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

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

I am a sex-positive LGBTQI+ ally and am a poly-affirmative and kink-friendly therapist. I completed the post-graduate sex therapy and sex education certification at University of Michigan and am active in continuing education in the field of relationships, sex and sexuality.

— Ciara Braun, Licensed Professional Counselor in Birmingham, MI

Originally inspired by Dr. Ruth Westheimer, I knew I wanted to be a sex therapist someday. I just didn't know it was possible. After graduation I learned that I could specialize in sex therapy! So I did! As a graduate of U of M's Sexual Health Certificate Program, I welcome working with people in non-traditional relationships, whether they be open, poly, or "monogamish." I "get you" and honor your path!

— Paula Kirsch, Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, MI

Most of us are taught that monogamy is the only moral way of being in romantic relationship with others. While monogamy is a perfectly valid and wonderful choice for some, non-monogamy is just as valid and wonderful for others! Given the world we live in, though, non-monogamy comes with many obstacles that we have not been taught to navigate. Jealousy, for example, is normal and to be expected. It's how you respond to it that matters. And don't worry, my office has more than two chairs. :)

— Emily Graham, Therapist in Denver, CO

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

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

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

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

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

The idea of a polyamorous relationship scares many people. Yet one of the top sexual fantasies in the United States is having multiple sexual partners at once. That is not to say all poly relationship are sexual threesome or moresome. There are many different types and flavors of poly relationships. A huge relational conflict can arise when one person admits poly curiosity and the other has strict views of monogamy. I can help navigate and negotiate the turmoil between the couple.

— Philip Justice, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Jacksonville, FL

I draw from personal and professional experience in understanding the unique challenges and needs of this community. I approach this work with a focus on unpacking beliefs about roles and rules in relationships often internalized from our families and larger cultural narratives. I am particularly attentive to the power and control dynamics intertwined with all emotional relationship and that are often amplified through the practice of non-monogamy.

— Jessica Broderick, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

It's not easy finding safe spaces to address issues that come up around polyamory and CNM relationships in a monogamy-centric culture. We'll explore issues that are common within our community and the experiences of you and your partners around issues of communication, boundaries, navigating hard feelings, etc.

— Deanna Richards, Mental Health Counselor in NEW YORK, NY

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 San Antonio, TX

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

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

A therapeutic approach that is familiar with and affirming toward polyamorous and open relationships. This allows one to explore their current as well as desired structure of relationships in order to increase their intimate connections through learning how to improve communication and boundaries.

— Jor-El Zajatz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

All of our therapists have varying level of experience with different communities and experience within polyamory, but all of our therapists have competence and an expertise in working with polyamory and open relationships with individuals and partnerships

— Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in new york, NY

Polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are becoming more accepted ways of creating and maintaining relationships in lieu of traditional monogamy. If you're non-monogamous, you may prefer to create and maintain connections with multiple partners. I specialize in working with individuals and poly families who need help with improving communication, sorting out hierarchies of relationships, addressing jealousy with metamours, healing infidelity/ broken agreements, and rebuilding trust.

— Tammy 'Kaia' Bruski, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

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

The term “non-monogamy” is an umbrella term that captures all forms of relationship practices that do not fit the typical guidelines of monogamous relationships. Non-monogamous relationships can include polyamory, swinging, open relationships, and various levels of commitment. Some people live with a primary partner, while other people explore dating and/or living with multiple partners.

— Lisa May-Sachs, Clinical Social Worker in Baltimore, MD

I have walked the poly path personally and understand the unique challenges this lifestyle presents. I help clients who are curious about polyamory and open relationships explore their motives for these lifestyles, offer resources and education, and plan boundaries.

— Safrianna DeGroat, Counselor in Hagerstown, MD