Subject Area

Counseling, Psychology, Rehabilitation Counseling, Social Work


The use of touch in psychotherapy is a topic often undiscussed in graduate training programs. Stenzel and Rupert’s 2004 study showed that nearly 90% of clinicians never or rarely offered touch to clients during a session. This study examined the use of touch in a psychotherapeutic setting with culturally Deaf clients, since touch is a culturally accepted, even expected, practice. Results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference among culturally Deaf therapists compared with the Stenzel and Rupert’s (2004) findings, but there is a statistically significant difference in those who identify as hearing and work with culturally Deaf clients. The implications of the study are also discussed.