So you're thinking about opening your relationship...
I work with a lot of clients who are just beginning to consider an open relationship. Maybe monogamy didn't work for them in the past, or they want a more diverse sex life. Maybe they don't believe in traditional relationship structures, or want more robust relationship and self-development work.
There are lots of different paths to polyamory. I am here to help you find one that suits you, and amend your plans as they grow and change moving forward.
Non-monogamy isn't right for everyone.
Many couples question if this is the right format for their love, and I am happy to help you both decide if there is a less conventional model that might fit for you.
It is not uncommon for couples to come to my practice because one partner is interested in non-monogamy and the other is not. Let me help you determine a path that is right for both of you.
It can be helpful to discuss new territory with a knowledgeable and non-judgmental professional.
Many of my clients have said it was a life-changer for them!
WHAT I DON'T DO
- Sit and nod - instead, we'll take action (I've been described as "direct and not-coddling")
- Add shame or judgment to your experience (there's already too much of that in the world)
- Bring an agenda that either monogamy or non-monogamy is right for you (that's for you to decide) I just help you determine what's right for you with integrity
- Pathologize you (I don't treat mental illness, so you won't receive a diagnosis, assessment or treatment for mental health conditions or substance use)
- Support couples who are actively violent with one another- your safety needs to come first, then our work together can begin
WHAT I DO
- Bring nearly ten years experience with polyamory, and open relationships to the table to help you decide what's best for you
- Support you in setting and respecting boundaries
- Use a strengths-based approach to help you grow in a positive direction
- Develop an individualized plan to change the way you do relationships
- Help you listen, build trust, negotiate and communicate effectively with yourself and your love
- Follow a sex-positive kink-knowledgeable framework and draw from extensive experience as a sex educator
- Keep momentum and hope alive - even if it's hard for you to feel hopeful
Do you work with monogamous couples?
Even for clients who choose monogamy, it can be important to know this is a specialty of mine. These clients love working with me because I apply the same open non-judgmental approach to my work with all couples.
I love all kinds of love!
Do you believe polyamory or monogamy is healthier?
I don't think relationship health is determined by the number of partners involved- but I do believe it can be measured by the level of communication, empathy, trust, and connection experienced by partners.
For some people open relationship structures are overwhelming. And for others monogamy is stifling. I don't think you always have to choose one or the other, but I want all my couples to be able to openly discuss these with kindness and ease.
How did you learn about open relationships?
I became interested in couples work when I was in graduate school studying couples counseling. I was fortunate to study in a holistic program that emphasized non-traditional therapeutic styles. I was also really lucky to intern at the Gottman Relationship Research Institute when I finished school and really learn about strengthening trust in relationships.
I wrote my final research on non-monogamy in couples therapy and have only expanded my research and education since then. I left the profession of therapy in 2016 to focus on coaching but this area remains my true passion.
Does non-monogamy really work?
Absolutely. If you define "working" as being together a long time, I will tell you I've supported couples who are married or who have been together for 14, 17, 22, and over 40 years while practicing many forms of nonmonogamy.
If you define "working" by being generally satisfied with your relationship, supporting one another's growth, feeling empathy and desire for your partner I will tell you I've supported couples who are married or who have been together for 14, 17, 22, and over 40 years while practicing many forms of nonmonogamy.
But to make non-monogamy work, you need to be willing to do some work. That's where I can help you.
What about affairs?
Affairs happen in both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. I work with couples to rebuild trust and overcome jealousy every week in session. I have helped hundreds of couples move forward after an affair. (Read more about my work with infidelity here)
I can to help you build and repair trust no matter your relationship structure.
I frequently recommend the following books to clients considering non-monogamy. Watch the video to hear me talk a little about my favorite books and click the images on this page to order your own copy.
Read something great?
I'm always looking for suggestions. Send your reading recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.