Professional Body Doubling as Support Service

Cherish Clinic is continuously redefining the landscape of support for neurodivergent individuals. In a world that often overlooks the unique needs of those with neurological differences, we strive for understanding, acceptance, and innovation. Professional body doubling is not just a service but also our commitment to embracing and creating a neurodivergence-affirming world.

Here is the body doubling explored by The Autistic Teacher.

Independence is culturally subjective

Body double is a normalized and integrated part of my culture of origin.  For example, in Western society, you must deliver your resume and attend job interviews alone.  In my culture, it is more normal to deliver a resume with your friends and attend a job interview with your family.  Western culture values independence whereas my culture values interdependence. Prospective employers can get a good gauge of who you are by the people you hang out with and the family’s involvement in job interviews shows how the prospective employee’s support system is committed to supporting this person in having a successful career.

I feel there is an unnecessary emphasis placed on “independence.” Everyone regardless of neurotypes experiences much internalized barriers (shame, guilt, and fear of judgement) in asking for someone to lean on and for help.

How does Professional Body Doubling better?

At Cherish Clinic, we approach body doubling as a normalized part of the human experience. Our professional body doublers not only share similar lived experiences but are also neurodivergent affirming and trauma-informed. This means they’re equipped with a deep understanding of the neurodivergent experience, and they approach each session with sensitivity, compassion, and a personalized touch.

In short, our service offers safety in emotionally attuned connection and interdependence and we may also be able to offer neurodivergent-centred hacks or strategies sourced from our collective lived experience.  Some of our support workers are licensed therapeutic counsellor and may be integrate processing and healing into the session if appropriate.

Spoon Giving

The term “spoon-giving” is inspired by the “spoon theory,” a metaphor used within the chronic illness and disability communities to describe the limited energy resources available for daily activities. In our context, spoon-giving refers to the therapeutic process where our support workers assist in completing emotionally or cognitively triggering or challenging tasks on behalf of our clients. This service is especially beneficial for those who find certain tasks not just physically, but emotionally and mentally taxing. And also facilitate healing and positive experience around these “burdens”.

  • Reducing Emotional Burden: For many neurodivergent individuals, certain tasks can be overwhelming, leading to significant emotional distress. Spoon-giving aims to alleviate this burden.
  • Conserving Energy: By taking on challenging tasks, our support workers help clients conserve their mental and emotional energy for other important aspects of their lives.
  • Empowering Clients: This service provides clients with a sense of control and empowerment, knowing they have support in areas that are difficult for them.

At Cherish Clinic, our spoon-giving services are personalized and varied, depending on individual needs. Some examples include:

  • Handling paperwork or administrative tasks that may be overwhelming.
  • Batch cooking with consideration for sensory and additional challenges around eating and feeding.
  • Assisting with organizing and decluttering spaces.
  • Helping with social or communication tasks that might be challenging.

Our services are ideal for those who:

  • Experience anxiety, stress or stuckness from specific tasks.
  • Feel emotionally drained or overwhelmed by routine or administrative activities.
  • Wish to conserve their emotional energy for more fulfilling or necessary tasks.
  • Those who experience social isolation and caregiver fatigues.