Polyamory Archives - The Affirmative Couch

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Defining Power for Affirmative Therapists

Posted: 8-4-21 | Melissa Dellens

Clinics, treatment centers, and group practices play an important role in the communities they serve. Power flows through every relationship from the individual dyad in treatment to a community clinic’s relationship with federal policy (Hess & Schultz, 2008).  Moreover, these dynamics can be seen as both a commodity and resource (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2004) in [...]

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Bisexual Polyamorous Clients in Therapy

Posted: 7-21-21 | Stephanie Sullivan

Before getting into this article, I would like to locate myself. I am a white, bisexual, able-bodied, ambiamorous, cisgender woman with anxiety and a chronic illness who has been in both monogamous and polyamorous relationships. As someone who identifies as bisexual, has navigated both polyamorous and monogamous relationships, and specializes in working with these [...]

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4 Barriers to Affirmative Clinic Change

Posted: 6-9-21 | Melissa Dellens

Gerald Caplan is seminal in developing some of the early theories of consulting work (Caplan, 1960). Caplan worked in Israel after World War II providing mental health support to 16,000 displaced and orphaned teens in overwhelmed residential and refugee facilities (Mendoza, 1993). Caplan’s resources were limited, and his team had no way of serving the [...]

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Mono-Poly Relationships in Therapy

Posted: 4-1-21 | Stephanie Sullivan

Ask Us Anything: How does a therapist deal with a couple where one partner prefers monogamy and the other wants to be polyamorous?

 First, we can consider the many ways in which one might ask this question, which can change its meaning. There are several situations when this will come up in the therapy room, and [...]

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Telepsychotherapy Protects Queer Communities From COVID-19

Posted: 3-15-20 | The Affirmative Couch

Telehealth offers psychotherapists a way to provide quality mental health services while still practicing and promoting extreme social distancing. This practice, instituted early, can help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic (Pueyo, 2020; Stevens, 2020). Psychotherapists who work with queer communities should be switching to telehealth in order to decrease the risk faced [...]

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7 Reasons to Pursue Specialized Training to Work with Consensual Non-Monogamy

Posted: 2-19-20 | Kathy Slaughter

The popularity and public visibility of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) continues to grow. Since Buzzfeed first reported on the phenomenon back in 2015, interest in this relationship style has been expanding. A recent study by Schechinger et al. (2018) found that four to five percent  of the general population is currently engaged in an open relationship [...]

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Helping Queer and Trans Clients Navigate Fatphobia During the Holidays

As we approach winter and prepare for “hibernation,” diet culture and fatphobia often kicks into high gear.  Family meals, holiday parties, and New Year’s resolutions surround us, regardless of whether we celebrate, and become fertile ground for fat shaming. The “holiday season” is already hard enough for many LGBTQIA+ folx*. It can also be an [...]

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Managing Jealousy in a Polyamorous Relationship

Posted: 6-14-19 | Stephanie Sullivan

Stephanie M. Sullivan, MS, LLMFT

Keywords: Polyamory

When people are first introduced to the idea of polyamory, one of the first questions they ask is often about jealousy. How do people in polyamorous relationships manage jealousy? Are they ever jealous? In the vast majority of polyamorous relationships, jealousy does come up at some point. However, [...]

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Finding a Polyamory-Affirmative Therapist

Posted: 2-1-19 | Stephanie Sullivan

By Stephanie M. Sullivan, MS, LLMFT

Many people, across all walks of life, occasionally need therapeutic services. Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, it can be difficult for anyone to contact a mental health therapist. However, if you are polyamorous or curious about exploring polyamory, you may struggle even more with reaching out to [...]

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