Gaining Consent to Contact – Story Therapeutic massage


Searching for consent to the touch is an integral a part of the Story Therapeutic massage Programme. For a lot of colleges, schools and households, the programme has grow to be a beneficial means of educating acceptable contact and the significance of claiming a assured ‘no’ to undesirable contact. We have a look at only a few examples of fine apply with kids and younger folks of all ages and talents.

Discussions round consent to the touch

Story Therapeutic massage periods typically start with a dialog across the significance of respectful contact and in search of consent. This video clip from Thorntree College in Glasgow reveals the instructor explaining that each individual’s physique belongs to them, and each individual has the fitting to make selections about who will get to the touch their physique, when they’re touched, and the way they’re touched.

Utilizing props to open a dialog

Some Story Therapeutic massage practitioners use props corresponding to puppets or toys to mannequin behaviour and introduce every Story Therapeutic massage session. They could embrace details about what is going on, why and when – with alternatives for questions.  This then permits people to provide an knowledgeable selection on the day.

As a part of the introduction, an grownup could ask a teddy bear, for instance, permission to the touch. Typically the reply might be ‘sure’ and typically ‘no’. Kids might be requested to have a look at the bear’s physique language to see any clues as to whether or not it needs a therapeutic massage. This opens an necessary dialogue round consent to the touch and affirms that it’s okay to say ‘no’.

“I used to be actually happy when my 6 yr outdated daughter objected to a store assistant who patted her on the pinnacle. She felt very uncomfortable and advised him that he shouldn’t achieve this with out first asking. She is shy with strangers and wouldn’t have had the braveness to talk up with out having practiced it in Story Therapeutic massage periods.”

Searching for verbal consent to the touch

For these kids and younger individuals who can talk verbally then permission might be requested for and given by means of phrases. This quick video reveals just a few examples of verbal consent in a mainstream faculty, particular faculty and household house.

Gaining non-verbal consent to the touch

When kids usually are not capable of reply verbally then Story Therapeutic massage practitioners search different methods of gaining consent corresponding to visible, tactile, sound or aroma cues. Utilizing interpersonal expertise and information of the person they’ll then assess a adverse or optimistic response by means of facial expressions, physique language, gestures, vocalisations and different non-verbal communication. Watch how Bella provides consent on this quick video clip taken at Ty Gwyn Particular College in Cardiff.


“The problem, in fact, is that we could interpret non-verbal communication in very alternative ways. All the time take recommendation and steering from others and attempt to get to know the individual you might be supporting as finest as is feasible. It’s so necessary to welcome the expression of all feelings and that decisions are frequently noticed and these are monitored.”

Sensory wants of every particular person

Story Therapeutic massage practitioners use a variety of the way of in search of consent relying on the sensory wants of the person. These embrace rubbing palms collectively, signing, props, particular sounds, light music, introduction songs and stress-free aromas that may be related to the beginning of a Story Therapeutic massage session. Many additionally use objects of reference corresponding to this one from Springfield Particular College in Crewe. It’s a laminated photograph of The Circle stroke with a chunky beaded bracelet superglued to it. Because of this pupils with PMLD can see and ‘really feel’ it.

“The Story Therapeutic massage Programme is a part of our Life Expertise curriculum for younger adults with complicated wants. Sharing therapeutic massage tales has elevated their information of optimistic contact and empowered them to distinguish between contact that feels protected and contact that doesn’t really feel protected. They’re now capable of say a assured ‘no’ or ‘sure’ in entrance of their friends at school. And that is being transferred to different conditions too.”

Suggestions throughout a Story Therapeutic massage session

Kids and younger individuals are additionally taught they’ve the selection of the place they’re touched and the way they’re touched. They’re inspired to point if they need the stress to be lighter or firmer to swimsuit their sensory wants, or if they need the therapeutic massage to cease. And, in fact, if they’re having fun with it and wish extra! Once more, this can be by means of verbal or non-verbal communication. The individual giving the therapeutic massage, whether or not peer or an grownup, listens to the suggestions and responds appropriately.

“Some college students point out they like their thighs massaged, others the chest or stomach and one other all the time holds her hand out for the strokes to be contained on her palm or again of her hand.  A pupil who’s congenitally blind leads the grownup’s palms underneath hers indicating the stress she needs. When the therapeutic massage finishes college students typically vocalise or signal to point extra – it’s uncommon they’ve an opportunity to be requested.”

This video clip reveals an illustration of an Aided Studying Show created at Springside College in Rochdale to provide pupils the chance to tailor the therapeutic massage to their particular person wants on the day.

Respectful contact for all

In some situations, the kid or younger folks could not perceive the selection that’s being given. Story Therapeutic massage practitioners all the time present respect by taking time to know the person, addressing them particular person by their identify, asking permission with good eye contact, reassurance and a delicate tone of voice. Then they might step by step introduce contact by holding palms, gently resting palms on shoulders, arms or knees or doing a easy therapeutic massage stroke. They’ll take it very step by step, watching intently for any response and determine whether or not or to not proceed with the therapeutic massage story. That is repeated each time.

“A person could not be capable to talk in conventional methods, however they’ve the fitting to say ‘sure’ or ‘no’. It’s so necessary to provide the person enough time to course of what’s being requested and to speak their needs. My daughter normally loves Story Therapeutic massage however some days her physique language present she clearly doesn’t need it.”

It’s okay to say ‘no’ to the touch

When a toddler or younger individual declines contact, whether or not by means of verbal or non-verbal communication, then the therapeutic massage is all the time stopped. Many initially hesitant people do ultimately select to participate, however that is all the time their very own determination made in their very own time. And a few could point out ‘sure’ on at some point, and ‘no’ on one other.

“As Story Therapeutic massage practitioners we don’t rely solely on ‘a sure’ reply. Some kids masks their emotions and discover it tough to say ‘no’. So, along with gaining consent, we monitor physique language all through. In a peer therapeutic massage scenario, we’re aware of taking care to maintain checking in with all those that are collaborating.”

Additionally it is necessary to think about why a toddler or younger individual is saying ‘no’ to the touch. Is it as a result of they don’t just like the contact? Or they’ve by no means skilled optimistic contact? Or they might have skilled it and adore it however at that second simply not need to participate. Or are they feeling a bit anxious about what is going to occur?

“A baby at our nursery selected to do the therapeutic massage story on the category teddy at first. Then he used the teddy’s paws to therapeutic massage a peer. After which he invited his peer to make use of the teddy’s paws to therapeutic massage him. Ultimately, he progressed to utilizing his personal palms to provide and obtain a therapeutic massage story.”

Those that don’t need to be touched are gently inspired to be included within the Story Therapeutic massage exercise, in their very own means, and share the advantages. For instance, they might do the therapeutic massage on themselves, a teddy or an grownup. Or they may do the strokes within the air, on the ground, on a wall or an invisible individual in entrance of them.

Some kids achieve confidence and belief by being given a job inside the the exercise. For instance they might verify everybody within the group is comfortable and having fun with the therapeutic massage, take cost of working the powerpoint presentation or recording, or help the session chief by holding up the therapeutic massage story and demonstrating the strokes within the air.

Gaining consent from older folks

While this weblog has focussed on points round consent to the touch for youngsters and younger folks, all the knowledge is related for adults particularly in conditions the place their preferences might not be simply understood.

“The Story Therapeutic massage Programme is of nice profit to folks with dementia and in addition younger adults with complicated wants dwelling in care settings. A lot private contact is carried out routinely you will need to permit a person to point a selection of ‘no’ or ‘sure’ to receiving a therapeutic massage story.”

Saying ‘thanks’

On the finish of the therapeutic massage story, the individual giving the therapeutic massage says ‘thanks’ to the individual receiving the therapeutic massage as a mark of respect and gratitude. The appreciation is normally reciprocated! This quick video clip reveals this in motion.

Extra concerning the Story Therapeutic massage Programme

The Story Therapeutic massage Programme combines the advantages of optimistic, respectful contact with the creativity and engagement of storytelling. Ten easy therapeutic massage strokes type the premise of the programme. These strokes have a reputation, corresponding to The Circle or The Sprinkle, an motion and a straightforward to recognise image. It’s a totally inclusive exercise, no clothes is eliminated and no oil is used.

Would you want to coach in Story Therapeutic massage?

Would you prefer to be taught extra? Join our Story Therapeutic massage On-line Course and assist share the advantages with the kids or adults in your care – at house or at work.

We train you share the ten Story Therapeutic massage strokes and work with you to adapt acquainted tales and even create some sensory tales of your individual. Best for academics, SEN workers, assist workers, therapists, Early Years practitioners,  these working with folks with further wants, Child Therapeutic massage Instructors, Calm down Youngsters Coaches… everybody with an curiosity in sharing optimistic contact actions with kids and adults.