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-   -   Counseling for poly relationship? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4113)

Lindorah 11-01-2010 05:17 PM

Counseling for poly relationship?
 
I am having some relationship issues with 2 of my partners to the point where I feel I need some professional counseling to help straighten things out in my mind. My question/concern is, does anyone have experience with discussing poly issues with a counselor/psychologist? Can they help without being biased against the lifestyle? Any input would be much appreciated.

Marle 11-01-2010 07:48 PM

My husband and his girlfriend and I have gotten counseling from my minister. I go to a Unitarian Universalist church, which is very liberal and open-minded. It's also a lot cheaper to go to a minister than a psychologist.

She (minister) has been very helpful to us. She's clearly done a lot of reading on polyamory, and she has a lot of skill in relationship counseling. Though there's lots of different ways to do polyamory, and I think she only understands one. She keeps saying that secondaries are there to support the primary relationship, which I'm not even sure what that means, and she seemed honestly confused that I didn't break up with my boyfriend as soon as my husband had serious jealousy issues. She asked me if I could get my social needs meet through activities at church instead of seeing my boyfriend, which I thought was a bizarre question and had no answer. Though once she realized my husband never had any intention of asking me to break up with him she dropped that whole line of thought. Overall though she's been immensely helpful and really helped us repair the relationships between the three of us.

Livingmybestlife 11-01-2010 10:25 PM

I did talk to my psychologist of many years about my relationships. She reminded me of some early issues with my husband. Then she talked about the fact there are no wrongs, if everyone is accepting of it. She was very insightful. The other two parties felt no need to go or talk. They did ask me what I talked about. It seemed to reassure them.

mj511729 11-02-2010 12:43 AM

I've also wondered about this. My view has been that any counselor would immediately zero in on the poly relationship and declare that the cause of any problems without really listening. I'd be interested to hear of anyone who's had a different experience.

Marle 11-02-2010 12:51 AM

I'd have that fear too, mj. If I needed to find a professional, I would search the internet for reviews first to make sure that wouldn't happen. With my minister, I had heard that she was working with a triad that was considering marriage/commitment ceremony/whatever you want to say. They unfortunately broke up, but at least I knew our minister was open-minded enough to talk to her about it.

mj511729 11-02-2010 12:57 AM

Yeah, it's rare that we have an issue that is so bad that I'd consider counseling. But the times I have, I always dismiss it out of hand. It's a shame, because I think getting a third party opinion looking at a problem from the outside can be extremely helpful.

Morningglory629 11-02-2010 05:28 PM

I have only ever sought counseling for my poly V relationship. Mostly because my bf(the hinge) was absolutely at wits end trying to balance his spouse and me. Counseling helped for a bit. I don't think the counselor was biased against poly. She seemed very open. But I thought it would have been more helpful if we did more group work rather than individual because most of the problems were about conflict resolution and you just cannot do that on an individual basis. Of course I think there were some privacy issues when one or the other was feeling hostility or anger and she just (the counselor) kind of had her hands tied on some issues. So I am sure the counselors are out there. I know for me individually it was a great help- I had some trust issues and to a point some anger issues and some personal problems that I was able to exorcise. I was actually really sad (and a little annoyed) when we had to stop counselling as a group. But it is only as good as what people put into it. You have to have a goal and consistently and aggressively work towards it. The counsellor is a facilitator of communication but you and your SOs need to put in the work. The counselling is out there (minister, psych, therapist) it is just a style thing...and of course ask right away if there is a bias. You are there for help not condemnation. Be healthy. Keep posting if need be.:)

polytriad 11-08-2010 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lindorah (Post 51035)
I am having some relationship issues with 2 of my partners to the point where I feel I need some professional counseling to help straighten things out in my mind. My question/concern is, does anyone have experience with discussing poly issues with a counselor/psychologist? Can they help without being biased against the lifestyle? Any input would be much appreciated.

My Poly councilor ROCKS!!! She gets right to the nitty gritty…She just has a way of reading body language and asking probing questions like I do and I love it. She can identify the “real” issues when people can’t quite put a finger on it. Some of the "normal" councilors will try to push there own views on you..."this lifestyle is unorthodox thus having unresolvable issues" This is not what you want to hear...seek out a poly councilor and you will find that they are very neutral. They don't push poly on you or monogamy.

CielDuMatin 11-08-2010 07:38 PM

I have had some very good experience with a professional who, when I met her, had no clue about polyamory, but researched it, discussed it with me at some length, and then worked with me within the framework of poly to deal with my issues.

I have now recommended her and got overwhelmingly good feedback - she got to the real issues, rather than trying to "fix" the polyness.

glowinthedarkstars 11-09-2010 04:33 AM

In my experience ive gotten more help from poly friends and this board then I have from my weekly LCSW. She tries, but mostly concludes that my relationships are getting in the way of my school work or bringing me more anxiety than they are worth. she can try to help. I give her kudos for that:o
best of luck!


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