Happy Pride Month!! Use coupon code takeprideinlearning2024 to take 20% off all individual courses and memberships through June 30, 2024

Feminist Structural Family Therapy with Polyamorous Clients

2.5 hour course (video + post test + evaluation)

Presented By: Stephanie Sullivan, LLMFT, and John Wall, MS, ALMFT

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.


Girard, A. & Brownlee, A. (2015). Assessment guidelines and clinical implications for therapists working with couples in sexually open marriages. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 30(4), 462-474.

Hare-Mustin, R.T. (1978). A feminist approach to family therapy. Family Process, 17(2), 181-194.

Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Sheff, E. (2014). The polyamorists next door: Inside multiple-partner relationships and families. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Silverstein, L.B., & Goodrich, T. J. (Eds.). (2003). Feminist family therapy: Empowerment in social context. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

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

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

Price for licensed therapists $75.

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.


You may also like…