What is Surrogate Partner Therapy?
Surrogate Partners work with a clinician (therapist) and their mutual client to form a triad/team. SPT is a hands-on supplemental modality used to model and practice healthy relationship, communication, and intimacy skills.
Who is Surrogate Partner Therapy for?
Generally, clients seek SPT because they experience obstacles to emotional or physical intimacy that prevent them from having healthy relationships. These obstacles may have physical indicators, such as orgasmic or erectile difficulty, genital pain, etc. while others are less immediately apparent. Clients often have a variety of backgrounds that contribute to difficulties in achieving healthy intimacy, such as a history of abuse or assault, lack of experience (sexually naïve/late-life “virgin”), social anxiety, issues surrounding orientation and identity as LGBTQIA+, or disability. Regardless of the obstacle, SPT addresses the whole person, rather than the symptoms.
What does Surrogate partner therapy look like?
I invite you to watch this touching segment from This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN. In this segment, you’ll see Surrogate Partner Emiko working with two different clients. My SPT sessions look very similar.
Meet Michelle Renee, San Diego Based Surrogate Partner Therapy
Michelle Renee (she/her), San Diego-based Surrogate Partner, often introduces herself as an emotional support human. Splitting her months between San Diego, California, and Baltimore, Maryland, Michelle works within a spectrum of connection as a Cuddlist® Certified Practitioner and an IMBT Trained Surrogate Partner. Michelle is also a Certified facilitator of Cuddle Party®, a consent and communication workshop. A student of Betty Dodson, she also facilitates female sexual empowerment and genital confidence workshops.
The primary focus of her work is to support clients in strengthening their connection to themselves and others. Through empowering personal agency and embodied decision making, the client gains the skills to trust themselves and their ability to advocate inside relationships with others, allowing them to live their most authentic lives.
Michelle’s work is personal. The skills she offers her clients are the skills she needed to acquire herself.