I recently came across an article titled “Trauma Touch Therapy” Karrie Mowen (Osborn) which did a great job of describing the benefits of touch for survivors of sexual and physical abuse. The article discuss how touch can help those who have been violated by touch and how they can slowly begin to integrate touch back in their lives in a safe and nurturing manner. It is an opportunity for the person to experience what it is like to be in control of touch, to set limits and explore touch on their own terms.
This article also discussed how touch can help bring someone who is disconnected from their body become familiar with themselves again. Touch can help them feel emotions and sensations that accompany emotions. Instead of being num, they are encouraged to be present for what is taking place in their body and mind.
Touch can also be used to create a self care plan, as a tool for de-stressing, and to help turn the mind off. As a therapist and body worker I have seen the healing power of touch and agree with the author that it can help in many ways. For survivors of sexual or physical abuse, learning that they have control over how and when someone touches them is an empowering experience. But for many survivors it can be overwhelming to think about beginning this journey on their own. For many, having a trained therapist who can provide a safe and nurturing environment can help them start the process as well as guide them along the journey.