Finding Poly-Friendly Professionals
I know I'm not the only one who has encountered this, and I know that we have discussed it before in small areas of a variety of threads;
But-do you all have suggestions for how/where to find/search for poly-friendly professionals (like therapists, lawyers etc).
I live in Alaska. I've looked online and found NOONE listed for Alaska.
At the same time, I keep reading suggestions for people on here to find "poly-friendly therapists" and it IS TRUE that doing so would be their best bet...
But if one can't find them-it doesn't do much good to suggest it.
I know that there are AT LEAST 9 people on here I personally know from Alaska and I've read messages from 3 other posters who were also in Alaska that I don't know...
GRANTED-that's only 12 people which is a small % of the psoters. However-it seems that all of us would benefit from a list of places we could search, or words to use in a search or?........
I had mixed experiences with counsellors. The first one claimed to be "poly-friendly" but thought that poly was some outgrowth of the 60s free love movement and just didn't "get it".
The second one was far better.
I dug up some articles that were aimed at her profession, like http://www.polyamory.org/~joe/polypaper.htm and Franklin's site. She totally "got it" and was impressed at the maturity and the amount of thought that went into engaging in poly relationships.
She commented that in her opinion, a lot of the stuff that we always talk about needing to do to make poly work is actually good stuff in any relationship and she wished it was more ingrained in the material about regular relationships (things like effective communication, talking about expectations, talking about dreams and hopes, degree of commitment and just plain sharing). She saw the added complexities and the downsides, too - I really felt she was realistic.
Her initial impression was that it was far more of a liberal attitude towards relationships, but once she did mroe reading around and saw how different people did it, she said that while there were some that were obviously very liberal, there were some that were quite conservative. It was interesting to hear her talking about his, during our sessions.
The big one was when she was able to explain how I felt to someone who wasn't poly in a way that I had never even thought of it. I don't even remember the exact words she used, but it was great because she was able to see things from both toe monogamy and polyamory perspectives and "translate".
She was a major help to me, both personally, and for my relationship, and I have referred several people to her who were looking for help. She has told me that she has shared the information about polyamory with other professionals in her network.
When I asked her how others who weren't local to us could find someone like her - what they should be looking for, or questions to ask of a prospective counselor, she seemed amazed, because in her book, any counselor worth their salt should be able to put themselves in the position of their clients, speak their language and relate to them, without judging.
Now I know that this isn't the reality for many, who have come up against all sorts of "let's find a way to fix your polyamory thing" attitudes. But a different friend once said that when you go to a counselor, you need to "shop around" and find one that resonates with you who will give you the help you need. If one seems judgmental, don't give up, but move on, and find another.
I would suggest avoiding the ones that are directly affiliated with churches that do not support polyamory - you're not playing the odds well if you do that.
The other thing I would suggest is to compare notes - like I said, I have given her name to many who have been struggling locally - in an out-of-the-way place like Alaska it might be a good idea to document good and bad experiences with different professionals so that others can benefit from our experiences. Share it with some of the online resources for poly-friendly professionals.
Note, though, that some professionals don't want to "come out" as poly-friendly in any sort of public place - respect that (like this forum is available for Google search so I won't be listing any names here). If you have a more private forum or group where you can collect that information for others in a similar situation to you, then please do so.
Well, there's some suggestions, based on personal experiences. Not sure how useful they are, but you did ask! ;)
just got this link off the fb group I am in for poly, hope it helps.
i blv the lovingmore.com website has a list.
when i go on next time, i'll get link 4 u.
there u go, but none from alaska, but mb if u call another therapist and ask her/him they can direct you. good luck.
Really good thread with helpful links. Gonna give it a little bump here.
Oh, btw, I found this doing a tag search. ;)
There is also a thread called "Online Poly Resources" in the Golden Nuggets forum: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=133686 with several links for finding poly-friendly pros (and other resources). :)
Poly Friendly Directories
Hi there. I'm a L.A. based poly friendly psychotherapist (http://kateloree.com/). An additional suggestion is Tristan Taormino's Open List (http://openingup.net/open-list/). Also the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) has a Kink Aware Professsional (KAP) directory (https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kin...-homepage.html) and many of those professionals are also poly friendly. Good luck to you!
I know there are lists, but not everyone thinks of getting themselves on that list! Also unless you live in those areas, it doesn't help much. So rather than relying on a list to tell you I do my own research.
Try calling up a couple of places and explain that you are looking for a family/individual counselor but that you do find it important to find a counselor that is more open minded and it helps to ask if they have LGBT friendly counselors. Even if the counselor is not familiar with Poly I have found that those that are experienced with the LGBT community are more open minded and willing to put in the time to do the research. In the end, you just want someone that is interested in helping you have a healthy relationship, mono or not, so being open minded and non judgmental on your relationship style is a good start!
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