The International Journal of Haptonomy and Haptotherapy is intended to provide an international academic forum for sharing knowledge about haptonomy and haptotherapy. It aims at conducting and enhancing the academic discussion on views, ideas, research, developments in theories and practices, concerning the fields of haptonomy and haptotherapy. By sharing argued visions and research results it hopes to promote the knowledge on theory and practice of haptonomy and haptotherapy.
Haptonomy is a relatively young field of scientific research and (paramedical) assistance practice. It focuses on the human sense of touch, considering the tactile sense as being primary among the senses in the range of human perception, and as being closely connected to our capacity to feel, i.e. to experience and to share emotions. The word haptonomy derives from the Greek hapsis, which refers to both the tactile sense and the affective contact by which one is ‘in touch’ with oneself and with others. Thus haptonomy means theory of hapsis, or the science of affective contact.
Haptotherapy is the specific therapeutic application of an haptonomic view and approach to (paramedical) assistance practices aimed at enhancing the patient’s or client’s wellbeing through reinforcing and intensifying his or her self-experience and contact with their environment and with other people.
Haptonomy was founded in the 1960s by the Dutch physiotherapist Frans Veldman (1921-2010). In the 1980s Veldman moved to France. Hence haptonomy is particularly well-known in the Netherlands and in France. Since the 1990s, however, haptonomy has become more and more independent from its founder. Debates came up; competing training institutions for haptonomic professionals were established; applications such as haptotherapy were developed and became acknowledged; a professional association was founded; etc. Simultaneously and due to this development the need for scientific research has increased. To support this, the Scientific Council of the Association of Haptotherapists in the Netherlands has launched The International Journal of Haptonomy and Haptotherapy (IJHH) as an independent peer-reviewed multidisciplinary academic open-access e-journal.
Being the first academic journal on haptonomy and haptotherapy in English, IJHH will publish both new papers presenting results of recent scientific research and translated ‘classical’ articles that have proven to be valuable or influential to the field, but which were published previously only in Dutch or French.
As a multidisciplinary life science, haptonomy is powered by philosophical and empirical-scientific sources. Its philosophical assets are mainly phenomenological, in the tradition of Merleau-Ponty. Empirical research on haptonomy and haptotherapy includes both qualitative and quantitative research. Furthermore, haptonomy is intrinsically related to ethical reflection, including research ethics and professional ethics. Thus, IJHH publishes not only multidisciplinary articles but also specific contributions on philosophical (phenomenological), ethical, qualitative and quantitative research, respectively, relevant to haptonomy and its applications.
Currently, haptonomy is applied to many fields of public health and related professional practices, such as haptonomic antenatal care of parents and their unborn child, and haptonomic guidance after childbirth. Also haptonomy is integrated in the education of (para-)medical professionals. Haptotherapy includes the therapeutic guidance and counseling of a client or a patient on their developmental journey and maturation to truly affective living and freedom. As a practice oriented multidisciplinary life science, haptonomy supports these applications by new insights and evidence based knowledge. It is the IJHH’s ambition to be the academic mediator providing these knowledge and visions.
The International Journal of Haptonomy and Haptotherapy is an independent peer-reviewed multidisciplinary academic open-access e-journal. It welcomes academic papers, articles and reviews on theories and practices of haptonomy, particularly haptotherapy.
In 2011 GZ-Haptotherapist J. Willem Hagg took the initiative to set up the Nomos Events foundation (publisher of the IJHH), in collaboration with his colleagues Jan Guichelaar, Gert A. Klabbers PhD and Robert H. de Vos MSc, MA. These four colleagues organized the scientific conference haptotherapy in 2013 on which they launched the International Journal of Haptonomy and Haptotherapy. Nomos Events is sponsored by the Dutch Association of Haptotherapists.