Polyamory | The Affirmative Couch

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From a Distance: Navigating Polyamory During a Pandemic

Posted: 7-12-20 | The Affirmative Couch

Navigating Polyamory During the Pandemic

Presenter/Instructor: Esther Benoit, PhD, LPC (VA)

1 CE Available

Abstract: Times of stress and transition can amplify dynamics within relationships, particularly affecting complex relationship structures like polyamorous ones. This course will explore how clinicians can support their polyamorous clients through uncertain times, and how polyamorous partners can support each other to create connection in times of uncertainty. Polyamorous relationships take on many different forms and can range from parallel--a style that honors needs for privacy and space among partners--to kitchen table, a more interconnected pattern in which partners feel comfortable with each other’s partners and can sit around the kitchen table together. 

Various styles and relationship structures within polyamory, and their intersections with normative and non-normative life events including worldwide crises such as Covid-19, will be explored. This presentation explores a range of living arrangements, logistics, and life stressors that can impact relationship satisfaction. Strategies for working with polyamorous clients in times of transition and stress will be provided, and specific attention will be paid to the many ways in which the current global pandemic is shaping how and with whom we are able to connect relationally. 

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify two to three polyamorous relationship styles and relational patterns associated with those styles
  2. List three therapeutic techniques and interventions that are useful for working with polyamorous clients who may be living apart from one or more partners
  3. Assess relationship styles, living situations, resource availability, and relationship hierarchy with their polyamorous clients

Esther Benoit, PhD, LPC (VA) has been serving clients and students in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area since 2005. Her practice focuses on creative approaches to counseling, emphasizing the importance of relationships and relationship patterns. She works with people who struggle with anxiety, systemic/family patterns, complex relationship structures, LGBTQIA+, and multicultural issues.

$20

Buy Now

Licensed therapists who work in nonprofits price is $15 (Use coupon code: polypan15 at checkout)

Student/pre-licensed price is $10 (Use coupon code: polypan10 at checkout)

You can also get access to this course and all other courses – current and future – with the Lifetime Membership for a one-time fee.


APA ApprovedThe Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

About The Author

The Affirmative Couch

The Affirmative Couch, LLC supports the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities through education. The Affirmative Couch, LLC is dedicated to a world where everyone has access to affirmative psychotherapists and information about their unique mental health needs.

Fighting without Fighting: DBT Skills for Addressing Microaggressions

Posted: 4-23-20 | The Affirmative Couch

DBT Skills for Microaggressions

Presenter/Instructor: Rachel Jones, M.A.

2.5 CEs Available

Abstract: Microaggressions exist in the form of jokes, insults, biases, questions, and comments. They are often casual and can even be well-intended. On a day-to-day basis, microaggressions are directed toward people of color, women, gender diverse individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, relationship expansive individuals, and other people of marginalized groups or communities outside of the cultural norm. Their impacts on mental health range in severity and cause significant distress. While the targets of microaggressions are not responsible for the actions of others, they can develop control over their responses. 

This course will provide clinicians with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) interventions to increase adult and adolescent clients’ self-efficacy and agency. The course will differentiate between microaggressions and more overt offenses, and cover the implications on mental health and the unique clinical needs of groups and communities commonly targeted. The presenter will teach a selection of DBT skills for clients who struggle with distress, rumination, anger, impulsivity, suicidal ideation, relationship issues, and ineffective communication as a result of microaggressions. The course will be presented in the form of lectures, video demonstrations, and vignettes. 

Learning Objectives

After participants complete this course, they should be able to:

  1. Identify microaggressions and describe at least 3 ways in which microaggressions impact mental health
  2. Compare the changes in the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems when using DBT skills 
  3. Select at least 1 appropriate DBT skill for each of the four modules according to the client’s subjective level of distress 

Rachel Jones, M.A.  – Rachel is an Associate MFT working in private practice, specializing in treating individual adults, couples/multi-partners, adolescents, and children ages 5 and up. She also provides individual therapy in conjunction with phone coaching and skills groups as a part of the Comprehensive DBT treatment team at Suzanne Wallach Psychotherapy.

$75

Buy Now

Licensed therapists who work in nonprofits price is $55. (Enter code NPDBTSkills at checkout)

Student/prelicensed price is $25. (Enter code PLDBTSkills at checkout)

You can also get access to this course and all other courses – current and future – with the Lifetime Membership for a one-time fee. 

 


APA ApprovedThe Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

About The Author

The Affirmative Couch

The Affirmative Couch, LLC supports the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities through education. The Affirmative Couch, LLC is dedicated to a world where everyone has access to affirmative psychotherapists and information about their unique mental health needs.

Feminist Structural Family Therapy with Polyamorous Clients

Posted: 10-2-19 | The Affirmative Couch

Feminist Structural Family Therapy with Polyamorous Clients Course

Presenter/Instructor: Stephanie M. Sullivan, M.S., LLMFT and John Wall, MS, ALMFT

2.5 CEs available

Abstract: Even when therapists do accept a polyamorous client’s relationship style, they may not know how to apply therapeutic theories to working with the polyamorous relationship. Current family therapy approaches are not easily adaptable to address the needs of clients in polyamorous relationships. There is no typical structure of a polyamorous relationship, presenting a challenge to traditional couples’ therapy approaches that do not consider the inclusion of other partners (Girard & Brownlee, 2015; Sheff, 2014). This course will combine and apply feminist family therapy (Hare-Mustin, 1978; Silverstein & Goodrich, 2003) and structural family therapy (Minuchin, 1974) to polyamorous clients in a therapeutic context. Feminist Structural Family Therapy (FSFT) can be utilized in working with a variety of polyamorous arrangements, as it is highly adaptable, recognizes various structural arrangements in polyamory, and includes feminist discourses about hierarchy and power in relationships. Adapted interventions with recommendations for FSFT therapists, as well as a case example for clarity, will be included. This course will help therapists understand how to apply FSFT so they can work affirmatively and sensitively with polyamorous clients.

Learning Objectives 

Participants should be able to: 

  1. Define power, boundaries, and hierarchy from an FSFT standpoint, and identify at least five different social locations that may impact treatment.
  2. Be able to create an affirmative family map of a presenting polycule.
  3. Describe at least three FSFT techniques and how to apply them with polyamorous clients.

2.5 hour course (video + post test + evaluation)

After watching the video for each section, you will be able to mark it as "complete" and continue to the next section. There is a quiz at the end consisting of 20 questions. You must answer 15 correctly for a passing grade and to receive your certificate. You can retake the test multiple times. 

$75

Buy Now

Licensed therapists who work in nonprofits price is $55. (Enter code fsftnonprofit at checkout)

Student/prelicensed price is $25. (Enter code fsftprelicense at checkout)

You can also get access to this course and all other courses – current and future – with the Lifetime Membership for a one-time fee. 

 


APA Approved

 
 

About The Author

The Affirmative Couch

The Affirmative Couch, LLC supports the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities through education. The Affirmative Couch, LLC is dedicated to a world where everyone has access to affirmative psychotherapists and information about their unique mental health needs.

Multiplicities of Desire: Working with the Intersection of Bisexuality and Polyamory

Posted: 9-19-19 | The Affirmative Couch

Multiplicities of Desire: Working with the Intersection of Bisexuality and Polyamory

Presenter/Instructor: Stephanie M. Sullivan, M.S., LLMFT 

3 CEs available

Abstract: Bisexuality can have multiple meanings, but will be defined here as the potential to be attracted to people of more than one sex or gender, either romantically, sexually, or both (Eisner, 2013). Therapists who are working with a client who is bisexual in the polyamorous community may have to consider how their client’s bisexuality impacts them therapeutically. Bisexual individuals may be discriminated against, stereotyped, and/or have their identity erased in ways that are unique to the bi community (Bradford, 2004; Keppel, 2006; Turell, Brown, & Herrmann, 2017). Their client may have different needs, risk factors, and meaning-making than straight, gay, or lesbian clients. In addition, therapists should be acquainted with how being bisexual in the polyamorous community can be both a gift and a curse (Klesse, 2006; Robinson, 2013; Weitzman, 2006). Couples, particularly heterosexual couples, may “hunt” for a bisexual partner to incorporate into their relationship. This course will detail how therapists can help both couples and a bisexual person navigate the ethics, benefits, and disadvantages of bisexuality in polyamory. It will address “unicorn hunting,” and help therapists learn to facilitate conversations about bisexuality and healthy, ethical relationships in polyamory.

Learning Objectives:

  • List two ways bisexual erasure can impact a bisexual client.
  • Outline five stereotypes about bisexual individuals. 
  • Identify three benefits and three disadvantages to being both polyamorous and bisexual.
  • List 3 potential problems that unicorns and unicorn-hunting couples may experience.

3-hour course (video + post test + evaluation)

After watching the video for each section, you will be able to mark it as "complete" and continue to the next section. There is a quiz at the end consisting of 24 questions. You must answer 18 correctly for a passing grade and to receive your certificate. You can retake the test multiple times. 

Stephanie M. Sullivan, M.S., LLMFT – Stephanie M. Sullivan is a Limited Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at A Compass Within Personal Consulting in Rochester, MI.

$90

Buy Now

Licensed therapists who work in nonprofits price is $70. (Enter code bisexualitypolyamorynp at checkout)

Student/unlicensed price is $40. (Enter code plbisexualitypolyamory at checkout)

You can also get access to this course and all other courses – current and future – with the Lifetime Membership for a one-time fee. 


APA Approved

 
 

About The Author

The Affirmative Couch

The Affirmative Couch, LLC supports the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities through education. The Affirmative Couch, LLC is dedicated to a world where everyone has access to affirmative psychotherapists and information about their unique mental health needs.

Healing Power of Open Relationships

Posted: 9-1-19 | The Affirmative Couch

Healing Power of Open Relationships

Presenter/Instructor: Kathy Slaughter, LCSW 

4 CEs available

Abstract: Open relationships offer unique and perhaps unexpected protective factors and opportunities to heal from trauma. Working with trauma survivors who engage in open relationships challenges our best ideas about healthy relationships. Becoming a trauma-informed, consensual nonmonogamy affirmative therapist requires understanding how trauma impacts neural development, self-regulation, attachment styles, and interpersonal relationship skills. Supporting these clients demands differentiating between typical jealousy and trauma-fueled existential panic. This workshop supports therapists to develop their own understanding of healthy relationships beyond the monogamous framework and understand how certain nonmonogamous community values can create corrective learning experiences for their clients. This workshop illustrates how attachment theory, family systems theory, and the Gottman Method can inform work with trauma survivors in open relationships.

After completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe at least 3 areas affected by trauma and how they may impact relationships
  • Identify at least 3 unique ways that open relationships can provide healing for trauma
  • Create a case conceptualization utilizing family systems theory to understand dynamics in a polycule
  • Explain at least 2 applicable tactics from the Gottman Method as they apply to polyamory

4-hour course (video + post test + evaluation)

After watching the video for each section, you will be able to mark it as "complete" and continue to the next section. There is a quiz at the end consisting of 24 questions. You must answer 18 correctly for a passing grade and to receive your certificate. You can retake the test multiple times. 

Kathy Slaughter, LCSW - Kathy Slaughter is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in practice for 14 years in Indianapolis, IN.

$120

Buy Now

Licensed therapists who work in nonprofits price is $100. (Enter code healingpower100 at checkout)

Student/unlicensed price is $60. (Enter code healingpower60 at checkout)

You can also get access to this course and all other courses – current and future – with the Lifetime Membership for a one-time fee. 


APA Approved
The Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

About The Author

The Affirmative Couch

The Affirmative Couch, LLC supports the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities through education. The Affirmative Couch, LLC is dedicated to a world where everyone has access to affirmative psychotherapists and information about their unique mental health needs.

Polyamorous Clients in Therapy: What You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know

Posted: 4-3-19 | Stephanie Sullivan

Polyamory Course

Presenter/Instructor: Stephanie M. Sullivan, M.S., LLMFT 

3 CEs available

Abstract: Consensual non-monogamy is a relationship style in which all individuals within the relationship agree to not being monogamous, and all individuals involved in the relationship are aware that it is not a monogamous relationship. Polyamory is a type of consensual non-monogamy in which people are able to be in committed, long term, intimate relationships with more than one person. An estimated 4-5 percent of the American population openly reports being involved in a consensual non-monogamous relationship – though this number is still fluctuating and difficult to determine (Moors, Conley, Edelstein, and Chopkin, 2015; Winston, 2017). Of this, Sheff (2014) estimates that somewhere between 1.2 million and 9.8 million people in the United States are polyamorous. Despite these numbers, many mental health clinicians are unaware of how to work with consensually non-monogamous clients. This gap in knowledge has led to creating psychological distress for polyamorous clients due to marginalization, discrimination, and pathologizing their chosen relationship style. There have been multiple calls for awareness by mental health providers in recent years, asking for more trainings on working with polyamorous clients to help this group become more accepted and understood in therapy (Anapol, 2010; Graham, 2014; Williams & Prior, 2015). Polyamorous people face a culture of mononormativity, in which monogamy is assumed to be the default, “normal,” and most “ideal” relationship style, but clinicians can assist in dealing with this minority stressor.

This course will train mental health professionals to provide more inclusive and culturally sensitive services to their polyamorous clients by educating them about the nuances of working with polyamorous clients in a therapeutic environment. The course will begin with a basic overview of minority stress theory and terminology for therapists to understand the diversity within relationship structures. The presenter will teach therapists to work with various clinical issues related to polyamory, such as creating relationship agreements, navigating jealousy, and developing healthy, ethical relationships. Abuse as it may present in polyamorous relationships will also be covered. The effects of mononormativity on both the client and therapist will also be examined. The course will discuss compersion, which is generally considered the “opposite” of jealousy – when a person feels joy over their partner also experiencing joy. Vignettes will be utilized to further deepen understanding of clinical work.

This course is meant for intermediate audiences. 

After completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe at least 2 ways minority stress affects polyamorous clients
  • Differentiate between hierarchical and nonhierarchical types of polyamorous relationships
  • List at least 2 unique forms of abuse that may occur within polyamorous contexts
  • Describe at least 2 interventions therapists can use to help clients struggling with jealousy develop compersion

After watching the video for each section, you will be able to mark it as "complete" and continue to the next section. There is a quiz at the end consisting of 24 questions. You must answer 18 correctly for a passing grade and to receive your certificate. You can retake the test multiple times. 

Stephanie M. Sullivan, M.S., LLMFT – Stephanie M. Sullivan is a Limited Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at A Compass Within Personal Consulting in Rochester, MI.

$90

Buy Now

Licensed therapists who work in nonprofits price is $60. (Enter code npocoupon at checkout)

Student/unlicensed price is $30. (Enter code plcoupon at checkout)

You can also get access to this course and all other courses – current and future – with the Lifetime Membership for a one-time fee. 


APA Approved
The Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

About The Author

Stephanie Sullivan

Stephanie M. Sullivan is a Limited Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at A Compass Within Personal Consulting in Rochester, MI. She specializes in anxiety, self-care, sexuality, polyamorous relationships, and other forms of consensual non-monogamy. Stephanie often utilizes collaborative, solution-focused theories to help empower her clients in their life’s pursuits.

http://acompasswithin.com/