My name is Michelle and I’m a surrogate partner, intimacy coach and human connection coach based in the Baltimore area, serving the Mid-Atlantic and seeing monthly clients in San Diego, CA. I’m guessing you’ve recently heard of Surrogate Partner Therapy, also commonly called Sex Surrogacy, and you’ve hit the interwebs to see what you can learn. Congratulations on taking the next step in your personal journey. I’m really excited for you!
Surrogate Partner Therapy is for clients that are seeing a therapist and need support around areas like:
PE (Premature Ejaculation)
ED (Erectile Disfunction)
difficulty reaching orgasm
I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Are you looking for intimacy coaching and you don’t have a therapist? I invite you to fill out the contact form. We can explore your options.
What is Surrogate Partner Therapy?
A surrogate partner, sometimes called a sex surrogate, is a trained professional who works with clients in therapy as part of a three-way team in conjunction with an accredited or licensed therapist or clinician. The surrogate is a nurturing partner to the client, helping them build skills in the areas of physical and emotional intimacy achieved through experiences involving communication, relaxation, sensual and sexual touching, and social skills training.
Sessions with the therapist are interwoven with the surrogate/client sessions, and “an open, honest, consistent communication among all participants is a fundamental ingredient of successful surrogate partner therapy” as stated by IPSA, the International Professional Surrogates Association. The surrogate and therapist collaborate jointly to move the client forward effectively toward reaching their personal goals.
While there are some typical exercises and milestones across most surrogacy, each practitioner will have their own style. Since all clients are unique, the process can be very unique too.
Surrogate partners work with a wide variety of clients, each practitioner setting their own parameters. While most of my clients are cis men, I am comfortable and confident working with the complete gender spectrum.
There are many ways Surrogate Partners practice Surrogate Partner Therapy (SPT). For myself:
• I see SPT as a modality most effective when the client is well established with a mental health professional and continues after our work is completed for as long as needed to process the completion of our work together.
• I value the attachment nurtured between the surrogate partner (SP) and the client as part of the healing modality. This is why I feel a mental health professional is essential in the triadic model. The clinician positioned outside of the relationship allows reframing and generalization of feelings that occur within the client-SP relationship. This objective view is, at times, impossible for me, as the surrogate, to communicate and is essential for client growth.
• I approach the work as both a trained practitioner and as a vulnerable human being who has authentic feelings and responses when relating to another. That authentic connection is also part of the healing modality.
• I’m committed to engaging with my clients from a place of boundaried compassion.
• Outside of this therapeutic and triadic model, I offer other modalities of work with clients, such as cuddling and intimacy coaching, in a much more limited container. That work is not SPT, has different goals than SPT, and is not a substitute for SPT. These other options are an offering of different modalities for individuals with different needs.
How did I become a surrogate partner? Great question! When my marriage of 18 years ended in the spring of 2014, I wondered what I would grow up to be. That’s about the same time I found a sex educator named Betty Dodson. After attending Betty’s workshop BodySex, I knew I wanted to work in hands-on sex education.
Looking for opportunities to educate my community, I trained with Cuddlist to be a professional cuddler, a very new industry, at the very beginning of their launch in December 2015. Professional cuddling, aka Cuddle Therapy, was actually a great way to get into hands-on sex education. I was teaching my clients the building blocks to a quality sex life – communication, consent, and boundaries.
I had a curiosity around Surrogate Partner work since seeing the movie The Sessions in the summer of 2014. Living in Michigan, though, didn’t give her much of an opportunity to explore the field. Local therapists weren’t using the services of surrogates. BUT… then I moved to San Diego, California and began Surrogate Partner Therapy training with Integrative Mind Body Therapies…
In late 2019 I relocated to the Baltimore area and began working with therapists in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. My clients travel from as far as New York. Additionally, I travel monthly to work with clients in San Diego and across Southern California. Location doesn’t have to be a limiting factor. I love to travel!
In my private life, I’m a mother to two sons and a dog mom. I have a supportive partner and I contribute to multiple sex-positive, gender, sexuality, and relationship diverse communities. I come to this work with maturity and a history rich with experience. It sometimes feels like my entire life was to bring me to this work. I love what I do.
Ready to schedule a consultation and learn more? Click here.
Certifications and Trainings:
Like A Pro – The Wheel of Consent for Practitioners (2021)
Rethinking the Erotic: Creating Therapeutic Environments that Center Ace and Aro Experiences (2021)
Neuro Somatic Processing Training (2021)
Working in the Expanded Triadic Model – Surrogate Partner Therapy (Integrative Mind Body Therapies 2019)
Mental Health First Aid (2019)
Advanced Cuddlist Training (2018)
Deep Listening with Kassandra Brown (2018)
Foundations of Facilitation (2016 and again in 2018)