Poly relationships

Finding the Right Therapist for LGBTQ, Kinky, And/Or Poly Relationships

finding a poly therapist | Uncommon Love Counseling for Open Relationships

One of the most difficult issues many of my clients face is finding a mental health provider who truly understands their needs as a member of the LGBTQ and/or kink and/or poly community.  

All too often well-intended providers on well established referral sites click one easy button to list themselves as LGBT-friendly without training or exposure to our community.  

I've heard far too many horror stories of unfit professionals harming clients and friends with good intentions over the years.

So I’m writing today to list some of the specialized sites I use to find referrals so you might have an easier time finding someone who understands.

Finding a referral is the first step but it’s even more important you interview your provider to be sure they are a good and knowledgeable fit for your unique relationship before you start working together. 

Remember your therapist works for you not the other way around.  

This is your hour and your life, do not hand your trust over to just anyone. You deserve a provider worthy of your trust (and financial investment) and who can create a shame-free space for your to talk (or not talk) about these topics as appropriate.

I’ve listed a few suggested interview questions under each topic below.  If you have additional interview question suggestions please leave them in the comments section I would LOVE to add them!

Finding a provider you trust is imperative to the success of your coaching or counseling relationship.   I am happy to help you find a provider in your area if you need help.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.  If you have a provider in mind you would like to add to the listings, please add their information in the comments section to share with others!

Sex Positive, Kink, Fetish, and BDSM Therapists

Questions to ask your potential therapist or coach:

1.  Please describe your previous work with BDSM, kinky or fetish communities and clients.

2.  What does sex-positive mean to you and how does it influence your work with clients?

3.  What kind of training have you received on sex-positive, kinky, or fetish communities?

4.  What makes working with sex-positive clients unique?

Sex-PositiveTherapist Referral Listings:

Kink Aware Professionals is provided by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and is a resource for people who are seeking psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal professionals who are informed about the diversity of consensual, adult sexuality.

Fet Life is a social media site for the BDSM, kinky, and fetish community (think facebook for kinksters).  There are some therapists who list on this site and there are groups where you can ask for community member referrals in your area.

Polyamory, Non-Monogamy and Open Relationships Counseling

Questions to ask your potential therapist or coach:

1.  Please describe your previous work with polyamorous clients or open relationships.*

*I recommend asking specifically about your specific relationship style if possible, open, swinging, polyamorous, non-monogamous etc.  As you know we are a beautifully diverse community with unique needs- be sure your provider knows how to help YOU.*

2.  What kind of training have you received on open relationships and non-monogamy?

3.  What makes working with polyamorous clients and couples unique?

Poly Therapists Referral Listings:

Poly-Friendly Professionals is a list of professionals who have identified themselves as being, open-minded about polyamory and polyamorous issues.

Opening Up List based on the excellent book Opening Up (on open relationships) by Tristan Taormino, a listing of professionals worldwide.

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning) Counselors

Questions to ask your potential therapist or coach:

1.  Please describe your previous work with LGBTQ communities and clients.*

*I recommend asking specifically about your specific identity group, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer etc.  As you know we are a beautifully diverse community with unique needs- be sure your provider knows how to help YOU.*

2.  What uniquely qualifies you to work with lesbian, gay, and/or bisexual clients?

3.  What kind of training have you received on transgender, gender variant, or genderqueer populations?

4.  What makes working with gender variant or sexual minority clients unique?

LGBT Therapist Referral Listings:

Q Center Resources (this link is for Portland, OR to find a LGBT Community Center near you click here)

Portland State University Queer Resource Center (this center will likely have referrals only in the Pacific Northwest, to find a LGBTQ campus resource center near you click here)

Bisexually Aware Providers the professionals who have chosen to list themselves in this directory have all stated to the directory coordinator that they meet criteria for bisexuality-awareness.

Queer Health Care Referrals (North America)  This is a facebook group of queer and ally identified individuals referring based on personal experiences with healthcare providers.

Informed Consent for Access to Trans Health Care  Not a provider directory, but a great resource for transgender individuals seeking mental health care.

Finding a provider you trust is imperative to the success of your counseling relationship.  

I truly am happy to help you find a provider in your area who respects and affirms your lifestyle and is knowledgeable about your identity.  Contact me here if you would like help.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

Myths of Non-Monogamy: Polyamory is so Gay!

One of the myths of non-monogamy I face regularly is that open relationships and polyamory is a gay thing.  That straight people are basically monogamous naturally, and gay people for whatever reason aren’t.

 “There is no societal or religious pressure, no relationship archetype or historical expectation for a gay man to be monogamously coupled. Unlike heterosexual relationships, gay relationships form simply because two people want to be together.” – Tyler Curry

One of the best parts about being a part of the LGBTQ community is that because we don’t have set models for relationships we get to be creative when we decide to build them.  LGBTQ couples build all sorts of beautiful relationships outside traditional norms, sometimes we move in quickly together, other times we decide never to cohabitate, some of us embrace this freedom to date more freely (which can be a form of non-monogamy, and some of us embrace the opportunity to create intentional open relationships.  Although this great creativity allows us to experiment more and sometimes we are more likely to create open relationships this is not a universal truth.

More specifically, the commenter on my last post seemed to believe the stereotype that all gay men have open relationships.  Often this myth is used to dispel the validity of same sex male-identified couples and has been a controversial topic in the gay marriage debate.  Gay men do opt more frequently for openness than other populations, but that cannot be stated as a norm- there are plenty of monogamous gay men.

The flip side of this myth leaves out the thousands of mostly straight and completely heterosexual couples who fall somewhere in the open relationship, swinger, and polyamorous spectrum.  Plenty of straight-seeming and hetero-identified couples date other couples, share partners, swing, or play with other partners.  These fabulous straight poly people exist throughout history and research and invest long-term in making complex loving relationships work.  They have children, own homes, pay bills, love and commit just like anyone else.  Don’t leave them out by believing a myth.

Side note: I received some of these comments on a professional site for LGBTQ Therapists.  It is especially important for LGBTQ couples to seek help from providers who really understand our partnerships instead of stereotypes.  Use this guide to help find a provider near you.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a polyamory consultant, sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).