Author: Marieke Schoenmakers

Marieke Schoenmakers

Marieke Schoenmakers (1980) studied Ethics of Care and Policy at Tilburg University (NL). Her thesis concerns touching in spiritual care, particularly with respect to people suffering from dementia, and can be downloaded from: . Marieke works as a spiritual counsellor for care organisation De Riethorst Stromenland.

Physical touch in caring

One morning, as I enter the closed ward for people with dementia, I come across an intensely frightened and distressed Clara. Sobbing and searching she wanders down the corridor. Almost instinctively, I take her in my arms, and she calms down.

During my studies to become a spiritual counsellor, emphasis was placed on learning conversation skills. Little attention was paid to the bodily aspects of this work, whereas, in my opinion, physical proximity in the care relationship is very important. Continue reading Physical touch in caring