Open Relationships & Polyamory
Polyamory has been defined as "the practice, state, or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved." (Glory Zell, 1980's) It is a form of non-monogomy or open relationship. People who engage in open relationships often do so in the spirit of honesty and optimism. There are many forms of polyamorous or open relationships. For example, some people have long-term committed relationsihps with more than one partner; an arrangement known as polyfidelity. Other people desire more flexibility, and simply want the freedom to love more than one person. Many of the people who come to therapy begin in a committed relationship with a primary partner and then open up the relationship. While people within poly community strive for compersion - taking pleasure in the pleasure of your partner - poly people get jealous just like everyone else, and jealousy is often a topic in therapy.
Individuals who are exploring non-monogamy, polyamorous relationships, or who have an established poly lifestyle will find a welcome environment. Open relationships are challenging for most people, and therapy can be very helpful to people who need support as they explore their desires or negotiate with their partners. Trust and communication become increasingly important as relationships become more complicated. Poly or open relationship concerns may be the focus of therapy; or they may not be the issue at all. One advantage in seeing a specialist is that I will not make it an issue if it is not a problem for you.