Thoughts on certification?

[Deleted User]CozyTherapy (deleted user)
edited January 2018 in Professional Cuddling

Hi everyone-- I'm new to the site, hello hi howdy! I'm excited to be here as a professional and really looking forward to helping people through cuddling.

My question is about certification. I know that there are many amazing pro cuddlers out there, both certified and not certified, so I know that certification is not necessary in order to provide a top notch comfort session.

Still, personally I'm looking to expand my knowledge and am thinking about certification. I'm wondering if any other pros have thoughts on which programs are the most worthwhile? Also, for clients booking with pros, does certification have any impact on your decision? Or have you experienced any exceptional sessions where the pro has been through a specific training?

These are the ones I've been considering, please let me know your thoughts and if you have any other recommendations:
Certified Cuddlers
Cuddlist
Cuddle Professionals International Diploma Course

Thanks for the help :)

Mod Notice: Added poll as it was part of the topic that got merged into this one

  1. Should a professional cuddler have training?9 votes
    1. Yes
      55.56%
    2. No
      44.44%
«1

Comments

  • edited December 2017

    Hi @CozyTherapy. Welcome to the site! I'll be interested to see the range of responses that come in. I'm speaking as a client, and only for myself, but here are my thoughts: I've booked a lot of cuddle pros, and certification has never been an issue for me.

    On the plus side (for the cuddle pro) I imagine that certification might help her develop more confidence about how to articulate boundaries and deal with clients who might be disinclined to behave well. It might also provide the newbie cuddle pro with some "best practices" as a business person. That's all to the good.

    But from a client's point of view, what exactly does a cuddle pro's certification certify? An auto mechanic with ASE certification has had his mechanical skills tested and confirmed. A board-certified surgeon has had his medical knowledge and surgical skills verified. A Certified Public Accountant --- well, you get my point. By contrast, a cuddle pro can't be "certified" as being warm, affectionate, a good conversationalist, empathetic, intuitive, or snuggly. Does she give good hugs? There's no certification for that, so far as I know.

    I've knowingly met only one pro certified by Cuddlist. And it was obvious to me that what she got out of certification was a regimented way of _talking _about cuddling ... a ritualized approach to consent-based touch that felt a little forced and unnatural to me. Yet another reason why certification is not a selling point for me. The best pros I've met haven't needed it, and I'm not sure the worst ones would have been much improved by it. Of course, YMMV.

  • @CozyTherapy I would say if you are interested in certification then its worth pursuing. I am not sure however if it would impact your potential for clients though. I can only speak for myself, but if I were looking for a cuddle pal I would be seeking out someone I have a good rapport with, who seems genuine and authentic, and who is a sweet and kind person. I admit I don't really seek services of paid cuddlers so for me this is what I look for in any relationship with somebody, platonic or not.

  • edited December 2017

    Professional cuddling is an unregulated industry, so certification is only important to the companies providing it which earn income from it. There may be some benefits in learning the business practices and dealing with clients as @quietman775 mentioned.

    I thought about it for a while but decided that I'd skip it. I cuddled as an enthusiast for several months to get experience and to help me decide whether being a pro cuddlist was right for me. It seems to be a good fit for my personality, and I've gotten good advice from some of the pro cuddlers I've befriended on here. The karma you receive from your cuddlers on this site is probably the most useful form of certification you can get: reviews from happy clients.

  • @BlueIris...i couldn't agree more. These sites want our money. I could pay a million dollars for "certification" but it wouldn't buy my Karma. It wouldn't buy my sense of humor or my warmth or my comfort. It wouldn't buy my comfortable bedroom my sweet smile, my warm embrace. How do you quantify unconditional cuddles????

  • I've been absorbing every piece of information that I can recently trying to learn how to be the best pro that I can be. I saw these certifications and to me they honestly came off as scams to get money. $300 to get certified and $50 a year after that to remain on their website database. I'm all for the knowledge but lets be honest the best pros have the right personality for it and have learned through experience like anyone would. The best learning experience I would think is maybe just cuddling with some friends and people you trust and get a feel for it. Be confident in yourself and help the person with you feel confident as well to have the best experience.

  • @o0ashley Just out of curiosity, what are some sources of information you have found on being the best pro you can be?

    (Just hearing a statement like that makes me want to cuddle you! Sydney is a bit far from Texas though ...)

  • @respectful oh its just a little bit of land and water between us...lol just playing.

    Mostly it consisted of me reading any information I can find. Watching some videos. I have read a large chunk of these forums. I started really with a google search read everything that popped up in terms of how it helps people, advice on making sure the other person is comfortable. Heck some of the girls in the forums could even tell you I'm not afraid to ask questions and advice. The more I read the more I learn and its very possible I'll always be learning something new. But really the pros around here seem very sweet and helpful so that is much appreciated.

  • [Deleted User]DeliMan (deleted user)

    @o0Ashley all of your desire to learn makes me wish I lived closer too.

    Good luck as a pro cuddler.
    Dale

  • @DeliMan Awe you're so sweet thank you so much for your kind words :) Hugs sweetheart

  • You either got it out you don't. Affection and love comes naturally and everyone has their own unique style. No two people cuddle the same. We all have our own unique personality and way of being.

  • edited January 2018

    http://cuddlesanctuary.com/how-do-i-become-a-professional-cuddler/
    This video presents the viewpoint of a professional cuddler. My personal opinion is that I'd be more likely to see one who has the training/certification. What's your viewpoint?
    <3 Jim

  • edited January 2018

    Merged topics. @I_am_Polylover

  • http://cuddlesanctuary.com/how-do-i-become-a-professional-cuddler/
    This video presents the viewpoint of a professional cuddler. My personal opinion is that I'd be more likely to see one who has the training/certification. What's your viewpoint?
    <3 Jim

  • I can see the benefit of shared knowledge and experience, but I am not sure that I would want the person that I am cuddling to be controlled by a governing body that essentially tells me how I can be cuddled.

  • The only thing they should need training in is how to keep themselves safe, surely the rest just comes naturally?

    Sounds to me like a pointless course where you essentially are just paying for a certificate. I would think that experience is the only good teacher when it comes to cuddling, in which case I would say an aspiring pro cuddler would be better off seeing a few people they like the look of without charge. I'd rather pay for someone with good feedback than someone who has a degree from the Cuddle College and they would save themselves some $$$$

  • I agree with Alex. Most of the sites have training anyway, it just isn't charged for or publicized but it's part of being hired on as a pro. You read through, answer questions, explain your experience with cuddling, and certify that you understand. A lot of cuddling ability is what you learn from experience anyway, and I think that's the best way to learn. If I were a good business person, though, I would tell you that "my" cuddle training was the only good one and you should pay a premium for it, ultimately pushing for it to be a requirement ;)

    Cuddling comes naturally to humans; someone who isn't a pro can be as good or better than those who are pros depending on their cuddle experience/history. I don't think training makes much difference.

  • edited January 2018

    I don’t think certification should be required but experience makes a big difference . Though I am CPR and first aid trained which has come in handy with elderly clients that I’ve cared for .

  • [Deleted User]chococuddles (deleted user)

    A cuddling certification seems a bit much but I'm all for seminars and classes.

    Safety is an obvious one but another one could be 'business practices' including customer service, pricing and etiquette.

  • She's selling hard in that video, LOL.

    I'll say what I said on a similar thread that came up in the Professional cuddling section some time ago:

    From a client's point of view, what exactly does a cuddle pro's certification certify? An auto mechanic with ASE certification has had his mechanical skills tested and confirmed. A board-certified surgeon has had his medical knowledge and surgical skills verified. A Certified Public Accountant --- well, you get my point. By contrast, a cuddle pro can't be "certified" as being warm, affectionate, a good conversationalist, empathetic, intuitive, or snuggly. Does she give good hugs? There's no certification for that, so far as I know. Good karma from clients with credibility means more than any certificate.

    But then again, I'm just a recreational cuddler who cuddles because I enjoy it. I'm not looking for some kind of life coach to "hold space" for me (whatever that means) or any kind of quasi-therapy. If I ever felt I needed anything remotely approaching professional therapy, the value of certification would rest in my recognition and acceptance of the organization that issued it. That's why you trust your sensitive legal info to a lawyer you've never met, or your private health info to a doctor you've never seen before; you trust because a certifying body (like the state Bar or the state Board of Medicine) does. "Certification" from the Cuddle Sanctuary proves nothing to me, other than that the pro was able and willing to pay that company's fee. This training clearly benefits the Cuddle Sanctuary by opening up a second source of revenue for them, but I'm not convinced it benefits cuddle clients in any way. So I wouldn't be more likley to seek out a pro that had it.

  • Totally agree with everyone thats saying you either got it or you don't. People can do all the training in the world, but if your heart isnt in it, it just wont work.

  • [Deleted User]Greybeard (deleted user)

    I don’t think a cuddle buddy needs experience, you learn from each other. But if a professional touts the therapeutic value ofcuddling, and charges $80, $100 or more per hour, I think some background in psychology, social work, etc would be most beneficial.

  • Most therapist won’t see you for much less than $80-100 and they won’t touch you or cuddle .

    You could talk to them about what you are feeling and if you are looking for a therapist that is where should go .

    Many of us have been in caregiving professions for years . I’ve been caregiving for almost 20 years all ages . I’m not opposed to doing training though I find most of it useless Exersise I’ve dealt with that in jobs before .

    I’ve trained certified caregivers who went to school most lacked any ability to actually do the job , they had book knowledge . These things didn’t prepare them for reality of being a caregiver , experience is the only thing that helps that . This is why many didn’t make it past day 2.

  • I've not read everything in this post but I just want to point out that someone having a certification for cuddles would probably reduce the chances that they're scamming. Apparently that's a thing?

  • edited January 2018

    I can see the value in that to a certain degree you’ll get rid of amature scammers . Con artist get certificates to make themselves seem more legit

  • edited January 2018

    Paid Cuddlers and Free Cuddlers

    That sounds better to me given that there is no much difference between just the enthusiasts and paid cuddlers except payments and some can/are more selective.

    As for training no. Safety/ measures probably should be included in each person's enrollments.

    As for the actual work I think becoming more strict and better accountability so in case a cuddler decides to skip or something.

    Edit: Perhaps for clients too as I think the above can be done by a client too.

  • I'm pretty sure that these certifications are fairly new. But like I said in the other post I came across one charging $300 and as they are explaining their knowledge base it was learnt from experience. So if the teachers learned from experience then what real certification can they give me? Because they are new and not legitimate imo, whats to stop a pro just telling clients they are certified? "hey, I just decided it would look good if I was certified, ok well them im certified. That was easy!" lol. I mean, I'm all for learning and improving skill sets but these certifications just look like money scams to me.

  • I think there are valid reasons on both sides. I just feel that professional cuddling is still too new and not as socially accepted as we all would like it to be at this point for there to be any real certification program and recognition. I think for certification to really be taken seriously, the owners of the major cuddling sites and location would all need to come together and agree o. A program and then only hire pros that are certified. I think that would be the easiest way for a program to really take off.

  • edited January 2018

    Often I hear cuddling being lumped in with other therapeutic modalities, such as, say, massage therapy. I can see some parallels, particularly in the therapeutic benefit of the two and how they both give touch to the person, however they are vastly different in both technique and purpose. Biggest reason an LMT requires certification is due to the different techniques, styles, etc, such as reflexology, acupressure, trigger point, sports massage, Swedish, etc. If you don't know the proper body mechanics, pressure, etc, not only will in not be beneficial, but you can really hurt somebody. Whereas with cuddling, whether you are paid or non paid, it is still pretty much cuddling no matter how you dice it. Of course the person you cuddle with, their enthusiasm, presence, energy, how they make you feel in return, etc, is going to make the biggest difference to whether its good for you or not. Not necessarily what positions you cuddle in, what you wear, length of time, etc. So for that, I don't see a big reason to want to go out of your way to be certified, unless of course you are going into a brick and mortar type practice where it might be required, or unless you wish to advertise this about yourself because you feel it may add credibility and also make the client feel they are making a wise investment.

  • edited January 2018

    This is my response in a thread re this topic on the professional forum

    Often I hear cuddling being lumped in with other therapeutic modalities, such as, say, massage therapy. I can see some parallels, particularly in the therapeutic benefit of the two and how they both give touch to the person, however they are vastly different in both technique and purpose. Biggest reason an LMT requires certification is due to the different techniques, styles, etc, such as reflexology, acupressure, trigger point, sports massage, Swedish, etc. If you don't know the proper body mechanics, pressure, etc, not only will in not be beneficial, but you can really hurt somebody. Whereas with cuddling, whether you are paid or non paid, it is still pretty much cuddling no matter how you dice it. Of course the person you cuddle with, their enthusiasm, presence, energy, how they make you feel in return, etc, is going to make the biggest difference to whether its good for you or not. Not necessarily what positions you cuddle in, what you wear, length of time, etc. So for that, I don't see a big reason to want to go out of your way to be certified, unless of course you are going into a brick and mortar type practice where it might be required, or unless you wish to advertise this about yourself because you feel it may add credibility and also make the client feel they are making a wise investment.

    Something too to add on is that I myself am a social worker. I have professional licensure and continued education that must be done, as well as different levels of credentialing. Without this, social workers cannot be deemed as professional and not be able to be considered as possessing certain expertise relevant to your chosen field of practice. So something for paid cuddlers to consider is that in order to be taken seriously as a profession and as a therapeutic modality, you may eventually have to look into a standard of practice and certification to call yourself a professional. And perhaps a professional cuddlers association that overseas it. Would be something to think about for the future of cuddlers who want to be able to call themselves pros and open up shop somewhere. But without overcomplicating things, you basically either have it or you don't, and there are certain things nobody can teach you

  • [Deleted User]Greybeard (deleted user)

    @cuddlebugTM I don’t discount the training one gets via the School of Hard Knocks, as being equal to, or sometimes superior to classwork. But there are newbs every week, bless them all, but they have never actually platonically cuddled anyone, Snow they are a Pro because they signed up! Most of them aren’t around very long, and Nobody wins int that scenario.

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