Haptotherapy and crying: an exploratory study
- 05 December 2021
- Research |
- Research 2021 |
This study’s main aim was to understand better why patients cry during a haptotherapy treatment and whether crying is considered helpful.
During a period of 4 weeks, Dutch haptotherapists asked all their patients aged 18 and older to complete a digital questionnaire at home after the end of the haptotherapy treatment. Patients were asked about their indication for haptotherapy, and they answered six questions about crying during therapy on a 5-point Likert scale (1-5). In addition, the participating haptotherapists were asked (1) whether they ever had tears in their eyes during therapy, (2) whether they had
ever actually cried during therapy, and (3) whether they considered the patient’s crying as helpful for the therapeutic process.
Seventy-two participating haptotherapists recruited 640 participants, 500 women and 140 men. The respondents’ average age was 46 years. The six most common indications (n > 30) were burnout complaints, stress complaints, personality development, depressive complaints, anxiety complaints, and comorbidity. During the haptotherapy treatments, 80.9 % (n = 518) of the patients reportedly had cried during therapy. Women cried significantly more often than men
(t(638) = 7,922, p = .017). Crying during treatment did not differ between patient groups (F(5, 436) = .317, p = .903). Of the patients, 26.1 % (n = 167) indicated that they cried to let others know they were suffering, and 88.1 % (n = 564) because their crying had a relieving effect. The patient’s crying was perceived as meaningful by most patients (98.6 % (n = 631)) and therapists (62.5 % (n = 45)). As many as 43.1 % of the participating patients reported changes in general crying, with 27.3 % reporting an increase in their crying and 15.8 % a reduction.
Patient crying occurs relatively often during haptotherapy, as it does during other therapies. Most patients consider this as meaningful. The different patient diagnoses, the different educational backgrounds of the haptotherapists, and the sociodemographic differences did not influence patient crying. To further understand the effective mechanisms of haptotherapy, it is recommended to investigate why some patients cry more after haptotherapy and others cry less and how they experience their change in crying frequency.
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Publication date:December 5, 2021