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 am non-monogamous, and have been practicing non-monogamy for 7 years. With Soaring Heart Counseling, I have facilitated a 12-week Open Relationship Support Group, and co-facilitated an Open Relationship 101 Workshop. I have assisted clients exploring non-monogamy by understanding hopes and expectations, and working with them as they create relationship frameworks that are healthy and fulfilling for all involved.

— Hannah Harris, Therapist in Indianapolis, IN

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

I have extensive training in and personal experience with Polyamory, Open Relationships, Ethical Non-Monogamy or Consensual Non-Monogamy issues. I have provided cultural competency training to a handful of service organizations and agencies over the years. Moreover, I have developed group curriculum for addressing major issues in polyamorous configurations.

— ShannonElaine John, Counselor in Fort Morgan, CO

I have specialized in CNM/ Polyamory for ten years and bring a creative mind and a thoughtful approach to complex relational topics. I work regularly with intense jealousy and feeling triggered. I am very experienced with divulging polyamory to children and family. I work equally with those looking to open a monogamous relationship as well as with those in an existing non-monogamous relationship looking to explore challenges. I am experienced working with group sexuality.

— Sarah Levinson, Counselor in New York, NY

Exploring your relationship values can help you ground into what you really want and need, and create the relationship orientation that is right for you. I have knowledge of many different types and styles of polyamory, non-monogamy, and open relationships. I hold the belief that any type of relationship can be healthy with the consent and honestly of all partners.

— Amanda Ball, Counselor in Portland, OR

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

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, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Spring, TX

I have found that the counseling resources available for folks who orient toward poly relationships are fairly sparse, so this is work that I have found a passion for. Whether it be navigating this for yourself for the first time, to identifying issues within pre-existing relationships, I am confident that we can find what fits best for you.

— Chris Perry, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Sammamish, WA

With the open-mindedness that I have with clients, I work with polyamory and open relationships in ways that are empowering to the individuals that I work with. I use a systemic perspective and use depth psychology to help people look into their fears and anxieties that may be making the transition to being polyamorous difficult, or may be creating jealousy or anxieties in existing relationships.

— Leah Hughes, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in DENVER, CO

My personal and professional experiences with polyamorous relationships have led me to specialize in working with others within the community. I'd love to support you on your journey and help you navigate concerns about your poly relationships.

— Misty Gibson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Tacoma, WA

Polyamory is something many therapists do not understand or want to do. It can be easy to get confused by polycules or how a certain relationship orientation is not ‘societal norm’ and still be functional. Polyamory can be a beautiful thing in all of its many forms. From a Vee to a triad to cross-coupling and more complex relationship orientations, polyamory is not for everyone. It can be a difficult lifestyle for some to understand and flourish in. But when it's done right it can be fulfilling.

— PT Gross, Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado Springs, CO

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

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

I provide a judgement-free zone for couples who identify as non-monogamous. Like any relationship, it is important to maintain effective communication with your partners. Are you exploring what you want your relationship to look like? Do you need help establishing boundaries? Is there a transition in your life that has caused distress? I can empower and guide you towards living the life you want.

— Cassandra Hesse, Counselor in Georgetown, TX

Opening up an existing relationship, navigating a complex polycule or feeling like enough with a partner who loves others can all come with a stress and pain that our society does little to prepare people for. In working together on these issues we can learn how to find, build, heal and maintain the relationship style that fits and fulfills you perfectly.

— Christy Powell, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Austin, TX

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

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

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

As long as the partners involved are consenting adults, relationship therapy can be provided for relationship styles other than conventional monogamous relationships in a a nonjudgmental way.

— Rebecca Azar, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chicago, IL

Having been in consensual non-monogamous relationships myself, I draw from personal experiences and my specialized training to apply traditional relationship theory to non-traditional relationships in a way that recognizes their unique needs. My perspective is not limited to "the right way" to be in non-monogamous relationships, instead emphasizing how clients can find their best personal approach that embodies mutual love and compassion and celebrates themselves and all of their partners.

— Denis Flanigan, Psychologist in Houston, TX

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 am intimately familiar with the oft-turbulent waters of polyamorous relationships. Although there is a growing acceptance of these relationship structures, there isn't a lot of education and support in how to manage them in healthy ways. I work with clients to build skills that allow them to be successful in these areas!

— Samantha Roth, Social Worker in Baltimore, MD

Every relationship is different and has a unique dynamic. My experience with polyamorous and open relationships helps inform my perspective of working with you and members of you personal circle no matter how big it is, nor which genders it is comprised of.

— Beck Pazdral, Counselor in Seattle, WA

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 of metamours, healing infidelity/ broken agreements, and rebuilding intimacy.

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

Everybody loves different and no two relationships are the same. I acknowledged that many have the ability to love and to be loved by as many people as they see fit. My goal is to normalize your relationship style and to help you enhance the quality of your relationship(s) by centering your desires and you goals of care within the sessions.

— Tia Evans, Sex Therapist in Hickory, NC

Clients should feel affirmed that polyamory is a valid lifestyle, and my practice is welcoming towards polyamorous people. Furthermore, I have over two decades experience understanding the diverse spectrum of the consensually non-monogamy communities.

— Erick Sowell, Clinical Social Worker in Owings Mills, MD

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 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