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Therapist FAQ

How do I Supervise Surrogate Partner Therapy?

Is Surrogate Partner Therapy legal and ethical?

Where can I get more information about Surrogate Partner Therapy?

How do I Supervise Surrogate Partner Therapy (SPT)?

For therapists new to the modality of SPT, it's important to understand your role and your importance in the therapy. A good first step is to watch the following 1-hour video entitled "Supervising Surrogate Partner Therapy." This presentation was delivered by IPSA President Dr. Vena Blanchard at the AASECT Conference in 2014.

Beyond this, IPSA has experienced therapists who are willing to mentor those who are new to the modality. Contact me or IPSA for more information.

 

Is Surrogate Partner Therapy legal and ethical?

No state has any laws which prohibit Surrogate Partner Therapy. In California, at least two cases involving a therapist referring to a surrogate partner were reviewed by the CA State Licensing Review Boards and in each case the board determined that no unethical behavior was present. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, Kamala D. Harris of the Alameda County DA's Office stated unequivocally, ''If it's between consensual adults and referred by licensed therapists and doesn't involve minors, then it's not illegal.'' Kamala Harris is now (as of 2018) a US Senator representing California.

In August 2010, a licensed therapist I know contacted CAMFT (the California Association of Marriage and Family therapists), and a lawyer with that organization affirmed that if the surrogate partner is properly trained and educated, surrogate partner therapy is not unethical.

In any case, since there is no licensing or regulation of surrogate partners, the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA) has assumed the responsibility of assuring the therapeutic community and the public that IPSA members have received adequate training, achieved professional competency, and adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice. When I agreed, as a member of IPSA, to follow this code of ethics, I agreed to only see clients under the supervision of a qualified sexuality professional.

Where can I get more information about Surrogate Partner Therapy?

There are many resources and links on the links page as well as the website of the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA).

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