Facilitators

Touch and Be Touched

Wilrieke Sophia
The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht), Internationally upon request

Wilrieke is the founder of Cuddle Workshops International.

Years ago, her friend Steve Pavlina told her: "You should do something with cuddling. Your cuddles are magical!"

With the support of her partner at the time, they started giving small workshops in their living room. This quickly outgrew the small space - and Cuddle Workshops was born.

By now Wilrieke had been hundreds of workshops for groups up to 250 persons all over the world. From Copenhagen, to London, to Ubud and many other places. Her roots are still firmly planted in The Netherlands, and you'll find most of her workshops near Utrecht and Amsterdam.

Wilrieke also facilitates the Cuddle Workshop Facilitator Training.

Besides all this, she’s a mother of three daughters and she holds a MSc degree in Forest and Nature Conservation.

To find more about Wilrieke, her work and other things she does, check out the website of her company Exploring Deeper.

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Piero Flor
Belgium (Gent, Brussels)

Out of my own need for affection, connection and solidarity, I discovered the importance of touch and intimacy as healing for myself and also for a better world. I would like you to experience this empowering feeling as well.

My previous group work experience is mostly connected to activism around themes like climate justice, decolonisation, refugee solidarity and critical citizenship. I co-founded the organisation LABO (www.labovzw.be) through which I combine different group facilitation methods such as The work that reconnects, Theatre of the oppressed and Popular education.

I bring these diverse facilitating skills and work experiences together in the creating and popularising of my hugging workshops which I currently host in the city of Ghent, Belgium.

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Mel Bonajo
Berlin (Germany)

My name is Mel or Purrrrrrr (she/they/creature). I identify as a stinky raccoon, a genderqueer self-help comedy devotee, I am allergic to textile and I practice healing as a political tool. As an intersectional intergalactic crimeboss I am a learner and practitioner dismantling white supremacy, the patriarchy and capitalist indoctrination. We are a group-self, an artist, filmmaker, sexological bodyworker, a queer somatic sex coach & educator, a somatic psychonaut using the body as an earthship to travel space, a cuddle workshop facilitator and activist engaged in a peer to peer survivor run initiative tackling sexual harassment, sexism and abuse of power in the arts, schools and institutions. I love animals. I am the initiator of Skinship_a touch-based place for kinship_, which is an actual Queer/ Femme centered space in Berlin.

I want to know your touch language. Sometimes talking just isn’t enough anymore. How fluent can we become in learning each others touch language. Our body is a miracle. I believe that cultivating touch and friendship is a form of activism. We are all born into radical dependency. We restructure and reprioritize our body as a vehicle for connection, knowledge and safety by learning about our needs, desires and boundaries. Feeling is a form of intelligence. I trust that if I feel something you probably can feel it too. Let’s end this erosion of intimacy and jump and into a cuddle pile. I hear our Purrrrrr in one big friendshipgasm. 

Boundary BossMel BonajoSkinship Berlin
Djamie Hillekens
The Netherlands (Drenthe)

My name is Djamie, I’m a teacher, coach and I host Cuddle workshops and Cuddle sessions. About 16 years ago I developed a therapy based on touch. For me the Cuddle workshops and sessions I provide in Cuddle workshops.org are the
lighter, more fun versions of this therapy.

I am absolutely sure that being touched, being cuddled and touching, cuddling others makes us happier, more social, better connected and healthier. The positive reactions from the participants of my workshops proof that I’m correct. 
Starting as strangers, they end the workshop in pure connection, with happy faces, relaxed and grateful. 

I’m on a mission, the mission of touch, the Cuddle mission, reconnecting people with the purest form of conversation: touching each other.  In my workshops most and for all it is about creating and maintaining a safe environment. Participants take care for themselves, have lots of fun and reach a state of deep relaxation. Cuddle and make the world a better place. 

I organise all kind of Cuddle workshops and suggestions are welcome. I love participating on festivals and hosting workshops around the world.

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Noëmi Vilchez
The Netherlands (Amsterdam)
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Gert Lemmens
Belgium (Limburg, Leuven, Brussels), Netherlands (Maastricht)

Opening people's hearts, I think that's great. Especially from those who feel alone.
When I ended up in a divorce in mid-2017, the question arose: "What do I really need right now?"
Sharing pure affection, that was what I really wanted. And I realized that I was probably not the only
one in this situation. So many people feel alone, so why not bring these people together to share this
'skin hunger'.
After the summer of 2017 I followed my personal mission and Connected Hearts was created. Within
Connected Hearts, I create purity, connectedness and a loving experience through Connective
Workshops and Tantra Massages.
I want to give my clients the feeling of coming home. Like in a wonderful cozy living room, where the
fireplace warms the entire room and you are completely surrounded by the warmth.
I stand for safety, connection, strength, purity, warmth, healing and playfulness.

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Emile Wijnen
The Netherlands (Utrecht, Brabant)

I like to contribute to a world where people are there for each other, work together, live together consciously, and with respect for each other and for nature. Personally, I feel a great desire to contribute to transforming our society into one that is more relaxed and social. I see so many people whos life force energy does not flow sufficiently. By making (physical) contact with others, this energy can start to flow again. Deep relaxation and a sense of belonging can contribute to a sense of wellbeing.

In my cuddle workshops you can experience for yourself how it feels when your life energy flows and how nice it can be to be in a state of deep relaxation. My workshops are held in a safe, non-sexual setting where you are invited to express your desires and notice and indicate your own boundaries. And especially to enjoy!

In 2015 I came in contact with plant medicines, a journey that has greatly accelerated my awareness process. I assist at healing retreats where I have assisted many people in profound processes of personal self-examination. I'm also attending the Biodanza teacher training at the Biodanza School Amsterdam. Here I experience how valuable it is to surround myself with (like-minded) people. For me, this creates a deep sense of solidarity and belonging

In addition to mixed gender cuddle workshops, I also offer cuddle workshops especially for men, and you can book individual cuddling sessions with me.

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Arne Simon
Spain (Barcelona)

Arne is a therapist and coach from the Netherlands. Seeing the increasing disconnection and lack of - so much needed - physical contact in today's society Arne is inspired to bring back normality of physical touch in a non-sexual way. "We forgot how to hug each other for the sake just being held."


Through workshops and individual sessions, Arne guides you into safe non-sexual physical contact with yourself and others. Teaching you to express desires and boundaries and re-experiencing the joy of holding and being held. 

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