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Alyssa

Trained Cuddlist
In-CallsOut-Calls

Session Rate: $100/hour + Travel Fee for Outcalls for In-person Sessions; $50/hour for Virtual Sessions

Irvine, CA

About Alyssa

If you’re looking for a simple and fulfilling way to upgrade your self-care routine, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s work together to find the best source of comfort and healing for you in a safe, nurturing, playful environment.

** ONLY OFFERING VIRTUAL SESSIONS at half rate ($50/hour)  until 07/15/2020. I am responding to the current world situation by expanding our ways to connect. The therapeutic value of a session is not simply about the touch, it is about the intimacy that is created with healthy boundaries and a willingness to open up to one another. To see and be seen by another. I have a tool kit full of fun ways to do that and we can create our own confidential haven of time together however is best for both of us. Request a session today letting me know you want something virtual and we will begin! **

Note that in-person sessions will not be offered by many practitioners at this time due to city, state, and national mandates and ordinances. For more information about Orange County specifically, see the most recent Orange County press releases: https://www.ochealthinfo.com/about/admin/pubs/press

I will begin offering in-person sessions to clients again starting July 15th while also continuing to offer virtual sessions. I have updated the information below in my boundaries and session information for in-person sessions taking COVID-19 into consideration, and the only in-person sessions I am offering for the time being are in-call (the client comes to my session location) except in cases where the client cannot travel to my session location due to physical disability. Please indicate in your request form if you are looking for a virtual session. A virtual session includes a video/voice call through Zoom and can also include a guided body-scan meditation and a walk-through of how to offer therapeutic non-sexual self-touch to yourself, as well as other platonic activities that facilitate physical connection virtually. These may include eye gazing and the “hello/goodbye” game, the mirror game, deep breathing exercises, and pre-created or improvised role-playing or otherwise pretend games. Other available activities are listening to music albums or mixes together, watching movies together (with or without verbal or text commentary based on client preference), going through the 36 questions for connection, karaoke, me singing to you or reading you a story, and any other platonic activities you have in mind to help you feel connected that we can both agree on. I offer all new prospective clients the option for a free 10-15 minute orientation and connection call to answer any questions you might have and to create together what you want your session to look like. This free call can either be an ordinary phone call or a Zoom video call, whichever you prefer. For obvious reasons, only online payment methods (PayPal and Venmo) are offered for virtual sessions. If social distancing is part of your self-care routine right now, we at Cuddlist are here for you to support you in these efforts! Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Thank you for taking care of yourself in the ways that work best for you!

(Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Cuddlist Trained Practitioner since October 2019.

About me:

Hi, everyone! I’m Alyssa, and I currently live in Orange County, CA. As a Cuddlist practitioner, I help people learn to identify and meet their emotional needs and improve their overall mental and physical health through exploring different kinds of platonic, affectionate physical touch. I’ve felt called to this profession since first learning about its existence, and that feeling has only increased with all I’ve learned and experienced since deciding to join the touch therapy movement. I have always found the most fulfillment in being able to help others directly, especially when I can get to know them and learn about their individual needs. I understand the importance of platonic, affectionate physical human contact for overall health and well-being both physically and psychologically. I know that, quite often, just having another person completely mentally present with you, offering a safe, non-judgmental environment, can be a source of immense comfort. In the current state of our culture and society, the resources to meet this simple need are often not available in the day-to-day lives of the vast majority of people. There’s just too much to do and too much distraction to easily take the time and space for sufficient self-care. I see myself as a very open-minded, accepting, and empathetic person and love to share affection through listening and candid conversation in addition to hugs and cuddles.

My boundaries:

In my initial follow-up email or phone call I will ask if you have read these boundaries. If you have not yet done so, I will ask you to do so (if over email) or will read them to you (if over phone call). I will then ask you for your promise and commitment to respect and work strictly within these boundaries and will not book a session with you without this. If you are unwilling or unable to respect and work strictly within these boundaries please do not give your promise and commitment to do so or schedule an appointment with me. Please note that these boundaries have been updated with COVID-19 in mind.

Objective boundaries for me are as follows; I am always a ‘no’ to these activities. Touching or being touched in any areas covered by a bikini or swim brief bathing suit; not just genitals but also the butt and breasts. Having my face and head or the client’s on or near those same areas. Any form of pelvic thrusting or gyration; any repeated pelvic movement which is not necessary for transitioning between cuddle positions. Breathing/whispering/speaking into my ear or breathing on or near my face (breath and sound directed into my ear or at my face that is so close to my face that it feels hot and moist, likely within three inches). Giving or receiving any kisses anywhere on the body. Anything I feel uncomfortable with in the moment; I will tell you what these things are if any come up for me during a session. Additionally, due to COVID-19 both the practitioner (myself) and the client must adhere to the following requirements. Please do not request an in-person session if you are unable to adhere to these requirements, as I will end the session immediately if I observe or suspect any of these boundaries have been violated:

  1. Shower immediately before the session. For in-call sessions not be exposed to any possible infection sources between your residence and the session location (such as making other stops between your residence and the session location). For out-call sessions not leave your residence between showering and having the session.
  2. For out-call sessions, disinfect any surfaces or fabrics which we will be in physical contact with between the last time anyone has touched it and the session start time (within 24 hours of the session start time at most).
  3. Wear a brand new (not used before arriving for the session), fully intact and functional medical-grade face mask anytime you are within 10 feet of another person. Wear this mask as intended, covering from the bridge of the nose to under the chin.
  4. Are not currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 as explained in the following link and have not experienced these symptoms in the 14 days before the session. Will notify me immediately if you experience any of these symptoms within 14 days after the session. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/homeless-shelters/screening-clients-respiratory-infection-symptoms.html
  5. Submit to a temperature gun reading upon arriving at the session location (for in-calls) or upon my arrival at the session location (for out-calls) and have a body temperature no higher than 100.3 F.
  6. After showering, change into clean clothes for the session, wash hands thoroughly before and after physical contact with each other or any others or using the restroom, refrain from touching theirs or each other’s faces with hands, refrain from any contact between each other’s faces in any cuddle positions.
  7. Refrain from touching yours or anyone else’s face or feet with your hands, and refrain from any cuddle positions or movements which cause your face to touch another person’s face.
  8. Take a 5 minute break from the session every 30 minutes to sit outside 10 feet or more apart from each other and others without masks in order to breathe freely (session timer will be paused during break(s)).

Subjective boundaries for me are as follows; I am only sometimes a ‘yes’ to these activities and require that the client asks and waits for verbal consent first. Having my hair, ears, and neck purposefully touched by the other person’s hands. I say purposefully because it doesn’t bother me if it’s momentary and unintentional, like when we are moving to transition between cuddling positions. Lingering, repetitive, and/or intentional touch in those areas can be uncomfortable for me.

 

Benefits:

If something feels “wrong” or “off” or “missing” in your life right now, I encourage you to give yourself the time and space to consider whether what your mind and body need more of is physical touch and connection to another human being in a safe environment. With the structure of our society and of our individual lives, even those with healthy, functional romantic, friend, and family relationships will still struggle to meet this need. That’s because our priorities can often be distorted by false urgency and social pressure. We spend our time and energy the way we think we’re supposed to, doing things the way everyone else is doing them. For many, just being able to say that you’re fulfilling that duty relatively well is a significant accomplishment. Believe me, I am in the same boat. But consider that the way everyone else is doing things isn’t necessarily the best way, the way that truly fulfills us and meets our needs, the healthiest way to live. The presence and role of physical touch and connection has become severely diminished in our everyday lives and our society at large. But it doesn’t have to be that way for you or for anyone. We can choose to make self care a priority and to give ourselves the love we deserve. Every person deserves to feel loved, heard, and connected, and I think one of the major drivers of evil and chaos in the human race is the lack of this kind of experience as a consistent routine. Having this kind of necessary experience as a regular part of life makes people kinder, gentler, more introspective and, most importantly, stronger. Strong enough to have the courage to treat themselves and others with true respect and consideration. When your needs are being met, it’s easy to see how others’ needs also deserve to be met, regardless of whether you agree on religion, politics, or anything else.

Purpose and mission:

You deserve to be taken care of, and no one else is going to do it for you. The responsibility and the power to do that lies only within yourself. Cultivating the skills to nurture and love yourself is the best gift you can ever give yourself and will give you the strength and peace of mind to be able to handle whatever life throws your way.

Offer:

Come see for yourself how this practice can benefit every area of your life! I look forward to seeing you embark on this journey of growth and self discovery!

Session information from Alyssa

There are three essential unique features of a Cuddlist session that set us apart. First, both parties participating have clearly established boundaries: we both go into the session knowing what we are and are not okay with and knowing that the other person also knows. This leaves us free to explore the space within those boundaries without holding back. Second, sessions are consent-driven: we both agree to say ‘yes’ to what we feel we can give or receive freely and fully and ‘no’ to anything else, and we both agree to accept and respect each other’s yes’s and no’s without question. This takes the compulsion for mind reading out of the equation of social interaction and creates an environment which strengthens self-esteem. Third, sessions are client-led: you are encouraged to ask for what you want within a safe time and space, a place of true belonging. You are free to quiet the chatter of the world and listen to what your mind and body are telling you that you need, which is a very beneficial and therapeutic practice that often brings clarity and self-empowerment.

The minimum session time offered is 1 hour, and the maximum session time offered is 2 hours for the first session. The maximum session time offered is 4 hours for future sessions. I also offer 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) and any increment of 15 minutes within these two ranges above. For increased personal safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the only in-person sessions I am offering for the time being are in-call (the client comes to my session location) except in cases where the client cannot travel to my session location due to physical disability. I host in-call sessions at a room rented ahead of time for the session date and time at BOTI Studios in Anaheim. A travel rate is usually charged for all other sessions, considered out-call sessions; however, this fee is waived for those who must have an out-call session as mentioned above. Maximum estimated drive time offered is one hour for all sessions. I recommend considering other practitioners closer to you if you live outside of Orange County, CA but am willing to accommodate clients within that estimated drive time. Please allow for 5 minutes before and after the session for me to change clothes in privacy for an out-call session or for both of us to change clothes in privacy for an in-call session. This 10 minutes total will not count towards the session time. Please allow for 5 minute breaks after every 30 minutes of session time for us to sit outside 10 feet or more apart from each other and others without masks in order to breathe freely. Again, this break time will not count towards the session time.

This service is focused around platonic, affectionate physical touch. Cuddling is implied but not required, and any legal, platonic activity is allowed within the boundaries I indicated above. This includes but is not limited to talking; listening to music; watching TV/movies; taking a walk; and going out for coffee, lunch, or dinner. The session can take place in either a public or private location, as long as we are intending to follow all rules and guidelines set forth for using the space in question.

Touch is available but not a requirement in a session. Connection and nurturing is the goal here, whatever that looks like for you right now, and it is completely understandable if physical touch does not feel safe for you during the pandemic. Sometimes all someone needs is another person to simply be fully present with them in a safe environment, and I can hold that space for you. Also, there is no wrong way to touch, as long as it is kept within the Code of Conduct and both people’s individual boundaries, so don’t be afraid to let your creative and playful side shine in deciding how you want your session to look and feel.

Another opportunity in which a practitioner’s comforting presence can benefit a client is in accompanying them through a difficult situation or event, such as a medical appointment or procedure, a wedding, a funeral, or any other important friend/family event. Yet another opportunity is in preparing yourself and improving yourself for participation in the dating world. When you are not touch deprived, the burden for meeting your touch needs is not placed on the dating experience and the person you are dating. This allows you to be fully present for the other person and to connect with them more genuinely, keeping the focus on getting to know each other and growing closer at a more comfortable pace for both people, rather than focus being pulled towards getting your touch needs met. This places much less pressure on your dating interactions. Yet another opportunity is for those who are celibate or asexual. These individuals still need intimate physical connection to gain and maintain good mental health and can still get it through this service. This service can also be helpful in easing the discrepancy of touch needs in relationships where one person has a higher level of need for physical touch and intimacy than their partner. Again, this takes the pressure off the other person in the relationship for meeting that higher level of need in their partner. If you are in a relationship, please discuss your use of this service openly and honestly with them to ensure that you are respecting your partner’s needs and boundaries.

Once you submit a request, I will reply through email or phone call based on the preference you indicated on your request form to address anything mentioned in your initial request followed by a short questionnaire to gauge whether this service is right for you, what you hope to get out of it, and any other limitations or necessary accommodations for having the session. This questionnaire may seem long, but being specific and thorough gives us a good jumping-off point for discussing your session further. Additionally, all first-time in-person clients must sign my standard Cuddlist client waiver. I will send this waiver via email for you to read and decide whether you are comfortable with everything laid out in it and will provide a physical copy for you to sign before the session begins. All first-time virtual clients must read and send an explicit email response agreeing to the waiver for my records. First-time in-person clients must now also sign a COVID-19-specific release-of-liability waiver in addition to my standard Cuddlist client waiver prior to the start of the session. It’s good to work out as many details as we can beforehand so that it’s out of the way before your session, and then you’ll be free to fully utilize our time together without any further need to to think about and address these concerns. Creating as strong, comprehensive, and complete a framework as possible before the session is important so that we may feel fully supported in our efforts when the session occurs and can simply rest and relax together.

Please keep in mind when you submit your request that I am not available for same-day session appointments and that it is a good idea to have at least three specific dates and times available to check with me within the general availability I have listed below to maximize our ability to still move forward with booking a session in the case that any one specific date and time is not available for me. However, I offer all new prospective clients the option for a short 10-15 minute orientation and connection phone call, and I am sometimes available for same-day appointments for this call, so make sure to let me know in your request form if this is your preferred method of contact and you would like a same-day call. If you would like to have this call, please give me a specific time to call when you will be available, and a range of times is even more helpful (e.g. 4 PM – 8 PM). I will do my best to call the same day when possible and will always respond to requests by email within 24 hours per Cuddlist policy, but please keep my availability (see bottom of profile) in mind when requesting this. Please note that if you specify in your request that you would like me to call you, I will not call if you haven’t given me a specific time or range of times you are available for a call within my availability listed below. In this case, I will send you a short email requesting a time to call and will not contact you beyond this if I get no reply from you specifying a time to call within my availability. If email is the preferred contact method you initially choose in your request form, we can still also set up a short 10-15 minute orientation and connection phone call (after you reply to my initial follow-up email) for any further discussion you may want to have to feel more comfortable going into the session or can continue the discussion through email. Just let me know in your email reply if you want to set up a call, and give me a date and time within my general availability that you are able to take this call.

I can also provide some tips for preparing your own ideas for cuddle positions and activities you’d like to try, and if you want to know I will explain the short exercises I like to go through with first-time clients to help transition into full physical contact and practice expressing your wants, needs, and boundaries candidly and comfortably. If we are having an out-call session in your own space, I will let you know what is required for preparing your specific space for the session (a more generalized list of requirements is included below). I will send an email confirming your session date and time when it has been decided. Once we’ve booked a session, we can also continue our exchanges through text, as opposed to email, if you prefer.

At the end of your session I will ask if you want me to follow up with you in a day or a week to see how you are feeling. You are encouraged to take this time to reflect on your experience and can then, if you would like to, share any changes you noticed in yourself physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually between how you felt before the session and how you felt during and after your session up until now. This conversation will serve as a reminder that I am always here and happy to help if you feel at any point moving forward that having another session is something that will help you work towards achieving your self-care desires and goals.

Session space requirements: the session cannot occur unless these requirements are met in the session space. Clients are required to make a reasonably thorough and complete effort to establish and maintain the following session environment. They must have a legitimate justification for any conditions which cannot be met and must have clearly communicated any such justifications to me prior to booking the session. If needed for your individual space, I can bring materials with me that I use for setting up the session space for in-call sessions. In this case, please allow an additional 15 minutes before and after the session for the set up and break down. As with the 10 minutes changing time, this 30 minutes total will also not count towards the session time.

  1. Client’s physical body: respectful hygiene, freshly showered with soap, teeth freshly brushed with toothpaste, wearing freshly cleaned clothes that meet Code of Conduct requirements.
  2. Physically touched surfaces: any surfaces or fabrics which we will be in physical contact with must be disinfected between the last time anyone has touched it and the session start time (within 24 hours of the session start time at most). We will need a bed or a cushioned surface like a couch/futon or a floor space covered with thick mats which is set up with clean blanket(s)/sheet(s) covering all 4 corners and clean pillows/pillow cases. The surfaces we will come into contact with must be freshly cleaned: e.g. sheets, blankets, and pillows/pillow cases.
  3. The air we breathe: clean, fresh air in the room. This can be accomplished by having a window open and a fan to air it out beforehand. No strong smells like food, garbage, or perfume/air freshener.
  4. Temperature and humidity: ideal temperature range of 70-80F. In many cases, this means that A/C is needed. Not overly dry or humid as to be uncomfortable.
  5. Sources of light in the space: I need to have non harsh lighting, non-fluorescent if possible, not bright but calming.
  6. Sound and noise sources: Little to no presence of loud, continuous, and/or distracting noises like children playing or TV/music blasting. Measures are in place to block any noise which is out of the client’s control like neighbors, construction, trains, or cars.

Payment methods currently accepted at this time are cash, PayPal, and Venmo. However, I am open to discussing other online payment methods if these options are unavailable to you (e.g. Chase Pay). I cannot accept personal checks for payment. For first-time clients, half of the session cost is the required deposit in order to book a session, and the other half of the session cost is due at the start of the session. If online payment is an issue (i.e. cash is the only option available to you) we can arrange a 10-15 minute meeting in a mutually agreed upon public location to discuss and book a session. For return clients, sessions may be booked without a deposit, and the full session cost is due at the start of a session. You may cancel your session for a full refund of your deposit if it is 24 hours or more before the session time. Clients who wish to cancel a session within 24 hours of the appointment time will not be refunded the deposit and will require a deposit of half the session cost in order to book their next session regardless of whether they are a first-time or return client. If I need to cancel a session for any reason and we are unable to immediately reschedule it, the deposit will be refunded.

During the session, I will verbalize in the moment if any of your actions are testing or violating my boundaries and will ask you to stop said action(s). If you continue with the action(s) after this point, the session will be over, and I will leave if it is an out-call session or ask you to leave if it is an in-call session. This is another case in which a refund will not be received, as the client in this case is the one at fault for the situation and loss of session time. This is why I take such care before booking an appointment in ensuring that I am able to offer what potential clients are looking for with a full heart.

Skills & Specialties

The Landmark Forum Reptile Exposure and Positive Interaction Therapy Vocal and Instrumental Musical Composition and Performance Alzheimer’s Disease In-home Assistance and Palliative Care Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Mindfulness Meditation ANS REWIRE Recovery Program Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia Care and Healing Self Myofascial Release Aqua Yoga

Availability

Please keep in mind when you submit your request that I am not available for same-day session appointments and that it is a good idea to have at least three specific dates and times available to check with me within the general availability I listed below to maximize our ability to still move forward with booking a session in the case that any one specific date and time is not available for me. I am currently only offering an in-person session to one client per day due to the newly increased safety measures.

Sunday: 3 PM - 11 PM *
Monday: 11 AM - 11 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM - 11 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM - 11 PM **
Thursday: 11 AM - 3 PM
Friday: Not available
Saturday: Not available

* Except during Graceful Cuddle Workshop events, which are held about twice monthly from 5-6:30 PM. Note that these in-person events are virtual for the time being in accordance with temporary local mandates involving social interaction which are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. For event dates, see the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Grace-Heer-Coaching-and-Cuddling-125490610819867/events/?ref=page_internal
** I will be participating in the Landmark Forum in Action 10-session virtual seminar every Wednesday night from 7 PM - 10 PM from July 8th through September 9th.

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