My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
Untouched: The Need for Genuine Affection in an Impersonal World is an excellent book. Mariana Caplan writes beautifully on our need for touch from conception to adulthood. As a psychologist, she shares her insight on touch abuse and deprivation. Although she doesn't use the term, she advocates for attachment parenting, a style of parenting that emphasizes bonding with your child through home birth, infant massage, baby wearing, breast feeding, and cosleeping, etc. This book is not only applicable to parents, though, as Caplan calls us to work on ourselves as adults. "As human beings, we need to become aware of our own power, so that we can consciously harness it as a resource and utilize it to benefit others, instead of remaining helpless at the mercy of pervasive, but relatively unimportant psychological issues. When we turn our attention and power toward getting in touch with our lives, or toward making sure that our children are given ample affection and attention in their early years, or toward acting out of compassion instead of defensiveness, then we have taken hold of the reigns of this force. Until we have admitted our ailment, and allowed this to break us open to the compassion that lies beneath, we will be uncontrollably motivated to continue to exploit our own power for selfish gain. It cannot be otherwise. Yet, when we finally allow our heart to be shared with those around us, we will be inwardly moved to sacrifice our own desires for the benefit of the greater good." She has deeply considered the impact of touch deprivation on society. Her ideas flow logically and are illustrated by thought-provoking example. Mariana Caplan lists "20 Ways to Get into Your Body," as well as various ways to get "in touch" with ourselves: meditation, breathwork, prayer, martial arts, yoga, hospitality and service of the other, and using intention to bring awareness and a goal to a need.
My worry though, upon completion of this book is, "Is this enough?!" It only seems like scratching the surface. But maybe that is the first step.
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