The Founders’ Story

Danielle Harel + Celeste Hirschman

Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirschman’s partnership began over a decade ago when they met at a sexological bodywork certification training program. Bonding over their backgrounds in human sexuality studies and desire to help others experience more fulfilling relationships, they partnered to create a revolutionary new approach to sex and relationship coaching.

Together, they identified a gap in the industry: Some of their clients’ challenges required experiential approaches that could go far beyond what traditional talk-based therapies offered. At the same time, after teaching and practicing sexological bodywork for five years, Danielle and Celeste found that sexological bodywork and sex surrogacy had much broader boundaries, but still left many important aspects of sex and relationships out of the picture.

The duo decided to team up and create the Somatica Method by leveraging their unique expertise — Danielle has a PhD in human sexuality, a graduate degree in clinical social work, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and educational counseling; Celeste has a Master’s degree in human sexuality studies, a bachelor’s in women’s studies, and a background in research on adolescent sexual development.

Based on the belief that the skills required to make physical and emotional connections are learnable and teachable, the Somatica Method allows clients to practice real-time intimacy. It’s a holistic approach to sex and relationship coaching that covers emotions, communication, passion and sexual pleasure — while consciously maintaining boundaries that ensure the client and practitioner feel safe and comfortable.

As they built their practices and implemented the principles of the Somatica Method, Danielle and Celeste were excited to see profound shifts in confidence, empowerment, and relationship satisfaction in their clients (and themselves!). Their clients shed shame, showed their vulnerability, and became gentler, more loving, and forgiving of themselves and others. They claimed their desires, boundaries, and feelings openly, and became better listeners with their partners and the people they loved. With more empathy and compassion, they took better care of themselves and each other.

Realizing the powerful impact they could have by sharing the Somatica mission and tools, Danielle and Celeste launched the Somatica Institute in 2010. Through the training program — which is designed to benefit students both personally and professionally — they teach, certify, and inspire the next generation of sex and relationship coaches.

The results and feedback have been beyond Danielle and Celeste’s wildest dreams. They’ve transformed the lives of hundreds of students who have gone on to coach clients around the world. They’ve also built a tight-knit Somatica community, dedicated to helping people heal and grow in their sexual lives and relationships, while supporting each other in a variety of Somatica-driven careers.

Ready to meet the founders? Join Danielle and Celeste at their next free Somatica certification Q&A session.

  • Kai

    Celeste and Danielle are rare in the field — they are masterful teachers and practitioners and understand what it takes to create better relationships as well as a sustainable practice and business.

    If you are lucky enough to study with them and to have them as mentors, you could see positive changes in all areas of your life. I appreciate and draw upon this work all the time and in all kinds of experiences. It is no coincidence that so many people use the words “transformational” or “revolutionary” when describing Somatica.