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.

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists


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

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

I have identified as polyamorous for 5 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

I recently broadened my practice to include ethical non-monogamy. I've attended training to specifically educate myself on issues, terms, and a general understanding of dynamics. My aim is to help individuals explore if a non-monogamous relationship structure is one they want to enter into or navigate one they are in, and to assist couples grappling with opening their relationship.

— Jen King, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , CT

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. There are plenty of informative books on this topic, together we will figure out a course that is tailored to you.

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

If you need to talk to a mental health counselor about something that happened during a scene with your metamour, call me. I get it. With me you will find a knowledgeable and affirming ally.

— Ellen Ross Hodge, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I help individuals develop the relationship they want by working through open communication and developing a solid foundation to stay connected. As we are all products of our childhood environment, sometimes we need help shedding old ideas and biases about what a relationship should look like. By acknowledging and and working through these barriers we can get you to the relationship you want to have.

— Rachael Lastoff, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Asheville, NC

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, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ann arbor, MI

My master's program included training in polyamory and ethical non-monogamy (ENM). I have a long-term interest in subverting traditional cis-heteronormative relationship structures in my personal life and am in relationship with people who are practicing polyamory and ENM. I believe all relationships (romantic or otherwise) are sacred, we need each other.

— Kelsey Miller, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

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 work with individuals, couples, triads, and polycules of all configurations to achieve healthy communication, reduce jealousy, negotiate boundaries, and resolve common conflicts experienced in non-traditional relationship styles. I work extensively to provide education to (and on) the polyam, ENM, CNM community and see these relationship styles as valid and healthy, not psychopathological.

— Farrah Bonnot, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denton, TX

I have 14 years experience working with couples of in non-traditional relationship types (i.e. open, polyamorous, consensually non-monogamous). I have advanced clinical training in Polyamory and Kink Life Styles. I believe all relationship types are valid and deserve support toward relational health and success. I am also listed in the Poly Friendly Professionals Directory.

— Lauren Wynn, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs, CO

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 Lacey, WA

Poly/Open relationships are possible - especially for people who are generally secure in themselves. Yet, the potential for harm & suffering due to lack of skills, tools, awareness or not respecting one's own limits, is high. However, with a strong commitment to communication, setting & respecting boundaries, negotiation skills, sensitivity, awareness of one's partners feelings/needs & integrity, "playing" at this level can be enriching.

— Annette Barnett, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Cruz, CA

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 Baltimore, MD

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

I have extensive work with a variety of ways relationship can be defined in regards to open/non monogamy and other ways of labeling non traditional relationships. I help you find meaning in your relationship, explore what it may mean by opening your relationship up, or looking at the obstacles that may be present through building trust, safety, and clear communication/goals.

— Adrian Scharfetter, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in SACRAMENTO, CA

You are tired of your relationships not going the way you want. Your boundaries get pushed and tested, constantly left wondering if there is something more you could do or shouldn't have done so things wouldn't be so hard. 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 Frederick, MD