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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Surrogate Partners’ Experiences Working with Sex Therapy Clients: A Multiple-Case Study
by Bechthold, Jeffrey A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2020, 203; 27955507
Abstract (Summary)

This research study investigated how surrogate partners understand their experience working with sex therapy clients. Surrogate partners and surrogate partner therapy (SPT) have been neglected by scientific literature over the past half century. There is insufficient information on the practice of SPT and there is no information on the contracted clinical confederate role of a surrogate partner as described by the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA) in the United States. This study used Yin’s embedded multiple-case study methodology from a positive psychology theoretical perspective predominantly from the work of Seligman and also from Forgeard, Jayawickreme, Kern, and Seligman. Surrogate partner experiences were viewed with an exploratory perspective due to the general lack of recent information in the literature. A cross-case data analysis generated six themes (Altruism, Professionalism, Treatment not provided by clinicians, Unique calling, Being authentic, and Meaningful work) and supported all areas of PERMA that included interactions of the areas to explain data (Meaning-Achievement, Relationship-Achievement). The results of the thematic and pattern matching analysis supported a statement of lessons learned to answer the research question: surrogate partners experience their work as a calling, taken with the seriousness of a helping professional who has therapeutically bonded authentic relationships as part of a complex and dynamic intervention involving touch. This study improved theoretical knowledge in general psychology and positive psychology. Research generalizability was supported through a defined sample containing many similarities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Doogan, Mike
Commitee: Frese, Kent, La Guardia, Amanda
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Psychology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Sexuality, Social research
Keywords: International Professional Surrogates Association, Sex surrogate, Sex therapy, Surrogate partner, Surrogate partner therapy
Publication Number: 27955507
ISBN: 9798643170761
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