Currently, I facilitate a Poly Support Group
for people wanting to learn more about themselves and polyamorous relationships. The group meets alternate months in Chicago and Evanston. You can find out more about the group and the next meeting at www.meetup.com/Chicago-Polyamory/
In 2011, I completed a study of people who identified as polyamorous. I found that polyamorous individuals tend to share certain common experiences and difficulties. Some of the special issues related to being in a polyamorous relationship include:
- experiences of being outside of the cultural norm for relationships,
- challenges of identifying as poly and coming out,
- dealing with discrimination and prejudices,
- fears of rejection, isolation and loss,
- negotiating agreements amongst partners,
- jealousy, and
- finding support and resources within the community.
If you are in or exploring a poly relationship and looking for a therapist, the therapist’s underlying perspectives toward relationships may be important. Their attitudes can create and support a background of trust, empathy and optimism as your concerns are expressed and explored. Here are a few things to consider:
- Is the therapist aware of and knowledgeable about polyamory?
- Is the therapist curious, open-minded, warm, accepting, willing to learn about and explore different relationship configurations?
- Does the therapist have an appreciation and understanding of the unique difficulties that you are facing?
- Does the therapist have fixed or rigid ideas, beliefs, biases or attitudes about monogamy or polyamory?
If you have questions about polyamory or non-conventional relationships, here are a few frequently referenced resources:
Anapol, D. (1997). Polyamory: The new love without limits. San Rafael, CA: IntiNet Resource Center.
Anapol, D. (2010). Polyamory in the 21st century. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Easton, D. & Liszt, C. (1997). The ethical slut: A guide to infinite sexual possibilities. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.
Taormino, T. (2010). Opening up: A guide to creating and sustaining open relationships. San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press Inc.