top of page

About IPSA Training

IPSA offers training in human sexuality, intimate relationships, sex therapy, and surrogate partner therapy.  IPSA training employs a rich combination of lectures, experiential exercises, group discussions, and personalized feedback in order to optimize learning and growth. These courses are for people who want to become professional surrogate partners, for therapists who want to expand their clinical skills, and for individuals who want to enhance their capacity for physical and emotional intimacy.


Professional Training for Surrogate Partners and Therapists

Surrogate Partner Training

IPSA's training for professional surrogate partners is a two-phase process. 


Phase I is a 100-hour didactic and experiential course of study in human sexuality, sex therapy, and surrogate partner therapy. Each class is led by a team of experienced IPSA trainers who guide the class through a graduated learning program. Structured relaxation, communication, and sensual awareness exercises are integrated with non-structured experiences, group discussions, and lectures that develop trainees' self-awareness and capacity for intimacy, as well as developing clinical knowledge and skills. This course is the required first stage of training for certified professional surrogate partners and is an ideal supplemental education for counselors and therapists.

Successful completion of Phase I is a prerequisite for Phase II (Internship) for Surrogate Partner trainees

Phase II is a multi-year, multi-client supervised internship in surrogate partner therapy. Interns work with real clients and consult before and after every session with the clients' therapists and with experienced surrogate partners who serve as mentors throughout the Internship phase of training. Phase II is a required step for anyone seeking IPSA certification as a surrogate partner and continues until the intern has demonstrated competence and excellence as a professional surrogate partner.  

Therapist Training 

Training programs for therapists typically offer very little if any education in sexuality and sex therapy. Phase I of the IPSA training program is designed to provide college-level education in human sexuality and graduate-level education in sex therapy. The rich combination of analytical and experiential learning in this class mirrors the methods of sex therapy and surrogate partner therapy, which provides ideal education in these treatment areas and enhances the counseling and psychology training required for licensure. The course design provides each student with a multi-dimensional clinical education—developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for effective clinical work — as well as stimulating significant personal growth.

IPSA Surrogate Partner Training

Level 1: Human Sexuality, Sex Therapy, and Surrogate Partner Therapy Course
Level 2: Supervised Surrogate Partner Internship
Level 3: Case Consultations
Level 4: Continuing Education

Therapist Training

Level 1: Human Sexuality, Sex Therapy, and Surrogate Partner Therapy Course
Level 2: Supervision and Case Consultation


Length, Location, and Costs

Length: Phase I classes are approximately 100 hours of study and class time, and require a significant amount of reading, writing, and studying. Applicants may apply for either the 12-week class or the 12-day intensive class, or indicate availability for both. The content of the course is the same in the two formats; the class just meets more frequently in the 12-day format. 

Locations: Phase One is divided into an online seminars followed by an in-person courseMost classes are held in California. Classes are scheduled for other locations only when a sufficient number of appropriate applicants from a specific country, region, or locale are accepted into the training program. Internships occur in locations throughout the world.

Costs: Tuition for classes is $2,500 per participant. Partial scholarships are sometimes available.

Additional Expenses: Trainees are responsible for the purchase of an assigned human sexuality textbook prior to the beginning of the course, their own transportation to the training site, their own meals during the course, and the cost of lodgings for the duration of the training (IPSA often arranges for very convenient, reasonable cost lodgings at the training site.

During the Internship phase of training, interns may receive payment from clients for each session. From that income, the intern pays his/her mentor an honorarium of $15 per client session.

bottom of page