Polyamorous and Open Relationships

Even though they both fall under the umbrella of consensual non-monogamy, polyamory and open relationships are two very different things. Polyamory means having multiple romantic relationships at the same time, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. An open relationship is a relationship where the parties are free to take new partners. Whatever form of non-monogamy you practice or are interested in exploring, you and your partner(s) will have to navigate things like boundaries, safe sex, and jealousy. If you are running into issues or roadblocks, seeing a qualified mental health professional provides a safe and supportive space to discuss your concerns and improve communication skills. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s polyamorous and open relationships experts today.

Meet the specialists

I have worked with a wide variety of relationship structures with clients that include ethical non-monogamy, poly relationships, relationship anarchy, etc.

— Gregory Gooden, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

Many therapists will try to tell you that monogamy is the only sustainable relationship model, even though one only needs to look at the statistics to know otherwise. There is no judgment in my office for relationship models that are different from the culture's only accepted model. I have personally lived a open relationship model since 1992.

— kaseja wilder, Counselor in Eugene, OR

I have been in polyamorous relationships since 2002, and have worked with both polyamorous individuals and couples.

— Amina Elfiki, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in OAKLAND, CA

Connection is what life is all about. When our important relationships aren't working, everything suffers. Yet, if you're in a relationship that is unconventional in some way, it can be that much harder to reach out for help, for fear your relationships will be criticized, or you'll be made to feel that you or your loved ones are the problem. Increasingly, people are discovering that non-monogamy can be a viable and sustainable way of being in relationship. Whether you are well versed in non-monogamy or just beginning to explore this option, I create space to explore what best fits your life and identity. I offer relationship therapy for non-monogamous individuals, couples and triads.

— Kathryn Stinson, Counselor in St. Louis, MO

My expertise with Polyamorous and Open relationships: I have worked with multiple couples exploring opening up their relationships, as well as navigating the complications that come from open relationships. I firmly believe that non-monogamy is not for everyone, and I am thrilled to help couples and moresomes navigate this rewarding way of engaging in relationships.

— Kelley O'Hanlon, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Redmond, WA

Polyamory may mean love without limits...but it certainly doesn't mean love without CHALLENGES. And none of us grew up with templates for anything outside the mono-norm. I often tell clients the great thing about consensual non-monogamy is it really makes us explore our issues and our insecurities. And the rough thing about consensual non-monogamy is it really makes us explore our issues and our insecurities! Together, we can find the path that works best for you.

— LAKink Shrink, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in West Los Angeles, CA

I've been involved with the consensual non-monogamy community since 2012, and have been working clinically with this community since I was in school.

— Julia Koerwer, Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

I've spent the past few years exploring the spiritual growth potential of healthy and conscious relationships that defy traditional norms. Whether you are curious to explore open relationships or have been practicing a polyamorous lifestyle for some time, I can support you in negotiating boundaries, clarifying desires, and managing the emotions that this still misunderstood approach to love can bring to the surface.

— Katrina Michelle, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY

Marriage and Family Therapy is perfect for the poly community, because it is all about relationships. As a poly-friendly therapist, I know that being poly isn't the only thing poly people seek therapy for, but rather I can work with and integrate the complications and often additional connections being some form of consensual non-monogamy calls brings. My work is sex positive and non judgmental.

— Daniel Stillwell, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Charlotte, NC

Society tends to define a romantic relationship as a one on one arrangement, but the truth is, that is not always the case. Whether your relationship involves two or more people, or whether you have (or are considering) an open relationship, working with a polyamory-aware counselor can help you to define your boundaries create agreements for a healthy relationship, cope with jealousy, and explore sexual and romantic relationships that fall outside of traditional concepts of monogamy

— Elizabeth Harles, Counselor in Raleigh, NC

I am well-versed in ethical non-monogamy. If your relationship involves consenting adults, then you are welcome here. If you want to discuss issues that connect with your relationship structure, I will be non-judgmental and supporting. If you want to discuss other issues that have nothing to do with your relationship structure, I will not tell you that non-monogamy is the problem. Finally, if some of you are more enthusiastic about non-monogamy than others, I can help you work through it.

— Gretta Duleba, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

I have been involved in the swinger lifestyle ("The LIfestyle") for several years now. I have helped numerous people understand and navigate the

— Monte Miller, Psychologist in Boerne, TX

I specialize in working with singles, couples, and groups who are exploring or approaching issues in alternative relationships and alternative family structures, including ethical non-monogamy, polyamory, kink, living single, co-parenting, and chosen family. I also bring extended knowledge about: * compersion (“the opposite of jealousy”) * coming out and living out in the context of SOGIE, alternative relationships, and chosen family * relationship shifts and transitions * interdependence in long-term romantic relationships Yes, all relationships shift and change; yet, love can regenerate again and again in the most mysterious moments and forms when we stay open and curious.

— Anna Hirsch, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oaklnd, CA

All forms of consentual non-monogamy are welcome at TheraBee. I work with individuals who are, who want to, or who are curious about practicing ethical non-monogamy. I also offer relationship therapy - even if there are more than 2 people in the part of the polycule that want therapy!

— Andrea Bezaire, Psychologist in Ann Arbor, MI

I live and work in the open relationship community and I have the experience to help clients negotiate particular aspects of their communication and relationships or I can more simply be the therapist that is accepting of clients lifestyle.

— Joe Zarate-Sanderlin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have been involved in and had friends and clients in non-monogamous and/or kink communities in the SF Bay Area for 5 years. Monogamy, asexuality, relationship anarchy ... I welcome all relationship types in my office. To hear more about my thoughts on polyamory, listen to this podcast I did earlier this year: https://www.meridian-counseling.com/podcasts/2018/9/9/episode-29-understaning-polyamory-from-a-new-perspective

— Valerie Beltrán, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Lafayette, CA

Negotiating the rules for non-monogamy isn't easy. And yes, there are rules. In fact, there are often more rules in open relationships than there are in "monogamous" couples. Monogamy used to mean one partner for life. Now it simply means one partner at a time. Though I myself am monogamous, I have helped many couples navigate the expectations and boundaries of their relationships- some who have faced infidelity and others who are opening their relationships for the first time.

— Mark Cagle, Counselor in Dallas, TX

Open relationships are more about transformation rather than exploration. Embracing our infinite ability to love, we are reminded of the possibilities of transforming our own lives by letting go of the binds and tight holds we have on each other and begin embracing ourselves do we truly understand what love really looks, feels like, and means. True autonomy and freedom are about transformation not exploration. If you seek open relationships for some other reason you may be missing the point.

— MOUSHUMI GHOSE, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in TOLUCA LAKE, CA

I believe that love is love. I think our cultural tendency to default to the concepts of monogamy are mostly just that -- a cultural default. I have known personally and professionally the possibilities of relationships that are other-than-monogamous. I am familiar with the inherent challenges and respect every individual's right to choose all of their relationships. I also recognize -- very importantly in a conservative community such as where I practice -- both the impacts of extended family and community relationships and the crucial importance of discretion. As with all of my clients, professional confidentiality is adhered to with vigilance.

— Tracy Morris, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Spring, TX

Finding a therapist who is comfortable with the notion of non-monogamous relationships can be a difficult task. Those currently in or seeking to explore any form of consensual non-monogamous relationship often find their ability to commit, mental health, and sexual interests questioned and pathologized by family, friends, and greater society. In my practice, I provide therapy from a trained and affirmative perspective on consensual non-monogamy.

— Grant Gordin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

I have both professional and personal experience in initiating and navigating ethically non-monogamous relationships. It can be a very exciting journey full of discovery and connection but it can also be challenging. I give partners and individuals tools and resources to understand and minimize the negative possibilities and enhance the positive ones.

— Jamila Dawson, Sex Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Communication is important but I take this topic deeper by exploring relationship traumas and attachment issues. We will work on co-creating the relationship environment you most desire by using transparent communication, face value trust, relationship agreements, externalizing foundational values, and exploring old patterns. I will also walk you through showing up for a partner's trauma and I have lots of resources to share.

— Lacey Stewart, Counselor in Albuquerque, NM