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What is Surrogate Partner Therapy?

Surrogate Partner Therapy is a practice that was introduced by Masters and Johnson in 1970. In this therapy, a client, a licensed therapist, and a surrogate partner work together towards a therapeutic goal related to sexuality. The surrogate partner's role on this team is to serve as an educator, mirror, and ally.

Surrogate Partner Therapy is a hands-on process. Through structured exercises, the surrogate assists the client in building skills in the areas of physical and emotional intimacy. This is accomplished through exercises in communication, relaxation, sensual and sexual touching, and social skills training.

What might Surrogate Partner Therapy include?

A large portion of the time is spent in experiential exercises that involve the body non-sexually. The majority of this time is spent teaching the client how to be aware of what is coming in through the senses. Surrogate Partner Therapy may include the following:

  •   Sensate Focus
  •   Sexuality Education
  •   Body Image Exercises
  •   Intimacy Exercises (not necessarily sexual)
  •   Social Skills Training
  •   Relaxation Exercises
  •   Sensual and Sexual Touching