On this page I want to share with you, what I consider important for and in my work. Like all of us, I am in a constant
process and learning every day, so this document and reflection can never be finished and is constantly changing over time.
My approach and philosophy are drawn from various contexts: From my basic profession as a social worker, queer and black feminist movements, different embodiment practices and bodywork, meditation & mindfulness practice, Buddhist philosophy, queer and LGBTIQA+ liberation movements, trauma-sensitive work, sex-, kink and body-positive movements and my own biography as a gay, highly sensitive man and cancer survivor.
For me conscious touch is a basic human need, that is of utmost importance for our well being and health. I
want that all people can experience mindful, nourishing and consensual touch.
I train myself in my ability to see all people in their complexity and full humanity. I focus on the resources, strenghts and abilities of people. Practicing deep listening, coming from a place of openness, curiosity and appreciation, help me.
Establishing connections with people, that is built upon respect and appreciation, is the base of all my work. The beneficial effects of platonic touch don't occur naturally, but within a relationship, in which people can feel safe, seen and secure. I value the trust that people bring into my work with gratitude and deep respect.
My work is not about creating relationships of dependence. On the contrary I want to empower and explore, how people can integrate more platonic touch, into their lives.
My work is embedded in larger contexts and social structures. I see touch deprivation not as a phenomena
coming from individual deficiencies, but rather as a direct result of our hyper individualistic, neoliberal-capitalist society.
Our life circumstances aren't just influenced by our unique personality, biography or upbringing, but also by institutional
frameworks, (sub-)cultural norms and social power structures. All of that can have an impact on how people can experience positive and beneficial touch.
I do work with with personal responsibility and agency of people, without neglecting or negating the existence of power structures, relations and resulting discrimination.
For that to happen I consider it part of my work to reflect on my privileges and position in these power structures. As a white cisgender, middle class, thin, able bodied man, with access to higher education, I benefit from many power structures, that discriminate and marginalize other people. My responsibility is to be aware of that and use them, in order to be part of meaningful social change towards a more just society.
My experiences with difficulty or marginalization as a gay man, queer person, highly sensitive human and cancer survivor influence my work ethics. Queerness as a principle and movement of questioning norms help me to stay open and critical.
I oppose the western (and white) model of hyper-individuality and believing that "man forges his own destiny". For humans to be healthy and flourish, they need community, social structures and solidarity. I want to live and work with and in community, cooperation and without competition.
Mindfulness (or Heartfulness / Bodyfulness) and meditation is a foundation pillar in my
life. Being present in the moment reminds me of our inter-contentedness, which is one of the biggest power sources in my life and a quality that I bring into my work.
We often experience shame around our bodies and needs for touch, intimacy and sexuality. Welcoming all different emotions, our vulnerability and creating space for them, is an aim in my work.
As a cancer survivor, I had to learn in a harsh way to radically accept my body and myself, excactly in the way that I am. Relearning to experience myself and my body as a source of power, sense of well being and joy for life, was and is a big part of my own process and life. I consider affectionate touch as one possibility out of many to assist and accompany people on this process.
Consent and clear communication are a key element in my work. I am very inspired by the work of Dr. Betty Martin (and her wheel of consent) and that of Meg-John Barker, who expands the idea of consent into a larger context of relationships and society.
I don't engage in romantic or sexual relationships with my clients. If such feelings develop, the professional relationship ends.
Intuition and being in the present moment are important to me. Some of my inspiration and work is rooted in spiritual contexts, however that is never the focus. I aim to combine intuitive wisdom, arising out of the present moment with evidence-based knowledge and scientific research. I engage in exchange with other body workers and attend workshops and courses regularly.
In order to be able to work in a good way, I know that I have to practice self care diligently. That means, I don't want to exploit myself and I nourish myself with all that I need, as best as I can. Being able to offer this work, that is so dear to my heart, rewards me with lots of joy and gratitude.
I allow myself to make mistakes and to be imperfect. I want to be open and vulnerable, in a way that is appropriate with my role as a bodyworker. I consider feedback and critique as a gift and chance for me to grow as a person.
You find more links to people's work, that inspire me here and at the "ressources" page.