Should your GP shake patients hands and / or hug patients with mental health issues?

I am male and my current GP is female of similar ages, with the current and last GP for many years has been this way, it is the person I see, their qualities, behaviour and approach as well as their clinical expertise that is the key to the relationship than the gender but going back a bit further I met with the head of the practice for over 20 years who was male and did subsequently have male surgery is they always shake hands with me at the start and at the end of the session and have done this ever since, do you do this with your GP, if not, why not and should you?

There is something about personal space and personal connection with your clinician, the boundaries some have compared to others are very different depending upon how well you get on with one another, personally I feel this is quite a respectful thing to do this, when many things in my life are not as I would like them to have someone you respect to shake hands at the start and at the end for me is something I quite like, I did discuss this with her before we started to do it in practice to ensure she was comfortable with it and she is.

I had a female counsellor a while ago and at the end start and end of the session we used to hug each other, this was not sexual in any way, you have to remember this is clinical but was a way to actually connect with people, with lots of hurts actually a hug just breaks down barriers and you learn to actually love people and life again, it’s a token of appreciation of what they have done for you but is hugging going too far than just shaking a clinicians hand, would this be helpful for a person’s mental health if this was done periodically to hug a patient?

My grandmother has carers come to her house, some of the carers actually give her a kiss on the cheek before they leave but is that going too far or do you draw the boundaries at shaking hands or hugging as a good feel good factor for those who have mental health issues.

You may like to read some of these links:

In my particular case, given how often I meet the GP, the relationship we have I would have no issues going further than shaking hands and to hug her, as long as we have discussed this between us first, we are aware of the boundaries but you have to have to be careful of feelings as well as dependency, expectation but a combination of shaking hands and hugging would be beneficial for my recovery.

What do others think and what do you actually do with your GP if at all on this matter?

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