Relationship Therapy for Non-Monogamous Relationships
For those who are in relationships that are non-monogamous, it can be difficult to find a therapist who can help. As relationship expert Esther Perel discusses regularly, although we are taught to believe so, there is not just one person for many people. We have cultural messages that convey that there should be only one person for each of us. These cultural messages can reign supreme within the therapy community as well. For those who are Polyamorous, Open, and Swinging relationships, or for those who are considering stepping into these relationship styles, it’s difficult to know if you are finding an affirming therapist.
There are a few places that you can look for such a therapist. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) is one of the best places to look for a therapist who has received such training. This organization has a listing for sex therapists who are certified by the AASECT board. These therapists have high levels of training regarding various lovestyles and sexuality as part of their training requirements.
In contacting a therapist, it’s critical to ask about the training and experience of the therapist, as well as how affirming the therapist is. This can give you a sense of whether you could feel comfort in talking about this part of your relationship life, without feeling judged. Your level of comfort is how you can tell if this therapist is affirming to your relationship style.
How Can A Therapist Help?
Communication is critical in lovestyles that aren’t monogamous. A good understanding of the relationship boundaries and rules can be a struggle for many of these relationships. A therapist can help you with your communication about desires, boundaries, and concerns. They can also help you discuss issues as they arise. Those who are in these relationship styles may contend with jealousy, as relationships have new relationship energy (NRE). Open communication can help these relationships work with respect and trust. Such skills can help to enhance closeness for primary and secondary relationships.
A therapist can also help to make this an informed discussion, rather than a personal issue with secrets. Many relationships stumble into non-monogamy. This can create a trail of betrayal and trauma, when there isn’t an open discussion. However, shame of desire of such a relationship can make it difficult to bring non-monogamy up. Therapy can help those who have stumbled into this territory clear the water, so that they are able to identify their own boundaries. They can communicate these boundaries and work through hurt stemming from past dishonesty.
Therapy can also help these relationships work through feelings of neglect. When newer relationships become established, there is the possibility that feelings of neglect and inadequacy can occur. In the therapeutic process, strong and open lines of communication can be created. This facilitates those in the relationship working through this challenging time. They can also build up skills so that they won’t become as disrupted when another relationship arises.
Finally, for relationships that have a level of non-monogamy that is non-consensual, a therapist can help with walking back into good communication. This therapist can also help identify feelings of betrayal and sadness, in a way that is non-shaming or critical. This therapist can also assist those in relationships identify boundaries and discuss the various perceptions.
Though non-monogamy can have it’s challenges, many do make this work in their lives. However, it isn’t always easy, and it’s not for everyone. Therapy can help with stepping over and around land mines, and helping clients make decisions about lovestyles that will work for them.
Vantage Point Counseling offers various treatment options for different addictions and mental illnesses. With their help, thousands of people have been able to find healing and help for various mental health issues that may be fighting. They can’t wait to help you too. Visit them at their main site to learn more.