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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Many therapists have a difficult time understanding polyamorous and open relationships and the specific opportunities and challenges that the lifestyle brings. There are innumerable ways to have relationships and I am open to exploring all the ways that you can have healthy and happy relationships. I generally see individuals, not couples.

— Liz Silverman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

No two polyamorous/open relationships will hold identical philosophies and relationships constructs. However healthy and resilient polyamorous people practice mutual consent and honesty, and relationships must be entered into openly and honestly. Much like traditional binary marriage, many poly relationships find that seeing a therapist during the early stages of forming can provide a safe, generative container for creating the common understandings and boundaries that can ensure resilience.

— Filippo M. Forni, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I enjoy working with people in relationships that are unique and that are identified only by the people within them. That includes polyamorous and open relationships. I believe healthy communication is the key to the success of any relationship, regardless of how many people are in it or what their roles are. While I hope to offer relationship counseling in the future, I currently tend to work one-on-one with each person and sometimes combine the sessions if needed.

— Chandra Niklewski, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in HAGERSTOWN, MD

I have specialized knowledge related to the issues people face while maintaining an established consensually non-monogamous relationship (or adjusting to a new one!). There will be no shock, confusion, or trying to talk you out of your decision.

— Pamela Duff, Mental Health Counselor in Winter Park, FL

Have lived experience with ethical non-monogamy. Would like to support folks (individuals only, no couples at this time) working through, discovering, or exploring ethnical non-monogamy.

— Christine Adams, Psychotherapist in Durham, NC

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

Difficult relationship patterns get in the way of you being your full self in your romantic relationships. They can make you feel the need to prove yourself, and leave you with feelings of hurt and disappointment, or an inability to connect. When we’re struggling to connect , we are often carrying the cycles from past relationships. It can be hard to know what’s wrong or why it’s happening. Working with a Non-Monogamy therapist can help you be your full self in all your relationships.

— Rosa Brotherton, Associate Clinical Social Worker in LA, CA

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

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

It can be difficult to seek help from someone that you feel doesn't understand your relationship structure. I have specialized training and an in depth understanding of concerns people face when adjusting to or maintaining consensual non-monogamy in their relationship(s).

— Pamela Duff, Mental Health Counselor in Winter Park, FL

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 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

ENM is widely misunderstood, and with the right set of tools and practices, ENM can be a healthy and positive way to engage in relationships. Regardless of the ENM type you practice, I am here to help you navigate your personal journey.

— Sara Mercier-Kennedy, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate

Wouldn't it be wonderful to work with a therapist and not have to explain your non-traditional relationship structures, someone who understands the complexity even if you aren't in therapy for relational issues. I am a member of the polyamorous community and have over adecade of insight into the challenges, and rewards associated with it.

— Hope Flores, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Thinking about entering a polyamorous or non-monogamous relationship? Together we can work on building the communication skills to discuss with your partner(s) the ins and outs of being poly or ethically non-monogamous. With that, comes feelings of jealousy, distrust, insecurities, etc. We can work towards finding ways to be open and honest, genuine, and compassionate towards your partner(s).

— Miguel Lopez, Licensed Professional Counselor in Fort Worth, TX

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

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

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