LGBTQ relationships

Why I Love LGBTQ Love

This year I'm celebrating 15 years supporting LGBTQ relationships professionally. It's been my joy to support hundreds of queer relationships through commitments, trust repair, communication struggles and more.

Y'all are pretty fabulous.

Here are ten things I love about LGBTQ love:

1. Because most of these folks have had to do a little reflection about how their love is different than most the folks in their life they're often more self-aware in partnership.


2. LGBTQ couples are far more likely to create balanced plans around their household responsibilities (this isn't just my expertise, this is a well-researched fact).


3. Children of LGBTQ couples do better in school, get more involved in their communities, and step into leadership more than others (this is researched, not just my opinion).


4. LGBTQ couples are far more jealousy-resilient for a large variety of reasons (again, there's plenty of research to back this up, beyond my experience).


5. More often than heterosexual couples these folks are willing to get creative sexually to get their needs met (again, this is well researched). 


6. More often than not these couples are willing to talk openly about their sexual needs (you know, and then they get them met) (again, this is well researched).


7. More often than other couples, LGBTQ partners are able to navigate open relationships with care.


8. LGBTQ folks are more likely to wait to marry/commit until they've explored some personally. This creates a possibility for more emotionally mature relationships.


9. More often than others, LGBTQ folks plan meaningful commitment ceremonies shaped around their unique core values (I just like these).


10. LGBTQ couples are more likely to use humor and humility in healthy ways in conflict (this is well-researched, not just my opinion).

Again, thank all of you who have shared your personal paths with me over the years. It's an honor to support your love.


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

Gina Senarighi LGBTQ Couples Counselor
  • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity

  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 

  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts

  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty

  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online. 

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

How to Spot a Relationship Expert

relationship expert open relationship coach polyamory coach nonmonogamy

GAH! Here I am trying to eat between sessions and I run into yet another set of terrible relationship advice by some online "expert!"

Folks giving out awful advice and opinions abound online, here's what you need to know to find someone who can actually help you.

BOUNDARIES

When you're seeking advice consider the source.  If you want ongoing support for your relationship you need someone who understands clear boundaries, expectations, and communication.  If they can't do it in a professional setting, be sure they can't help you learn to do it in a personal one.

Find someone with clear professional guidelines they follow. This helps them be sure they can support you without getting tangled up in your (or their own) shit.  

I outline my boundaries on my website, in contracts, in initial sessions, screening calls, and by following the ethics codes of two professional organizations.  If you're hoping to work with someone ask them about the boundaries of their work.

EXPERIENCE

Find someone with lived and professional experience related to whatever topics you want to focus on.  Lived experience helps them have empathy and deeper understanding.  Of course, if they have solid boundaries they're not going to use your time to go into great detail about their own stuff- but you can ask if they've experienced similar struggles.  

At the same time be sure they don't ONLY have personal life experience, but also PROFESSIONAL experience to back up their work.  There are far too many opinionated "experts" who just want to teach you the way they do relationships who don't actually know what they're talking about, or how to help you. Hire someone trained. 

You can ask them about their experience- or better yet, ask them how many folks they've supported (professionally) who are working on the stuff you want to focus on.  If they haven't had much experience hire someone else, you're not here to train them.

EDUCATION

Lived and professional experience is critical, but they are two of three critical pieces of this work. You also want someone who has studied or read a few things to back up whatever they're selling you.  Ask them what books, teachers, research, and training they draw from when they work with people.  Be sure you hire someone who knows what's up.

PROOF

Ask to see proof their work actually, well, works.  Do they have testimonials or data that shows they're good at what they're doing?  You don't want to hire someone who over-promises in an inauthentic program, but you need to know what to expect.  Ask how they measure success in their work.

NON-JUDGMENT

Finally (but probably most importantly) it is essential you find a professional who takes a non-judgmental approach.  Far too many therapists, coaches, and healers come to the table with their own biased agendas that will compete with your needs.

Are they pushing non-monogamy? Do they believe monogamy is the best path? Are they really shame-free about sexuality? If they've got hang-ups in these areas they're going to carry over into your work.

If you can't say things to them for fear of judgment, shame, or criticism, please please please hire someone who can set all of that aside and meet you with clear presence.

Thanks for reading through my rant.  I get protective of my clients and see far too many people who've had negative experiences with couples therapists, marriage counselors, and sex educators along the way.  It's super risky to reach out for help- I hope this helps you discern a solid fit for your vulnerability work.


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

gina senarighi polyamory coach open relationship coach
  • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online and in Portland, Oregon. 

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Awkwardness in Open Relationships & Dating

POLYAMORY COACH - POLY COACH - OPEN RELATIONSHIP COACH

One thing that comes up really frequently in sessions with folks who are starting out in non-monogamy after a lifetime of default monogamy is how awkward it can feel. 

There are LOTS of valid reasons why this happens, and I wanted to share a few with you.  but before I dive in, I wanted to emphasize one critical skill to move through the awkward new beginning phase: self-compassion.  

Self-compassion is having the ability to recognize when things are off and loving yourself anyway. Learning to strive for greatness, acknowledge your growing edges, and love yourself all at once. 

It takes practice (just like dating while partnered) but there are lots of tools that can help you get there. Check this website for some great resources.  

Okay, now back to the main point.

Why it's awkward when you start opening your relationship:

BACK IN THE SADDLE

If you've been practicing monogamy in a long-term relationship, then reentering the dating scene can feel like a whole new world.  There are new apps, sites, groups, and places to meet folks and it can be a little overwhelming. 

Not to mention the courage it takes to put yourself out there meeting strangers. 

And then there's the hard truth that the majority of real dating doesn't match up with the fantasy you might have had coming into this.  I mean, sure, you'll meet some fantastic babes out there.  But the majority of dating is really spending time with nice people and have lukewarm connections you're not sure about until you do hit it off or meet someone else who you're more excited about.  Not quite as sexy as you may have hoped.

NEW TERRITORY

If you've been living a mainstream monogamous lifestyle until now, practicing ethical non-monogamy means a whole new world of language and clarity when talking about consent, boundaries, and expectations in your partnerships.  

Figuring out how, and when to bring these things up can be a little bumpy at first because you haven't practiced.  With time and practice, that awkwardness will go away and you'll be able to be clear and consistent with greater confidence.

ACKNOWLEDGING HOTNESS

Mainstream/default monogamy in our culture loves to pretend it's possible to be attracted to only one person for years (or a lifetime).  And while lots of people philosophically understand that simply cannot be true, few folks have any practice talking or hearing about other attractions in their partnerships.

As you begin talking about the attractions you're feeling come and go notice what shows up for each of you in your partnerships and give yourself plenty of time and space to feel through your reactions so you can learn from them.  

BALANCING NEW ENERGY

Many people who are new to non-monogamy simply haven't had much practice balancing time and sharing emotional presence with multiple partners. 

Being intentional and clear with your time and space boundaries will take a little practice- be patient with yourselves.

ME TIME

Starting out in non-monogamy can be really exciting, and I frequently see clients get a little carried away with the momentum of this big change.  It's not uncommon to lose track of your self-care routine, friendships, or get distracted from work and other passions.

 But in order to make a non-monogamous lifestyle sustainable you've got to have me time outside your new relationship(s).  Keep track of your self care needs to help you stay connected to your wellness routines, friendships, and other commitments even if it gets exciting.

TAKING NEW RISKS

For a lot of people the begining of ethical non-monogamy is also the first time they really start asking for what they want in relationships and setting boundaries and expectations.  This can be a monumental shift in the way you're doing relationships (it is for lots of people).  

So trying all that new self-connection, self-advocacy, and self-regulation can feel awkward, or unusual because it is new.  

KEEPING GROUNDED

Finally, beginning a practice of ethical non-monogamy with a partner can bring up intense and surprising emotions.  You'll want to build skills and practices that help you stay grounded even when those emotions show up, but to shift your responses you'll need to change things- and change often leads to a little awkwardness.  

WATCH ME

Here's a little video I posted on my facebook page about this very topic.  If you want to talk more about this (or about relationships in general) give me a call, I'd love to chat.


POLYAMORY COACH - POLY COACH - OPEN RELATIONSHIP COACH

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online (and in Portland, OR).

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Please Watch This Interview on Love, Marriage, & Monogamy

love marriage and nonmonogamy | open relationship coach

Two of my favorite writers and relationship experts (Dan Savage and Esther Perel) have done a lot of shared interviews and I wanted to share the best of them with you.  

Here are a few things I love about this Q&A session:

In the very first couple minutes Dan outlines some of the most common reasons people cheat in relationships.  

Then Esther clarifies the difference between infidelity and non-monogamy.  

If you listen to nothing else, check in at minute 11:21.  Esther breaks down one of the most important issues in desire for long-term relationships.  She outlines the issue with being the "chosen one" for your partner and how it diminishes desire when we're together a long time.

When asked how she would re-design marriage (at 15:28). She posits that marriage isn't necessary in the same way as it once way.  This history of marriage and committed relationships is missing in most people's understanding of partnership. 

Later she dives into the critical balance between stability and novelty in long-term relationships (near 18:00).  "Too much novelty and not enough stability is chaos and too much stability without novelty becomes fossilized."  She says there is not enough fluidity in marriage- and I wholeheartedly agree.

Finally, early on in the interview Dan discusses the difference between default monogamy and intentional monogamy- the cornerstone of my work with couples considering opening their relationships.

Check out the full interview below and call me for a free consultation if you'd like to discuss these topics in your own partnership.


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  I help people:

love marriage and nonmonogamy | open relationship coach
  • reconnect with desire & passion in long-term relationships
  • rebuild trust after an affair or infidelity
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • manage powerful emotions that show up unexpectedly
  • shift codependent communication patterns
  • open relationships & practice polyamory with integrity

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and coach clients online (and in Portland, OR).

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Integrity-Check Your Relationship

polyamory therapist online couples therapy relationship coach

I had the sweetest pleasure today of talking with a group of students at PCC Southeast campus Queer Resource Center during their Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming.  

We spent a couple hours talking about healthy queer relationships, boundaries, and communication through stress.  

It was a lot of fun.  

Students asked great questions about long-term relationships, introverts/internal processors and extroverts/external processors, and issues for transgender folks in marriages.  We covered shame, self-worth, and most of all how to show someone you really love them. 

I mean it, I love talking about love.  Especially with young people.

I walked them through a tool that can be transformative at any stage in a relationship.  It's a simple but profound integrity check for your relationship.  

Integrity-checking is important because it brings back alignment between what we say we want and how we get there.  All too often distance grows between us when we start moving away from our core.

Most couples get out of alignment after they've been together a while.  With just a little self-awareness and personal accountability you can be back on track for better connection.   

This super simple tool will help you identify if you need an adjustment and action steps to bring you back to center.  

If you want to download the guide I gave them for your own relationship integrity-check add your contact info below and I'll send you a copy.  


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:   rediscover passion in long-term relationships  repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty  move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency  resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect  break unhealthy communication patterns   open your relationship and practice polyamory with care  Call me for a  free consultation  to rethink your relationship.      Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, insecurity or codependency
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns 
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.

 

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

You Asked, I Answered: Supporting LGBTQ Relationships

lgbtq therapist portland queer therapist | lesbian therapist | glbt couples therapy

I get asked a lot of great questions about my work.  Here's a short list of the most commonly asked questions about being an LGBTQ knowledgeable and affirming provider.  

Read more of the most frequently asked questions by my clients here

lgbtq therapist portland queer therapist | lesbian therapist | glbt couples therapy

What qualifies you to work with LGBTQ clients?

I studied LGBTQ identity development and human sexuality in my first masters at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University a long long time ago.  From there I worked with queer resource centers on college campuses and LGBTQ nonprofits in Seattle.  I left education/nonprofit work to become a therapist because I wanted more transgender people to have access to letter writing therapists.

My professional training came when I completed my graduate internship at the nation's longest-running LGBTQ-focused mental health agency, Seattle Counseling Services (formerly Seattle Counseling Services for Sexual Minorities).  There I received excellent training on serving LGBTQ populations as a couples counselor.

Since then I have focused my private practice entirely on working with LGBTQ-identified clients.  Even as I shift from counseling to relationship coaching, my dedication and expertise in serving LGBTQ clients remains strong.  

Are you gay/queer/bi/trans/lesbian?

Yup.  But that's about all the information I'll share about my own relationship.  I like to keep the focus of our work on you.  

Do you write letters for transgender medical procedures or treatment?

Not since I stopped formally working as a mental health counselor (because my clients aren't unhealthy- and neither are you) but I do have a LONG list of mental health providers who can write one for you.

What do you know about transgender identities and relationships?

I have experience with trans identities and relationships both professionally and personally.  This means I have deep understanding of the unique themes facing transgender folks in relationships with cisgender partners.

That said, just like any other relationship each identity involved shapes the relationship dynamic, I'm happy to talk with you more about our unique gender identities and how they impact the connection you're building.

Do you work with straight couples?

Of course!  Many of my straight (or mostly-straight) couples are happy to know I work primarily with LGBTQ clients.  

They often feel even more comfortable sharing the less traditional parts of themselves with a provider who is open-minded and non-judgmental.   


sex counselor portland sex therapist portland oregon couples therapist

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

She can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependent patterns
  • open your relationship or practice polyamory with care
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns in your relationship

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).

10 Things to Watch When You Need to Numb Out

What to Binge Watch When You Want to Numb Out | Uncommon LOve Counseling in Portland

I've been talking to clients all day who are feeling incredibly lost, scared, and saddened by the Orlando shooting last week.  

Many of them felt an overwhelming desire to stay in, wear their jammies, and binge watch Netflix.  And at the same time they felt shame about staying in or feeling intense emotions when they're so far away from the actual incident.  

 

 

Here's what I want you to know:

You have every right to feel intense emotions after an intense incident. 

You have every right to feel scared after seeing someone experience something scary. 

You have every right to feel shock and disbelief at something so completely disturbing.

You have every right to feel anger when witnessing such incredible injustice.

You have every right to feel your feelings.

Your suffering may not be the same as those more closely related to the victims at the Pulse, but your suffering is real and valid.  An attack on any one part of our LGBTQ community is an attack on all of us.

You are feeling powerful feelings because this event was like no other.

Your feelings, your empathy, comes from the deep sweet part of you most able to connect with others.  When we lose touch with our ability to empathize we lose power as a community.  

But being empathetically connected to others during a tragedy is heartbreaking.

You are allowed to practice self-care as you see fit during heartbreak.   If you need to take a social media break do it.  If you need to eat something gluten-y and cheesy and terrible for you for a sec that's okay.  Of course be mindful of the impact on your body, friendships, or job- but you get to take a day off for self-care if you need it.  

And if you need to numb out for a bit, go for it. Here are my favorite numb-out videos online.

 

TED Talks:

 

Something Beautiful:

 

Cute Animal Videos:

 

Baby Humans:

 

Documentaries (on Netflix):

 

Gina Senarighi Couples Counseling Portland

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).

If You're Too Scared to Go to Pride....

Too Scared to Go to Pride This Year | Uncommon Love Counseling in Portland

If you've ever been to an LGBTQ Pride event you know there are always haters.  Every year "those people with the signs" show up spouting violent hateful soundbites hoping to instill fear- and for many of us it works.  

For years I've wondered what might happen if one of them chose to act on his words.  Shuddering, I stuffed those fears down as far as I could.

Until this week, when our Pride month started with a shooting at a gay club and those fears were realized.  Someone hated us enough to literally pull the trigger and hundreds of people were directly impacted- thousands more felt the impact from a distance.  

A new conversation has emerged in the LGBTQ community, many of us feeling afraid to attend the Pride month events that historically brought us together.  

There's no right or wrong here- though there will be pressure to go out anyway- and I wanted to write out the options to help you decide what's right for you.

Audre Lorde Quote | Uncommon Love Counseling in Portland

Take Care of You First

There will be intense pressure to go out in spite of fear.  Basic rhetoric: if you're not out dancing, watching floats, or wearing rainbows you're letting the terrorists/haters win.  

But there would be no Pride without the LGBTQ community.  Too many of us have survived violence, assaults, and other egregious oppression already.  The events of this week are just too triggering for some people to enjoy community gatherings.

You are allowed to stay home to take care of yourself- and know that if you're queer taking care of yourself is imperative to supporting the LGBTQ community.

Give yourself permission to practice serious self-care. 

If You Choose to Stay Home

The choice to stay home can bring up both guilt (I'm not doing enough to support the LGBTQ community) and loss (I'm missing fun times with loved ones).  Here are a couple ways to combat those feelings.

Host Your Own Pride

If going out in a crowd feels too overwhelming right now that's okay- but you might still want to be a part of the beautiful community gathering that is Pride.  You can always host your own private event if that helps you feel more comfortable.  I've heard of many folks going camping with other LGBTQ folks to celebrate Pride togetherness in a quiet, family-friendly, sober space.  

Hosting your own Pride event allows you the opportunity to set boundaries and expectations to help you and others feel safe.

Volunteer or Donate to LGBTQ Organizations

If you're worried about missing out on supporting LGBT causes do not fear.  These organizations need support year-round to make real change in the world.  If you choose to stay home from large events but still want to help our community consider donating time, energy, artwork, food, or money to one of these organizations.

Write Your Representatives

Pride got its start as a riot for safety.  If you're outraged and scared you can always write your representatives and remind them they represent LGBTQ community members.  Let them know what you need to feel safer going out.  Here's one organization that can help you decide who and what to write. 

If You Choose to Go Out

Sylvia Rivera Quote | Uncommon Love Counseling in Portland

For many folks the choice to go out feels less optional than before.  I've heard many people say they believe it's more important than ever to go out, kiss in public, and dance in honor of the people who died.  Others feel less confident- or even scared about the possibility of violence at large events.

If you still plan to go out but feel scared about your safety know you are not alone.  The truth is the risk of a mass shoting incident is relatively low (read scary shooting stats here).  

But for most of us knowing the statistics doesn't help us feel any more comfortable.  And the truth is, being an out LGBTQ person takes great courage without the threat of mass violence.

Here are a few tips that can increase safety at Pride.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Notice the entrances, exits and changes in your surroundings.  The first thing emergency responders tell us to do in one of these incidents is to get away (to safety) as quickly as possible.  

Even though the likelihood of another incident is low- knowing your escape in advance can help you feel more confident and safe no matter what happens.

Connect With Friends

Pride is all about community- so stay in close contact with friends.  Let people know where you're going, and have a way of letting someone know when you get home safely.  Keep your phone charged so you can use it to connect in case of emergency.

Stay Alert

Yes, Pride has been a time for celebration and for many people that means little sleep and lots of alcohol.  But in order to stay aware of your surroundings and connected to friends keeping yourself alert is one of the best ways to support your safety and others. 

Again, the risk of another incident is relatively low, but the risk of a sprained ankle, a bad fall, emotional embarrassment etc remains high- and you'll lessen the likelihood of these if you keep your substance use in check.

Or Both

Of course going out can also mean doing everything on the if-you-stay-home list above.  We need lots of people volunteering, contacting representatives, donating, and hosting to keep our community thriving during this difficult time.  You can always do both.   

Whatever you choose, your feelings are valid.  

It's most important to know these fears are real and valid after such an incredibly scary incident.  Your feelings are valid.  Community is important- but so is self-compassion.  

You get to decide what's right for you and how you want to support the LGBTQ community during Pride Month whether staying home or going out.  

If you're having trouble deciding, or if you're feeling paralyzed by fear let me know, I have availability for free consult and am happy to support you or help you find a therapist who can.


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).

 

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).

Two Kinds of Jealousy

Kinds of Jealousy | uncommon Love Open Marriage Counseling in Portland

The most common question I get (as a therapist who works with open relationships and non-monogamous marriages) is how I help people work through jealousy.  

Although jealousy takes many forms in these diverse relationships, there are two sources driving most of our conversations on the topic.

Most of the time, jealousy is based in fear.  It is an incredibly common emotion, and is important to acknowledge as a natural and healthy occurrence- when handled with integrity. However, when jealousy gets out of hand, it can be incredibly destructive to the foundation of any marriage or partnership.

All too often jealousy results in worried and distrustful behaviors (like snooping, spying, and interrogating).  It seems to impact relationships regardless of demographic- everyone experiences some bitter envy from time to time.

The first kind of jealousy worth noting is reactive.  

Reactive jealousy happens when you are experiencing an actual threat to your relationship.

Reactive jealousy is painful, but due to its specific focus, it can appear easier to problem solve (by addressing the threat openly, and lovingly).

On the other hand, suspicious jealousy can be very difficult to resolve.  Suspicious jealousy is not based in fact or evidence, no commitments have been broken and the relationship isn't at risk.  

Instead of being driven by a real threat, suspicious jealousy originates in one partner's insecurities.

Insecurity can come from any number of life experiences or current situations in a partner's life and in the course of a relationship it is only natural either partner will feel some insecurity rise from time to time.  Regardless of its cause, insecurity, it is important the couple work together to prevent damage that can be caused by this kind of jealousy.

Here are a couple simple but effective strategies you can work on when the green-eyed monster attacks your relationship.  

If you want help moving past jealousy in your relationship call me for a free consultation to see fi I can assist you.

 

poly counselor | polyamory couples counseling | open relationship threapist

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).