Updated: May 22
Practicing healing therapeutic touch on a sensual and sexual level takes a certain kind of person. Obviously compassion, empathy, and patience are must-have personality traits in this profession. Let’s dig a little deeper into what one really needs to be a successful surrogate partner.
Strong personal boundaries Surrogate partners place themselves in an intimate position in clients' lives. I have had clients tell me that they “hate” boundaries, and that makes me sad. Boundaries are what keep our clients and ourselves safe. Boundaries allow us to hold more space for our clients, because we aren’t consumed by our personal drama. Boundaries shield clients from unhealthy or inappropriate behavior, whether intended or not. Clients come to us for help; without strong boundaries our “help” would be wrapped in a blanket of projection and baggage.
Intimate knowledge of self Our job is to guide and teach clients about love and intimacy. Without a deep understanding of what these concepts mean to us, we are just blowing hot air. Knowing our own weaknesses and strengths makes us human and vulnerable. Vulnerability allows clients to relate to us as humans. We are providing a real-life service in real time. Sometimes our weaknesses will come through. When this happens it is important for us to be able to acknowledge, correct, and move on. For example: I am a very patient person, until I SNAP! I know this about myself. Therefore, when I see the warning signs of a SNAP on the horizon, I can switch gears and correct my course. Self knowledge is power.
Quick thinking in the moment When we are alone with clients in an intimate capacity we have to be ready for anything. Clients are experiencing all sorts of emotions during the surrogate partner therapy process. The effects of these emotions can manifest as out of the ordinary behaviors. It is imperative that surrogate partners are ready to respond NOT react in these situations. Responding means taking our ego out of the situation, seeing the bigger picture, and doing what is best for the client. Reaction is a knee-jerk action that may cause damage if not tempered.
Keen interest in self growth and continued learning SPT involves a psychotherapist -- surrogate partners are not clinicians. However, a keen interest in psychology is super important. Learning as much as we can about the history, present theories & research, and continuing developments in the field of psychology helps us to have a better understanding of our client dynamics. Being on a quest for knowledge keeps us sharp. Does this type of work resonate with you? If it does, consider joining our network of surrogate partner therapy practitioners and supporting therapists. We are dedicated to providing certification and continuing education, raising awareness about this powerful and effective healing modality, and raising the standards of our profession. Surrogate partner therapy transforms lives. The work we do at SPC is aimed at promoting a holistic approach to solving intimacy and relational problems. We understand that by healing individuals, we can impact families, communities, and society as a whole. Each person whose life is touched by a surrogate partner practitioner will carry that empowerment with them out into the world. We at SPC believe that learning how to relate to others in a healthy way is one of the most pressing issues facing today’s society. Please join us by supporting our efforts to help people heal through learning and practicing authentic love, intimacy, and connection.