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

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 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

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

I draw from personal and professional experience in understanding the unique 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
 

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
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

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

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 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

I personally believe that no one person can meet all of our relationship needs. For this reason, I support ethical non-monogamy in all of its forms whether it is solo-polyamory, polyamory, swinging, relationship anarchy or any other definition that my client might use.

— Deanna Potts, Clinical Social Worker in Fort Worth, TX

I've spent the past few years exploring the spiritual growth potential of healthy and conscious relationships that defy the Hollywood 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
 

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

Many clients wishing to attend therapy for two primary reasons. Either to being or open a current relationship they are in, or to manage their current open or Poly relationship.

— Marissa Talarico, Counselor in Vancovuer, WA
 

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

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 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

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! No "side eye" from me!

— Paula Kirsch, Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, 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

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