’s workshops were the safest place I’ve ever shared feelings because of this guideline.
Please read the post on Confidentiality from May 2011 for other guidelines on holding this very important protocol.
I look forward to your comments and or questions . This protocol deserves a conversation.
Irene Smith www.everflowing.org