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Certified Cuddlist

Session Rate: $80/ hour (virtual/ video sessions only)

San Francisco, CA

About Kel

***UPDATE as of 3/13/20 ***

In order to be proactive and protective of the health of my clients and community, I am temporarily suspending all in-person sessions. Out of recognition that this is the time we need connection more than ever, I am now offering supportive video visits for the reduced fee of $80/ hour.

Visits will include empathetic listening and support, psychoeducation, and guided self-compassion and mindfulness practice.

Contact me to schedule a free, no-risk, 5-minute getting-to-know-you phone call.

*Please note that I am not licensed as a clinical psychologist and am unable to diagnose mental illness or provide psychotherapy.


As a health psychologist and fellow mammal, I am enthusiastic about spreading the word on the power of physical touch to improve health, cognition, and emotional well-being. Professor Dacher Keltner describes touch as “our primary language of compassion… truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and heath”.

Unfortunately, much of Western society – particularly in the United States – is touch phobic and touch deprived. One of the first documentations of this was made by the pioneering psychologist Sidney Jourard, who observed pairs of friends as they interacted in cafés across the globe. In Puerto Rico, the average duo touched each other 180 times per hour; in France, the average number was 110; in the United States, this number fell dramatically to 2.

The health benefits of physical touch to infants has been well-established, such that pediatricians now regularly prescribe “kangaroo care” between parent and newborn. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 studies including data from over 3,000 low birthweight infants found that infants randomly assigned to receive kangaroo care had improved weight gain and significantly reduced risk of infection, hypothermia, and mortality compared to infants that received conventional neonatal care.

Experimental research with mice and observations of human infants in orphanages speak to the incredible power of touch to strengthen the body’s immune system and increase resilience to stress. A study using functional magnetic resonance imaging provides evidence that physical touch can dampen the neural stress response in healthy adults as well.

I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Science and conduct research on mind-body medicine. As such, I am well-versed in additional, non-touch methods of releasing oxytocin and GABA including singing, breath work, meditation, and mindful movement (e.g., yoga).

I look forward to meeting you!

Skills & Specialties

Psychotherapy meditation teacher mind-body medicine and mindful movement researcher


Please contact me to schedule.

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