Frequently Asked Questions
What is a typical SPT session like?
Every session is different. SPT is a progression of structured and unstructured exercises, meant to give the client hands-on experience that parallels the progression of a traditional relationship. In that vein, you can expect a “getting to know you” phase (the first session), in which I’ll ask many questions about your life and personal history, as well as answer your questions to better know me. From there, the core of the work is “sensate focus”—a mindful awareness of the body and way of touching and being touched that is of a non-demand nature, meant for pleasure versus performance. There may be breathing and verbal exercises. There is a hand caress, face caress, foot bath, etc. As sessions progress they encompass a gradual increase in sensuality and sexuality, always with the client's well-being and comfort level in mind. Pacing and activities are tailored to the individual needs of the client.
What if I don’t want to work with a therapist, but solely with a Surrogate Partner?
All true Surrogate Partners work solely with clients and their therapist. If you don’t already have a therapist, I can recommend one in Austin or Houston. And if you have questions about the triadic process (or anything else), I’m happy to provide information to help you reach an informed decision that honors your therapeutic needs.
How long does it take?
SPT can be expected to last 3-6 months, or longer. We meet every 1-2 weeks for 2 hour sessions. Some Surrogate Partners are available for 10-12 day intensives—a condensed program for clients who don’t have a SP in their area. Intensives usually entail meeting 3 hours every day, either in your area (the SP travels to you) or the area where your Surrogate Partner lives (you travel to them). I am not available for SPT intensives.
Is it just for men?
SPT is available to male and female clients of all sexual orientations, with Surrogate Partners of either gender. Some clients, particularly with histories of trauma, may choose to work with a same-sex surrogate who acts as a role model rather than intimate partner.
I work primarily with straight men, though I am open to female clients, LGBTQ, intersex, and all genders & sexualities.
What does it cost?
My rate is $200 per hour. Session length is two hours ($400) every week or other week. Expect the series to last 3-6 months or longer if necessary.
Where are you located?
I have a cozy, comfortable studio in central Austin.
When can we start?
I have a waiting list and am currently unavailable through 2019 at minimum. (Please contact IPSA for a list of available surrogates.)
What is the benefit of IPSA training?
The International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA) is the only professional training and certifying body for Surrogate Partners in the US. They adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, rigorous course of study, and the highest level of integrity.
Are you IPSA certified?
I was an IPSA supervised Surrogate Partner intern for 2 years following completion of their rigorous 100 hour training course (in May 2016). I eventually declined IPSA’s offer of full certification based on a difference of opinion about unrelated marketing materials for my coaching practice. (Please contact me for details or go here for a succinct explanation.)
While I chose to forego official IPSA certification I met every requirement including 100% positive evaluations from my IPSA mentor and Supervising Therapists. I’m grateful for my time under their stellar tutelage and supervision. I am and always have been committed to standards of ethics, integrity, skill, and continuing eduction at least as high as IPSA’s.
What is the role of a Surrogate Partner and their relationship to the therapist?
The role of a SP is multidimensional. Primarily, they are a genuine—if transitional—partner engaging in authentic emotional and physical intimacy, enabling the client to progress and build on a foundation of positive experiences. The SP is also a coach, guide, mentor, role model, and facilitator of healing. Much like a physical therapist who works in conjunction with a surgeon to help repair and strengthen injured/impaired areas, Surrogate Partners engage in hands-on experiential exercises that strengthen and heal areas the client is simultaneously addressing with the therapist.
An effective SP is intelligent, self-aware, empathetic, accepting, and emotionally and sexually open. They tend to have histories in the helping professions (teaching, nursing, massage, psychology, etc.) feel called to do this work. During SPT they practice full disclosure with the therapist, having thorough and informative discussions regarding the client's patterns, habits, and issues. They don’t presume to take on the therapist's role, yet are open and honest with opinions regarding treatment in the best interests of their shared client.
Is SPT legal?
While I encourage consulting on the issue with your professional organization, I can tell you there are currently no laws regulating Surrogate Partner Therapy and no surrogacy case has every gone to court. SPT is not prohibited in any state and it is widely used and accepted in California and other places.