professional therapeutic Cuddler
Providing support and nurturing contact
Serving the lgbtqia community and beyond
What is cuddle therapy?
Cuddle therapy is a form of alternative therapy that involves platonic, fully-clothed touch, where you receive focused support and attention from your professional cuddler, who seeks to attune to your physical and emotional needs on a platonic level, and who strives to create a space that allows you to have new experiences of trust, safety, comfort and ease in relating to another human. Often people don’t get the touch or cuddles that they need when they are children, so cuddle therapy is a way to have a corrective experience of healthy re-parenting from the cuddle therapist, who is providing touch in a safe and non-sexual space.
Hi! I’m River.
I work as a professional therapeutic cuddler, I live in Escondido, CA and have some openings for new clients in the San Diego area. As someone who has extensive training in trauma therapy, and who identifies as queer (pronouns are she/her/hers or they/them/theirs), I specialize in working with trauma survivors, and with all people who identify as women, or who identify as queer, non-binary, trans, or have sexual orientations other than heterosexual. I have extensive experience cuddling with folks of all ages, including babies and children (as I spent many years working as a nanny). My undergraduate degree is in philosophy, and I also hold a MA degree in somatic psychology from Naropa University. I worked for years as a psychotherapist, but decided I wanted to provide a different and more direct form of therapy in the form of therapeutic cuddling. I practice forms of embodied movement such as Aikido, Jiu Jitsu and Contact Improv, and have a great sense of humor and a gentle presence. People always comment on how safe and nourished they feel by my hugs and cuddles.
need some comfort and connection?
Perhaps you’re going through a stressful time, or you have a history of trauma. Perhaps you struggle with chronic pain or illness*. Or maybe you just feel distant from the people around you, and notice that you aren’t getting enough healthy touch in your everyday life. Even if you have a great group of family and friends to support you, sometimes you just want someone safe and non-judgmental to be with you and focus on your needs. I provide that through platonic touch in the form of professional snuggling.
* I’m aware that many folks with chronic pain and illness can experience extreme chemical sensitivity. Because of this, I never use any chemical fragrances or products. I also ask that my clients refrain from using cigarettes and chemical fragrances/products.
I look forward to meeting you!
RECEIVE A SNUGGLE
1 hour snuggle session
Meet your cuddler first
Perhaps you are interested in therapeutic cuddling, but would like to meet first to see if it might be a good fit? Let’s meet for a 20-minute coffee in Escondido, CA. 🙂
suggested donation (not required)
10 hours prepaid package
Save $200 by prepaying for a package of 10 sessions at a time. (After first session)
"My cuddle sessions with River have really helped me to cope with the pain I experience from dealing with chronic Lyme disease. She is a great conversationalist, and has such a calming presence. At first I was not sure about working with a professional cuddler, but my health issues make it almost impossible for me to get out of the house or to have a traditional relationship where I might be getting more cuddles, so it seemed worth a try. I'm so glad I tried it! I would recommend her to anyone." – E. M.
"I like the fact that River is so knowledgable about trauma and attachment woundings because of her training and experience working as a psychotherapist. I have a hard time feeling safe with people, so it has been really healing to be able to receive touch in a safe environment with her." – M. T.
"There is something so comforting about knowing that I will receive regular touch every week in my snuggle sessions with River. I believe that it helps me to stay happy and healthy. It is so nourishing to be with someone so kind and so present." – A. C.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is professional therapeutic snuggling?
It is a form of alternative therapy that involves platonic, fully-clothed touch, and cuddling with a professional who is available to be present with you and pay attention to your physical and emotional needs, much the way a parent (ideally) attends to their child. It is a way to receive a corrective experience of contact and connection, which can be deeply soothing and nurturing for people who are trauma survivors, or who simply don’t get enough physical touch in their everyday lives. It also reduces levels of stress hormones in the body, and is an excellent way to practice working with choice, consent, and boundaries in a safe space.
What do you do during a session?
Typically I like to get to know who it is I’m about to work with a little better so I can get a feel for their personality and what they are seeking from a cuddle session, then I let them lay down in a comfortable position and I lay with them and ask them to communicate their comfort level in that starting position. Then we adjust to other comfortable positions as needed for the remainder of the session. Some people like to talk with me during sessions, while others prefer it to be more quiet and meditative. It can look a variety of ways, but throughout our therapeutic relationship, I make an agreement with each client that we communicate about each session – both during and afterwards – about how it feels, what could be different, and even the smallest amount of discomfort.
Where do these sessions happen?
Currently I meet with clients in public places, such as at a park or a beach.
Who looks for professional snuggling?
Usually it’s someone who feels that they are touch-starved. For some reason or another, they feel isolated, and may get only occasional hugs from loved ones.
What I find is common among people that seek me out is they are going through some kind of difficult time, such as a divorce, death of a close loved one, failing career or business, recent knowledge of a medical diagnosis late in life and reflecting on how their life would be different if they knew sooner, existential crisis, or trauma from another situation.
Also common for clients is: people with PTSD, people with some form of anxiety, people with some form of depression, people with some form of autism, and people that have been perpetually single and just want someone to be physically close with.
And then, of course, there are the people who are just curious what professional snuggling is all about and want to experience it for themselves. I cater to all of these people!
There are also people that don’t understand that this is a platonic service and look for sexual services out of this. I do NOT cater to those people and usually am able to figure out if someone is looking for that.
How do you stay safe from that last type of person?
I have my own vetting process that I do on my end which weeds out a lot of these people. In addition, I have a remote on-call safety person to check in and check out with for every session to make sure I’m safe, and they know where and when I’m supposed to be for sessions. If they don’t hear from me, they have the local authorities’ numbers on hand to go check in on me.
If we run into each other in public, I don’t tell others that you’re a client of mine. I follow client direction as far as interactions for this.
I follow up with clients solely for my business purposes and for client relation purposes. I do not sell information or share information without your express permission.
How long does a session usually last?
Most clients opt for a 60 or 90 minute session to start, but I’ve done as many as 3 hour sessions for first-time sessions.
What are the payment options?
Clients pay for each session at some point before the session starts through paypal, cash, or check.
Have more questions? Please feel free to text me at: 303.856.5936