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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I've worked with many clients who have 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

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 , CA

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

I have worked with a wide variety of relationship structures with clients that include ethical non-monogamy, poly relationships, relationship anarchy, etc. I also have lived experience in this area.

— Gregory Gooden, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in POMONA, CA

Consensual non monogamous relationships are growing every year and having a therapist who is versed and trained in this relationship structure is so valuable for people looking to enter polyamory in an informed manner, or to address issues that may arise in poly relationships. Knowing that you can come to therapy to address open relationship dynamics from a supportive, welcoming stance is the empowering experience many clients need.

— Leah Logan, Clinical Social Worker in Boise, ID

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

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

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 Associate in Denton, 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

I have been involved in the alternative lifestyles myself for several years now. I have helped numerous people understand and navigate the emotional waters of getting involved in open relationships. Conquering issues of jealousy and knowing how to, not just battle these fears, but how to use better marital communication to grow the relationship to a deeper and more fulfilling relationship than ever before, is a primary goal for me as a therapist.

— Monte Miller, Psychologist in Austin, TX

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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 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

Love and relationships can function in many ways, but as we open up and add partners we need to grow our communication skills, know our personal boundaries, and understand the emotional ethics of this type of relationship. I can as someone who is POLY/ENM and POLY/ENM informed and affirming, I can assist you in exploring this type of relationship, working through relationship struggles, and learning to have a voice in a polycule.

— Jennifer Harvey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Livonia, MI