Certified by the International Professional Surrogates Association
I grew up in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, moved to Los Angeles for college, and landed in the Bay Area in 2012. Though I was raised with the typical sex- and body-negativity of mainstream culture, I have my childhood interest in animals and biology to thank for my lifelong, firmly held belief that sensuality and sexuality are normal and natural parts of life. Humans are social animals. We need intimacy of various kinds to be healthy – physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Having the ability to explore and experiment with different kinds of intimacy, and find what works best for each of us is, I believe, our birthright.
I am queer, which for me means that I do not limit myself to dating or being intimate with any particular gender. My clients are men, women, trans people, cis people, non-binary people, gender non-conforming people, and people who don't use these labels.
I am half Japanese and half Polish-Jewish. I identify as a person of color, white, Hapa (a previously derogatory term, now proudly reclaimed, for half-Asian), and mixed-race. I see clients of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.
In many ways, mainstream culture separates us from each other, makes us compete for money and status, encourages us to judge ourselves against our would-be friends, and places a high value on the kind of busyness that hinders the development of true communities, a diversity of relationships, and the ability to truly and fully relax. Even at the prime of life, with jobs and families, many people realize that some hard-to-name inner need, a vulnerable need for closeness, is lacking in their lives. It is not selfish to identify and try to heal these needs. It is human.
I have been in therapy my entire life. I owe so much to my therapists, as they have supported me through the challenges of living in a rapidly changing world, my desires for unconventional love, and the pressure to find a sustainable, fulfilling career. Surrogate Partner Therapy called to me because I could see how valuable talk therapy was, and how work with a surrogate could greatly enhance it. When we grow up in a culture that either withholds touch or teaches us that touch is dangerous, one valuable solution is the simple, slow-paced healing touch that a surrogate partner can provide. Whatever your history, if you feel that your body needs more intimacy and compassionate touch, please visit my 'About Surrogate Partner Therapy' page and read on.
My Relevant Educational Experience
Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Southern California
Sexological Bodywork Certification Course through the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality
Like A Pro course with Betty Martin
Interchange Year-Long Counseling and Coaching Program
International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA) training and certification program
I am currently a student at the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education
About Surrogate Partner Therapy
When a person seeks professional help regarding intimacy, sexuality, relationships, body image, or related issues, Surrogate Partner Therapy can be a valuable addition to talk therapy. While talk therapy is often on-going, work with a surrogate has a defined ending point (which differs for each client). Surrogates work closely with therapists to tailor each surrogacy session to fit the client's needs.
The first time I meet you will be in your therapist's office. The three of us, client, therapist, and surrogate, form a tight-knit team. We work together to plan your surrogacy sessions, go at your pace, and move towards your therapeutic goals. Subsequent surrogacy sessions will usually be 1.5-3 hours long at my studio. I will start by asking you some questions about your history and what brought you to therapy. Then we will progress to a series of exercises, starting with breathing and relaxation exercises, and eventually encompassing touch of various kinds. These exercises gently encourage relaxation, body awareness, and intimacy. We will stop along the way to check in on how we are both feeling, what our needs are, whether we would like to back up or move forward. There is never any rush, and never any expectation of what we “should” get done in any given session. The exercises are there as a helpful structure, but we will always go at your pace, with informed consent at every step.
Clients often find Surrogate Partner Therapy helpful because there is no pressure to please the surrogate. There is no one “right” way to touch, no specific techniques that must be perfected. Our time together will be pressure-free, semi-structured, therapeutic, fun, challenging, and transformational.
Between our sessions, I will check in with your therapist. I will stay in contact with them throughout the therapy, and 3-person meetings can occur as needed. Confidentiality agreements will include all three members of our team.
Surrogates are actual partners with their clients, meaning that we will cultivate both a physical and an emotional connection. Having a genuinely loving short-term relationship with a professional surrogate can be tremendously healing. We will learn about ourselves as our relationship grows, and we will practice multiple forms of intimacy that are all part of the amazing human experience.
Surrogate-client relationships come to an end when all three members of the team decide that it is the right time. This is usually when the client feels that they have reached their therapeutic goals, and/or when they have found an intimate partner with whom they can continue their therapeutic work.
I am a certified Surrogate Partner through the International Professional Surrogates Association. Please visit the International Professional Surrogates Association website for more information about Surrogate Partner Therapy!
$200/hr in the San Francisco Bay Area
I am available for intensives, lasting 1-3 weeks, in other locations. Please email me if you are considering an intensive.
Get in Touch
Update January 2022: My practice is currently full and I am not accepting any new clients. If you are interested in being put on my waitlist, please fill out my intake questionnaire. Once I receive your responses, I will reach out to you to confirm your spot on the waitlist.
Please be aware that you will need to have an established relationship with a talk therapist before starting to work with me. My colleague Andrew Heartman has compiled this excellent list of therapists familiar with Surrogate Partner Therapy.
If you are interested in finding a different surrogate partner to work with, please contact the International Professional Surrogates Association.