Jess, a woman who decided to open up her relationship while going to counseling, had to decide if she wanted to continue therapy with her current counselor who was critical of her relationship choices, or if she should find a practitioner who was more open, trained and non-judgmental of her polyamorous relationship. Jess, and guest host Heidi Savell, talk about what to look for when seeking a therapist who provides counseling to poly and non-monogamy folks. They define some common terms and language used in the poly community while also talking about the unique issues that can come up in counseling when addressing non-monogamy in session.
Jeff hands over hosting duties to Heidi Savell and she talks with Jess about finding a therapist that can help her navigate her poly relationship.
On the type of therapy Jess was receiving from her first therapist:
“The coaching that I was receiving for her was how to not be in the situation. Rather than the coaching that I needed, which was how to handle the situation. ”
On why she didn’t take a longer time researching and interviewing poly therapists:
“My thinking at that time was that if I looked I would be bouncing around for a long time. I wanted to just focus on counseling instead of trying to search for a counselor in order to focus.”
On what drew her to her second therapist:
“I really liked what he had to say on his website. There was also a really cute animal photo that kept drawing me in.”
On how she found out that her second therapist wasn’t very poly educated:
“There were a couple points where I was talking about something in my relationship and he would respond with something that I thought was a basic tenant of poly relationships but he would talk about it like some sort of revelation.”
Heidi, the guest host, on the importance of using poly language:
“I think poly folks have to come up with their own relationship language, otherwise we end up using language from monogamy culture that doesn’t fit the experience of poly people. That vocabulary is so important in order to not talk about things through the lens of monogamy.”
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