Expanding the Boundaries of Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Proposal for Shiatsu Infused Counselling
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This thesis examines the potential for including Shiatsu as part of counselling or psychotherapy and contributes to the field of therapy by offering a therapeutic direction that has not been widely studied or practiced. In addition to Shiatsu and counselling, this research will consider all relevant areas including mindfulness, neuroscience, attachment theory, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), trauma therapy, and body psychotherapy. I provide perspectives on therapeutic roles and relationships, ethics, and treatment implementation, which may be useful for therapists interested in utilizing bodily experiences as a resource in treatment. Through discussion and extrapolation of relevant studies, I assemble an argument that suggests the integration of Shiatsu to a counselling or psychotherapy practice can benefit specific clients and therapists who are facing certain challenges in therapy. I make the assertion that this approach can be especially helpful to clients experiencing issues with pain, affect regulation, and trauma. Furthermore, it is suggested that Shiatsu can enhance the therapeutic relationship, which in turn diffuses positively to all other areas of therapy. Through a proposal for an infused session, I will illustrate how a therapist treats the client by incorporating Shiatsu and counselling techniques together in a single session. The discussions and information elicited from this thesis may be particularly appealing to therapists trained in Shiatsu or other forms of therapeutic touch. This study can also be a starting point for therapists and clients who are considering a more holistic or integrative approach to therapy.