You can book an 8-hour hug therapy session with a "hug therapist", and I have a lot of questions

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Therapy is a significant milestone in many people's mental health journeys. Hug therapy is one of many various types of treatment that are currently available. Meet Xandria (@cuddleworks), a TikTok user who shares her experiences as a professional hug therapist on her platform.

@cuddleworks

#UnsealTheMeal #SmellLikeIrishSpring #cuddletherapy #cuddletherapist #lifechanging #cuddlist #storytime♬ rain on me - meral

Xandria tells how she became a hug therapist as a method to supplement her income at her full-time work in this video. She found her email filled of hug requests after being laid off from her full-time work, and her entire life transformed.

Screengrabs of a TikTok by user cuddleworks describing her signing up as a cuddle therapist
@cuddleworks / Via tiktok.com

Xandria's video currently has 588.2K views, 18.6K likes, and an inquisitive and shocked comment section.

Screengrab of the comment section of a TikTok video by @cuddleworks
@cuddleworks / Via tiktok.com

I chatted with Xandria, a psychology student at Penn State who was interested in snuggle therapy. Cuddle therapy, like talk therapy, is aimed to provide a secure atmosphere where clients feel cared for and may open up emotionally, according to Xandria. Xandria noted that cuddling therapy can help clients improve confidence and become more comfortable with setting boundaries, in addition to reducing tension and anxiety. "Clients are empowered to ask for what they want or to speak up about their inner issues or emotions in a safe environment during sessions," she said.

A selfie of TikTok user @cuddleworks
"I do not treat or diagnose mental health concerns, I simply provide emotional support and empathic listening," Xandria emphasized, adding that she is not a registered mental health expert. In addition to seeing a therapist, Xandria noted that many of her clients engage in cuddling therapy. Xandria Schaeffer Xandria Schaeffer Xandria Scha/@cuddleworks

Xandria begins a normal cuddle session by conversing with the client for a few minutes before initiating any physical contact, as comfort and consent are important aspects of cuddle therapy. Xandria remarked, "I need to be able to trust them to tell me if they're uncomfortable with something, whether it's the cuddle position or the topic of talk, so we can adapt or take a break. I swear I'll do the same for them."Physical contact in cuddle therapy might vary based on the client's requirements and desires, according to Xandria. Some folks will ask for back rubs or for their hair to be caressed during the session in addition to being held. As Xandria pointed out, in some circumstances there is no physical contact at all "Not all customers want to be touched. Many clients require someone to maintain a safe environment and offer emotional support as well as discourse."

A woman wraps her arms around another person
Xandria usually works in a "cuddle studio," which focuses on creating a pleasant atmosphere with elements such as aromatherapy and ambient lighting. During the cuddle session, clients are also given the opportunity to converse. Xandria remarked, "It can vary drastically once we start cuddling. Some customers like to converse in a more casual, friendly manner, while others want to approach it more like therapy and vent." Xandria also mentioned that some clients prefer to cuddle in silence while others prefer to watch a movie. Getty Images/iStockphoto/Fizkes

"I find that for most people, two to three hours is enough time to talk about whatever they need to and gives us an opportunity to explore those pieces or just for the client to rest," Xandria said of the ideal length of time for a cuddling therapy session. She does, however, offer eight-hour sessions for a complete day of relaxation, which include a dinner break and the option of doing something else, such as going for a stroll.

@cuddleworks

Some of my clients struggle to ask for what they want in a session. They feel guilty or like they’re being a burden on me. They have been told that touches bad and they are so afraid of crossing lines or being rejected that they are afraid to ask for what they want in a session. #AFairShotWithBlock #SmellLikeIrishSpring #GameTok #cuddletherapy #cuddlist #cuddletherapist #touch #consent♬ FAMOUS PEOPLE ARE USING THIS SOUND OMG - neptune

Like all forms of therapy, Xandria makes sure that boundaries are established and To protect the comfort of herself and the client, Xandria establishes and understands limits before the session begins, as she does with all forms of treatment. Open and honest communication, platonic physical care, and respect for the client's confidentiality are all examples of these boundaries. Xandria remarked, "Consent is never implied, but boundaries are, and the session is conducted in a professional manner. I address these issues in my pre-screening, as well as orally when we collaborate."

She also pointed out, "Finally, both parties feel comfortable asking for what they want while also uttering and hearing the word "no." Cuddle therapy is therapy, and it is clear that it is not something else."

Xandria admitted that she was first hesitant to tell her friends and family about her choice to become a cuddling therapist. "When I initially became a cuddle therapist, I didn't know what to make of it, and I didn't know how the rest of the world would see it," she added. Her relatives and friends, on the other hand, reacted positively to the news.

TikTok user @cuddle works stands in front of a wall
Xandria Schaeffer/@cuddleworks

Cuddle therapy can help a variety of people, according to Xandria, including those who are lonely after a breakup or the loss of a loved one, as well as those who are in a relationship but lack physical contact. Cuddle therapy can also help people who are afraid of being touched. "This program allows people to overcome their phobia of contact on their own time and in a secure atmosphere. Cuddle therapy is a secure area for people with social anxiety to practice social skills and gain confidence. One of my clients said I helped them reclaim their humanity "Xandria expressed herself.

"Think of sleepovers you've had with friends where you stayed up late exchanging secrets and talking for hours; that's the kind of energy you get in a cuddling session," she continued. If you want to book a cuddle therapy session, Xandria suggests looking for someone who is qualified.

Xandria mentioned that viewers have expressed support and curiosity about her work in reaction to most of her TikTok video. In the end, she said, "Skeptics will always exist, and I make every effort to demystify and de-stigmatize this service for them. I do get the occasional hater, but it's usually because they're in desperate need of a cuddle."

Do you think you'd go to a cuddle therapist? Why do you think that is? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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