THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: WHERE CAN WE FIND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT?
From my inbox:
What would be your recommendations for attempting to find a similar practice locally to (STATE NAME) state? I'm in (PLACE NAME) so odds are if anything is at least as far as (CITY), a 1 hour drive. But I am sure you get this question a lot.
Me and my fiance are starting poly and I know I am a human so I will hurt her feelings, eventually. I just want to look up all the options to setup a healthy and timely recovery system. I know I need strong communication skills and that's another thing I want to work on.
From my sent box:
Thanks for reaching out! I see far too many people dive into non-monogamy after a lifetime of monogamy without setting clear intentions, expectations, and boundaries or cultivating necessary communication skills. I often wish more people were proactive.
I don't know of anyone doing this work locally for you, but I actually have other clients in your area, and we've worked together three months without issue. If you're at all interested in relationship coaching via FaceTime I am happy to support you.
If you want to find a couples therapist or coach in your area I would recommend contacting them via Psychology Today or the International Coaching Federation and asking four screening questions:
1) How many polyamorous, open, or otherwise ethically non-monogamous couples have you worked with in the past?
2) What professional training do you have to support your work with consensually non-monogamous couples?
3) What personal beliefs do you hold about the health and wellbeing of non-monogamous couples that might impact our work together?
4) Do you have any lived experience in consensual non-monogamy?
One other thing I can recommend is looking into Nonviolent Communication (NVC) training in your area. It is NOT the same as therapy or coaching for you as a couple (I would recommend both) and while it's not specifically designed just for non-monogamous folks, NVC has helped polyamorous couples communicate effectively across/through challenging emotions for decades. I strongly recommend finding a training or practice group now to start developing those communication skills.
As far as the hurt that will happen- that part is well within your control. If you start working on things with a trained professional before you start practicing poly (building emotional or physical intimacy with other people) you can avoid most potential hurt and misunderstanding. Communication skill development is essential for both of you.
I hope that's helpful. Please schedule a free consultation if you'd like to talk about working together. I'm happy to support you.
Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a retired couples therapist, sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and keeping non-traditional relationships healthy and vibrant.
She can help you:
- rediscover passion in long-term relationships
- repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
- move past jealousy, insecurity or codependecy
- open your relationship and practice polyamory with care
- resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnection
- break stale or unhealthy communication patterns
Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.