Selecting an Appropriate Surrogate Partner
It is important to consider who will be most useful to the client’s learning and then to interview and select a professional surrogate partner with the necessary expertise for that specific case. Experience level, physical appearance and age vary widely among surrogates. Physical appearance and age are usually the least important criteria. It is often desirable to avoid meeting the client’s “ideal” in order to provide optimal learning for the client about “real” relationships with “real” people. Adequate training and emotional maturity are essential to quality surrogate work. A supervising therapist may contact IPSA’s referral service to be assured of finding a well-trained, qualified professional surrogate partner.
Necessary Surrogate Qualities
Although there are no specific academic degrees required of a surrogate partner, there are certain personal qualities and life experiences that seem to provide valuable foundation for surrogate skill. These include: comfort with one’s own body and sexuality, warmth, compassion, empathy and intelligence. Non-judgmental attitudes, toward others’ choice of lifestyle, consensual sexual activities, and sexual orientation are also highly important.
Surrogate Partner Therapy is available to male and female clients of all sexual orientations with surrogate partners of either gender. Some clients with issues of inexperience or negative body image, or with histories of trauma, may choose to work with a same-sex surrogate who participates as a role model rather than as an intimate partner.
Length of Therapy
Local Therapy: The client typically sees the surrogate and therapist each once a week, in 1 to 2 hours sessions, until the 3-way team decides that therapy is completed. An average course of Surrogate Partner Therapy includes at least 30 hours with the surrogate partner.
Intensive Therapy: Structured to accommodate clients who do not have access to a local surrogate partner therapy, the client sees the therapist and surrogate on a daily basis for a predetermined length of time (usually 10-14 days). Click here to read more.
- Fees vary according to a variety of factors, including surrogate experience and geographic location.
- Surrogate partner fees are similar to the average hourly fee of therapists in the same geographic area.
- Each session with a local surrogate partner typically lasts 1-2 hours.
- Clients pay therapist’s fees separately.
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