It isn’t mainstream, and you may not have heard of it before, but there are a significant number of intimate relationships in Britain which are polyamorous.
But what is polyamority and how do polyamorous relationships seek counselling help for relationship conflicts?
What is polyamority/polyamorous?
A polyamorous relationship consists of a group of three or more people who are involved in more than one intimate relationship simultaneously with other members of the group, with the group’s knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Values of the group are likely to include:
- Fidelity and loyalty.
- Communication and negotiation.
- Trust, honesty, dignity, and respect.
- Boundaries and agreements.
- Gender equality (regardless of the gender or sexuality of the group).
- Sharing of domestic responsibilities.
Seeking Suitable Counsellors for Polyamority.
Polyamorous relationships can struggle with conflicts, life-issues, family issues and difficulties with children just as much as any “two-partner” relationships, and there is counselling services available for polyamory – albeit not obvious.
For one thing, counsellors tend to be trained in one particular category of people at a time:-
- Individual Counselling: the counsellor is trained in being able to work in a one-on-one relationship.
- Couple Counselling: the counsellor is trained in how to manage a single relationship (between two people) in a therapeutic environment.
- Group Counselling: the counsellor is trained in how to work with a group of people (between three and eight) who are otherwise unrelated.
- Family Counselling: the counsellor is trained in how to work with a small number of people who are related to each other (not always the “immediate” family).
In these settings, no one modality attends specifically to polyamority: whether the polyamorous relationships are closed(polyfidelitous) or open, what agreements or contracts have been put in place, and whether the relationship-problems lay in the primary, secondary or tertiary levels of interconnection and interaction.
Counselling for Polyamorous Relationships.
So what does a polyamorous experiencing conflicts do when seeking counselling?
- Primarily: the polyamorous group can find a therapist who is aware of the unique needs of the group-relationship’s polyamority as a whole.
- Secondly: the relationship(s) within the group which is/are experiencing conflicts may seek counselling appropriate to the number of individuals involved in the relationship-in-conflict:
- Example A: a group of five people, where two are experiencing conflicts between each other, may seek couple counselling for the two-people relationship. This will primarily be counselling for their relationship, though, and the counsellor may not be able to work with additional relationships introduced by the couple.
- Example B: a six-member polyamorous group may seek a group relationship therapist or a family therapist to form a “closed group” for the term of the therapy work.
In short, polyamorous relationships’ needs are catered by a number of therapists – but it’s wise to check that (A) the therapist has training in working with multiple-numbers of people and (B) they are willing to meet with you for an initial assessment for counselling.
For more information on Polyamory, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory
For Marple Cross therapists, see:-
- Polyamorous Relationship Counselling: http://www.marplecrosscentre.co.uk/therapists/tag/polyamory-polyamorous-relationships/
- Family Therapy: http://www.marplecrosscentre.co.uk/therapists/tag/family_therapy/
- Couple Counsellors: http://www.marplecrosscentre.co.uk/therapists/tag/couples/
- Group Therapists: http://www.marplecrosscentre.co.uk/tag/support_groups/
Rate this Article.
Tell your friends about "Polyamorous Relationships & Counselling".
Or tell us what you think by adding your own comments (below)…