Interactive therapeutic touch practitioner

I’ve been thinking of various job titles for what I do as a professional cuddler. I have seen many others call themselves therapeutic touch practitioners, and that is what we are, but so are massage therapists and others who practice various tactile modalities. What sets professional cuddlers apart is that we invite our clients to touch us platonically as well as to be touched by us platonically. That’s why I like putting the word interactive in the job title.

Personally, I would love to just tell everyone I’m a professional cuddler — I mean, there you go, I just did — but I understand that a lot of people think of the word cuddle as something not professional, or they don’t see the therapeutic value of it. That’s why I’m thinking of other ways to tell people what I do in this profession.

What do you think? If you are a professional cuddler, does the job title interactive therapeutic touch practitioner resonate with you? If you are not a professional cuddler, how does the job title strike you?

Taking ASL is like taking dance, language, communication, & anthropology

I put this diagram together on Popplet to impress upon my students how many skills it takes to learn ASL– and how many skills they can develop by learning it. Like dance, ASL involves coordination, movement, and space; like any language (foreign, world, modern, spoken), ASL involves grammar and vocabulary; like communication, ASL involves conversation and structure; like anthropology, ASL involves culture and diversity.

There are also several connections that are shared by ASL and at least two other disciplines (I colored these magenta): like communication and dance, an ASL course involves structure, articulation, memorization, rehearsal, partner work, and audience; like language and communication, an ASL course involves conversation; like anthropology and dance, an ASL course involves culture.

So much goes into learning ASL, and so much can come out of it! I hope that this diagram and these words will help give students a greater respect for the complexity in store for them as they embark upon learning ASL.

ASL is Multidisciplinary

Interpreter, appreciate thyself.

Physician, heal thyself.

–ancient proverb

Yesterday was Interpreter Appreciation Day. I’d like to propose the day after be dubbed Interpreter Self-Appreciation Day. It is reassuring to be appreciated, but our consumers and colleagues may not always take the time to express their appreciation. What is more, even when people express their appreciation, we may not absorb it, claim it, revel in it– unless we appreciate ourselves.

So, appreciate yourself, dear interpreter! Soak up all that appreciation you received yesterday–and any day of the year–and own it. Next time someone tells you you are good at something, say to yourself, “Yes, I am.” Next time someone tells you they appreciate you, say to yourself, “So do I.” After all, you have to believe you deserve appreciation in order to, well, appreciate it.