The catalyst for Cecily Green to become involved in helping people came from her personal experience overcoming breast cancer.
As a cancer survivor, she saw couples dealing with the disease. She observed that often they would not talk about the issue at all as if there was no problem. The wife didn’t communicate her special needs to her husband and her husband was often confused and hesitant about touching her. This poor communication placed a wedge between partners, creating distance and lack of intimacy.
She became involved in UCLA’s Program on Adult Counseling. This sharpened her communication skills and understanding of human behavior. She was particularly concerned about the collapse of sexual intimacy between husbands and wives.
At the suggestion of her Program supervisor, she started becoming involved in the community, did alot of public speaking to raise awareness about the need for good communication. She felt couples needed support in reestablishing their intimate lives.
About that time, around 1975, she met Barbara Roberts, one of the original surrogates trained by Masters and Johnson. Barbara had developed a sex therapy clinic where she offered classes focused on sexual awareness. She was also training sex surrogates to work with male partners who had sexual problems.
Cecily was intrigued by this unique helping profession and, after conferring with her husband, she enrolled in the surrogate training program. She had a private practice with clients, also participated in intensives. In addition, she partnered with Barbara Roberts in training and supervising new surrogates.
She felt her greatest contribution was helping people feel more comfortable with their bodies and teaching them effective sexual communication skills so they could ask for what they wanted and respond to their partners’ needs.
She felt that every person needed to be validated as a good and worthy person. “Sexual validation is as necessary for life as foood, water and sleep,” she said. Her personal philosophy is that “every day is a joy and every problem has a solution.”
Cecily told me that one of her most moving experiences occurred when she was listening to the radio one day to a popular psychology talk-show host. The host received a call. Cecily immediately identified the caller as one of her former clients.
He talked about how important the surrogate experience had been for him, how much he learned, and how it changed his life. She said, “it touched me so much. I cried in my car..”
Her monumental surrogate career spanned 1975 to 1991. She may have retired from surrogate work, but Cecily has not retired from helping people. She continues to provide counseling and support to those in her community. She provides grief counseling, adult and family counseling and crisis intervention.
She has the heart and soul of a compassionate helper.
Written by Tara Livingston
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