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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Having "many loves" falls into the category of consensual non-monogamy. While many friends, family, and even professionals may not understand the nuances of polyamorous relationships, I strive to create an environment of open communication. I aim to help individuals and polycules develop the tools necessary to overcome the impact of stigma, create greater understanding of how to live values within poly relationships, and develop skills making relationships healthy along the way.

— Erica Merrill, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Cornelius, NC

I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with clients with all kinds of relationship orientations. I have seen the beauty and expansiveness of non-monogamy first hand. I believe that all relationships are valid and deserve the chance to thrive and flourish. Unfortunately we live in a society that still has a very narrow vision of what relationships should be. In my practice, however, all relationships will be celebrated, supported, and affirmed.

— Danielle Goldstein, Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

Whether you're new to ethical non-monogamy or you’re more experienced in practicing ENM or polyamory, I provide an affirming space to work through jealousy, boundary negotiation, and to process how your past experiences may be impacting your current relationships. I am an enthusiastically kink affirming and experienced clinician. Through gentle but intentional therapeutic process, you will gain clarity in how you want approach your expansive relational and sexual life.

— Alicia Dlugos, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Philadelphia, PA

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

Poly, ENM, CNM individuals, couples+ and those that have been surprised by their partner's desire to be poly, will find affirming care in my therapy room.

— Ami Lynch, Clinical Social Worker in Vienna, VA

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, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, MI

I believe that all of us have a right to love and relate according to what feels appropriate and fulfilling to us. I have been practicing and researching polyamory for over 16 years.

— Carolina Castano, Licensed Professional Counselor in Cincinnati, OH

All relationship structures are welcome in my space!

— Dr. Elyssa Helfer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

I have identified as polyamorous for 7 years. I have attended training on relationship equality and been a part of many workshops surrounding this topic. I have worked with clients to alleviate jealousy and insecurity especially when beginning to open their relationships.

— Cheryl Cantrell, Licensed Professional Counselor in , SC

This is something that is much more mainstream and open than it used to be and yet many people don't understand the philosophy behind it. I must admit, I struggled with that myself until someone I cared about very much shared with me that their relationship orientation was poly. I then felt the need to educate myself and learn, and discovered that there's a need for support in the poly community. I'm more than happy to discuss and help you navigate!

— Melanie Bettes, Counselor in Overland Park, KS

While your relationship orientation may come easily to you and your partners, the world around us can really complicate things. From navigating our nuclear families to traditional institutions, it can all add additional stress to your relationships. All relationships take work. Growing and changing together with those we care most about, that is an accomplishment. Partnerships of all shapes and sizes welcome.

— Lou Sanfillipo, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Hyattsville, MD

As a therapist in East Tennessee, I know that finding polyam-friendly providers can still be a challenge. Everyone deserves to have a non-judgmental and informed space to process. It would be a privilege to navigate your story with you, whether you are exploring non-monogamy for the first time, working through relationship issues in an established polyamorous relationship, or just wanting a therapist who understands that non-monogamy is part of your life.

— Lauren Green, Mental Health Counselor in Knoxville, TN

I am consensual non-monogamy affirming, and have myself been consensually non-monogamous as well. I am open and affirming of all varieties of consensually non-monogamous relationships, and enjoy working with folks who are new to non-monogamy as well as those who are experienced.

— Dorian Stein, Sex Therapist

Those who engage in non-mainstream relationships sometimes face special difficulties and challenges that many therapists are either untrained or inexperienced in addressing. Through both education and experience, I am knowledgeable about poly/ENM/open relationships, and I have experience working with diverse relationship groupings and the unique (and non-unique!) issues and conflicts that arise therein.

— Roxane Williams, Associate Clinical Social Worker in , CA

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

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 Manhattan, KS

Many individuals find joy in having close relationships on both sexual and emotional levels with multiple partners. These relationship styles require honest communication and healthy boundaries. As a trained sex therapist, I work with participants to strengthen communication skills and utilize resources that best support the sustainability of consensual and ethical non-monogamous relationship styles.

— Janice Leonard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Plano, TX

My consent based approach is very applicable in addressing relationship based issues, and this has certainly been an important part of my work with clients in the past. In addition, this is something I have personal experience with as a Relationship Anarchist. In my experience, navigating a practice of love with multiple people taking into account attachment histories is sometimes very challenging but can also be very rewarding.

— Renya NeoNorton, Marriage & Family Therapist