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IPSA Referral Service

  • Referring clients to therapists or to a therapist-surrogate team  

  • Referring therapists to well-trained, ethical, professional surrogate partners

  • Helping clients and therapists determine whether Surrogate Partner Therapy is the right course of treatment for a particular client.

Surrogate Partner Therapy is an adjunct form of therapy in which a therapist, a surrogate partner, and a client form a three-person team in order to better understand and resolve the clients’ long-standing difficulties with physical and emotional intimacy. The two most common forms of this therapy are local therapy and intensive therapy.

When a surrogate and therapist are both available in the client’s community, the client may participate in local therapy—typically meeting with the therapist for about an hour a week and meeting with the surrogate partner for 1-2 hour hours each week. The first meeting between surrogate and client is arranged by the supervising therapist. The client continues to see the therapist for private, counseling sessions, and the therapist and surrogate consult via phone or in person, usually after every session with their mutual client.

When local therapy is not an option, clients may still be able to participate in surrogate partner therapy by working intensively with a therapist and surrogate. IPSA provides clients and therapists with information and referrals, helping clients who need surrogate partner therapy find programs that will work for them.

The first step in the referral process involves determining whether Surrogate Partner Therapy is likely to be the right course of treatment for you or your clients. IPSA offers free phone consultations to assist clients and therapists in this initial decision-making process.

Intensive Therapy

Intensive Therapy is a condensed program of Surrogate Partner Therapy. During an Intensive, a qualified therapist, an IPSA surrogate partner, and a client meet every day to work on resolving the client’s social, sexual, and relationship difficulties.

IPSA organized the Intensive Therapy referral program so that individuals from across the country and around the world would be able to participate in high-quality Surrogate Partner Therapy at roughly the same cost as a local program.

If the client is currently in therapy, the client and the client's current therapist may contact IPSA to discuss whether this is the right course of treatment for the client and whether there is a surrogate member willing to travel to their area to work with the client and the client’s local therapist.

Alternatively, the client may travel to a different location to work with a therapist and surrogate team there. California Intensives are the most common and easiest to arrange.

IPSA will work with you to set dates for the Intensive. If the Intensive will not include your current therapist, you will receive a phone call from the IPSA therapist member who will be supervising the case and supporting you through it. In this call, you will be able to discuss your history, ask questions, and begin to build your working relationship with the therapist. This therapist will direct your intensive program and obtain daily feedback from you and your surrogate partner. You will have many opportunities to discuss your personal issues and concerns with your team therapist throughout the Intensive. Read more about Intensive Therapy

Local Therapy

Surrogate Partner Therapy is available in an increasing number of communities worldwide. To determine whether Surrogate Partner Therapy is available in your community, you may contact the IPSA Referrals Coordinator, and take a look at the map of IPSA-certified Surrogate Partners. Intern surrogate partners are not listed on this map but may be available in your community.

IPSA endeavors to refer clients who do not have a therapist to local therapists with expertise in the treatment of the client’s specific concerns. IPSA can assist both the client and the therapist in determining whether working with a surrogate partner is the best course of treatment for the client. Often the client’s current general therapist is able to serve as the supervising therapist for the Surrogate Partner Therapy.

When a supervising therapist and client have determined that Surrogate Partner Therapy is the right course of treatment for the client, the therapist first interviews and then initiates a referral to a professional surrogate partner. IPSA can advise therapists about referral options in their communities and, when possible, will refer therapists to local, IPSA-certified surrogate partners or IPSA Interns who are working toward IPSA-certification. When local surrogates are not available, IPSA will advise the therapist about any other referral options that may be appropriate for their client(s).

If you are a therapist considering Surrogate Partner Therapy for your client(s), please contact IPSA’s Referral Coordinator for more information about the responsibilities of the therapist in this therapy, the appropriateness of this therapy for your specific client(s), and to request referrals to IPSA-certified surrogate partners. Every effort will be made to assist you in meeting your clients’ needs. Please contact the Referrals Coordinator for information and/or assistance (1-310-836-1662). If you are a client seeking referral to Surrogate Partner Therapy, please include your location when you request assistance from IPSA.

Message to Prospective Clients:

You may be able to obtain initial information about surrogate partner therapy from your current therapist. Please have your therapist contact the IPSA Referrals Coordinator to begin discussions about local referrals and Intensive Surrogate Partner Therapy. If you are not currently in therapy or your therapist prefers not to participate, the referrals coordinator will assist you in deciding whether this is an appropriate avenue of therapy for you and will endeavor to find a therapist who can assist you in resolving your issues.

Message to Referring Therapists:

If you have a client who you think might benefit from Surrogate Partner Therapy, you are invited to contact IPSA to learn more about this adjunct form of therapy, and to initiate the referral process for your client.

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