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.

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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

Whether you are just considering the idea of opening up your relationship, or you've been open or poly for as long as you can remember, you need a therapist who understands ethical non-monogamy. I don't make assumptions about what is right for your relationship--only you can know that. I can help guide each person in the relationship to be able to know and express their own needs, negotiate relationship contracts, and build more connection and intimacy.

— Colleen Hennessy, Licensed Professional Counselor in , 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, and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, I welcome working with people in non-traditional relationships, whether they be open, polyam, or "monogamish." I "get you" and honor your path!

— Paula Kirsch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , MI

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

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 Mental Health Counselor in Tacoma, WA

I have significant experience working with clients practicing various forms of ethical non-monogamy/polyamory. I guide clients through the process of determining their own needs/wants while teaching emotional regulation/communication skills to perpetuate sustainability in their relationships with others and themselves.

— Sarah Rogers (Ferro), Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Malden, MA

As with gender identity, I have personal experience navigating polyamory. I don't have a one-size-fits-all approach, but I am comfortable with and accepting of polyamorous and open relationships, and can work with individuals, couples, and other relationship configurations to support people navigating relationships outside the box.

— Zem Chance, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Eugene, OR

Whether your involved in or wanting to explore an ethical non monogamous relationship, as a couple or solo I will help not only answer but ask questions that will guide you and have you better equiped for any bumps that lay ahead. Together we will figure out a course that is tailored and best for you. At any time any agreemnets can be altered, lets talk about it.

— Gwen Lotery, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA

Navigating the field of polyamory and open relationships can be difficult and frustrating for a couple that is excited to try this unconventional way of life. Although it may not be the norm, it can lead to relationship satisfaction and personal happiness that some people cannot achieve in a monogamous relationship. However, sometimes the couple needs the expertise of therapist to help them address issues that may arise in the relationship.

— Leon Banister, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Miami, FL

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 welcome consensually non-monogamous partners. Whether it's just one of you or the whole polycule, I can help you find a way to love each other better.

— Anna Khandrueva, Therapist in Broomfield, CO

Even in individual work, I tend to view most challenges through a relationship- or attachment-based lens. Our personalities and our lives are shaped by our families, friends, and romantic partnerships, and uncovering the hidden dynamics of those relationships can be so powerful. Any surface-level problem in a relationship is linked to a deeper meaning. I specialize in working with folks in poly, open, and/or kink relationships.

— Natosha Knight, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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 Los Angeles, CA

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 like helping poly folks and families deepen their connections through understanding and having compassion for each others'attachment styles, as well as take steps to define and honor the boundaries of all involved.

— Jules Allison, Professional Counselor Associate in Portland, OR

People open up their relationships to pursue more connection. Yet, living in a society that expects and prioritizes monogamy can often make this pursuit or practice feel isolating and insecure. Whether you’re newly considering the Lifestyle or have an established Polycule, I specialize in helping individuals—partnered or solo—work through this challenging process.

— Amanda Earle, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

My training as a therapist landed me with a degree in Marriage and Family therapy, which basically means I work with relationship systems. As a non monogomous therapist I quickly began applying what I was learning in school to non monogomous relationship structures to better serve communities I belong to and work with. My training to work with relationships started in grad school, Gottman level 1 and now Developmental Model (attachment and relationship stage based).

— Birch Snogles, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Ann Arbor, MI

Experience with working with individual wanting to explore polyamorous open relationships, those who are having issues in their open relationship and more.

— Jennifer Hillier, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX

All relationship structures are welcome in my space!

— Elyssa Helfer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

I've worked with many clients who've engaged in various forms of ethical non-monogamy in individual and couples sessions. I've had friends who engaged in ethical non-monogamy since I was in undergrad. I tried it myself, but didn't find it was a good fit for me. I educate clients about ethical non-monogamy as an option if they have historically been monogamous. I educate clients about how to do it well cause it involves a lot of communication and negotiation of needs as well as clear boundaries.

— Tia (Christia) Young, Counselor