Feminist Structural Family Therapy with Polyamorous Clients

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. 


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. 

What are people saying about this course:

  • I thought the course was very informative in addressing issues related to working with polyamorous clients. Also, addressing the varying social locations as the client identifies them was a great reminder of the importance of co-collaborating with them.
  • John and Stephanie did a great job at explaining this model! The use of visual aids as well as a case example was extremely useful for me to better understand a developing model applied to a marginalized population not often read about in typical text. They make a great team!


APA Approved Sponsor Logo

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.

Module 1 Module 1-1
Unit 1 Disclaimers  
Unit 2 Introduction  
Unit 3 Family Therapy Theories  
Unit 4 Feminist Structural Family Therapy  
Unit 5 Application of FSFT  
Unit 6 Considerations  
Unit 7 Course Quiz  
Unit 8 Survey