It used to be really hard to find a poly-friendly therapist. Or lawyer, or doctor, or whatever. Or even one who knew what you were talking about. Lists of poly-friendly professionals began in the 1990s, but they were sparse and often went unmaintained.
Well surprise! Geri Weitzman
and friends have completely overhauled and updated Joe Decker's Poly Friendly Professionals Directory
, and it boasts far more listings than I've ever seen. And for more categories of professionals than ever. Geri writes,
The Poly Friendly Professionals Directory is once again live, thanks to the efforts of hardworking volunteers. Please spread the word — first to let folks know of the directory being available again at its new URL, polyfriendly.org — and second to tell any poly-friendly professionals you might know, to ask them to submit new listings or update their old ones (instructions are at polyfriendly.org/joining.php. The listings are free). If you have questions, please contact us at polyfriendlyprofessionals (AT) gmail.com . Thanks!
Geri is the original author of the booklet What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory
, which you can email to your shrink so they can educate themself on their own time rather than yours. Printed copies
are also available singly or in bulk from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)
All this is introduction to an interview out last week in the alternative Tuscon Weekly
— with Kate Kincaid, "a therapist specializing in counseling gender and sexual minorities, people in alternative relationship models, and issues such as infidelity, mistrust, and ineffective communication. Additionally, she provides poly/kink-awareness trainings and workshops for other counselors."
Polyamory 101: An Interview With Kate Kincaid
By Ally Booker
...Kate: I think the simplest definition is loving more than one person, but it's so much more than that! We all love more than one person, but that doesn't necessarily mean we are all polyamorous. The more nuanced definition is that it's an identity and/or lifestyle choice to ethically practice being in close, intimate, romantic or sexual relationships with more than one consenting person.
...Many seem to think poly people are a bunch of oversexed heathens, which isn't necessarily untrue, but there's a lot more to it. In fact, ethically non-monogamous people tend to be very communicative and practice safer sex practices than the general population. Another misconception is that anything goes, when in fact there are a lot of agreements and sophisticated rules of etiquette for dating within the poly community.
...Ally: What's your polyamory origin story?
Kate: I've basically been poly since 8th grade when I started dating. I was crushing hard on my boyfriend, but I also loved my neighborhood best friend too. ... It involved a lot of lying and didn't feel very good for anyone involved....
Ever since I've worked in a sex research lab, I learned that a lot of other people struggle with monogamy, so it normalized [this] for me. I used to believe everyone was non-monogamous "by nature" and I was kind of militant about it. My views on it have evolved and I now believe that some people tend towards non-monogamy and some don't, it works for some people and doesn't for others, sometimes your life is set up to be conducive to it and sometimes it isn't. It's all very fluid. ...
It feels so good to be totally honest. It challenges me to be really brave and say exactly what I want. I don't judge people doing "unethical non-monogamy" as bad people at all. I empathize with not being able to express how you feel for fear of losing or hurting your partner. But I've personally found facing this fear to be extremely rewarding. But that is not necessarily true for everyone.
Ally: I'm glad to hear you're no longer "militant" about it! One of my dear friends was in an abusive relationship that was normalized by the kink-friendly couples therapist that they visited. The therapist was so invested in being a "kink" therapist that it acted like a blinder against certain red flags.
Kate: Gah! I cringe when I hear about experiences with therapists like that. That's why I want to get more into training my colleagues! Equally enraging is seeing people hiding abuse under the guise of polyamory. ... It's so important to have help from people who can understand the difference — whether that be a good therapist or open-minded, understanding friends.
Ally: What's one thing you'd tell a polyamory "pro"?
Kate: You're never a pro. Every relationship is different and will challenge you in different ways. ...
Read the whole article
(August 11, 2016).
● Lots of previous posts here tagged Therapists
(including this one; scroll down).
● Also, Ryan Witherspoon
last year posted a bibliography of some academic papers regarding poly and therapy:
Here are the citations I have (aside from Dr. Weitzman's work) that directly relate to therapeutic work with poly clients.
Berry, M. M. D. M., & Barker, M. (2014). Extraordinary interventions for extraordinary clients: existential sex therapy and open non-monogamy. *Sexual and Relationship Therapy*, *29*(1), 21–30. doi:1O.1080114681994.2013.866642
Davidson, J. (2002). Working with polyamorous clients in the clinical setting. *Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality*, *5*, 1–7.
Finn, M. D. (2014). Questioning the Rule-Making Imperative in Therapeutic Stabilizations of Non-Monogamous ( Open ) Relationships. *Forum: Qualitative Social Research*, *15*(3), 1–19.
Finn, M. D., Tunariu, A. D., & Lee, K. C. (2012). A critical analysis of affirmative therapeutic engagements with consensual non-monogamy. *Sexual and Relationship Therapy*, *27*(3), 205–216. doi:10.1080/14681994.2012.702893
Girard, A., & Brownlee, A. (2015). Assessment guidelines and clinical implications for therapists working with couples in sexually open
marriages. *Sexual and Relationship Therapy*, (May), 1–13. doi:10.1080/14681994.2015.1028352
Moors, A. C., & Schechinger, H. (2014). Understanding sexuality: implications of Rubin for relationship research and clinical practice. *Sexual and Relationship Therapy*, *29*(4), 476–482. doi:10.1080/14681994.2014.941347
Zimmerman, K. J. (2012). Clients in Sexually Open Relationships: Considerations for Therapists. *Journal of Feminist Family Therapy*, *24*(3), 272–289. doi:10.1080/08952833.2012.648143
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