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-   -   Poly-Friendly Counseling? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8321)

EpsilonLyr 03-30-2011 07:15 AM

Poly-Friendly Counseling?
Wanted to say thanks again for all the input and encouragement from this community in my last thread. Redpepper and NyCindie, I feel bad that I never replied to those very insightful and helpful posts at the end there, I did read them and wanted you to know it was much appreciated (I pretty much went into hiding for awhile, didn't want to talk to anyone). Long story short, I've decided to seek one-on-one counseling because I've seen my emotional state steadily worsening. My thoughts have been corrosive and counterproductive. Been getting more and more depressed. It's not so much the poly thing I need counseling for, but it certainly has aided in my instability! And thus I need a therapist who will be sympathetic to my mindset. And the problem is my insurance won't cover anyone listed on Taormino's Open List or the Poly Friendly Professionals list, and I sure as hell can't afford $70-150 a session. So....

1) Does anyone by chance know of other resources/lists for therapists in Portland, OR?

2) If you've tried counseling for poly-related issues, was it helpful? Has anyone had issues with a professional who was closed-minded, biased, and/or tried to change their poly mindset?

3) Nobody wants to insure poly-friendly therapists... conspiracy anyone? ;)

I just don't want to go in there and have someone tell me my feelings are wrong, or try to reprogram me toward monogamy based on their views of socially acceptable behavior. I may not be ready for non-monogamy, but I will be highly offended if they try to cram me into their idea of normal "just cuz". I've already gotten that brand of advice and obviously it didn't help. I would hope most professionals are open-minded, but since they are still human there's a very real potential for bias here.

***As an update, my wife told me she was trying to be more open-minded to my point of view (that I'm leaning toward open relationship, but very uncertain). She's been very supportive, though she's made it clear she doesn't want anyone else in our life. I'm not sure if I do either yet, or at least I'm not yet willing to risk the stress on our relationship...

SNeacail 03-30-2011 05:05 PM

Make an appointment with someone on your insurance and take a list of questions to ask. If you don't like the answers you get or are uncomfortable with that person, move on to the next one.

Carma 03-30-2011 05:34 PM

Al-anon (for friends and families of alcoholics) is a terrific resource -- it applies to LOTS of things that we struggle with in life. I've found the 12-steps to be a great help through my poly journey. It only costs a dollar in the basket!!! And even that is voluntary!

Also the Unitarian Universalist church is generally poly-friendly. You could try asking there for a reference.

Don't give up! :)

LovingRadiance 03-30-2011 08:19 PM

Get a list of people covered by your insurance,

call and ask if they are comfortable helping someone with personal issues who is PRO-non-monogamy.

Most therapists should be willing to honestly answer yes or no.

We've met one who was clear (without being asked) that he doesn't deal with alternative relationships but did have a list of therapists who would.

redpepper 03-31-2011 04:26 AM

Good for you putting work into yourself! Keep at it my friend. You are worth it. :)

EpsilonLyr 04-01-2011 04:33 PM

Wow that was a lot of work. Shopping for a counselor is complicated. But I have an appointment next Wednesday. Hope it works out. Thanks guys!

SNeacail 04-01-2011 05:24 PM

Good Luck! Keep us posted.

Catfish 04-01-2011 09:13 PM

I recently started seeing a counselor who specializes in ACT. (acceptance and commitment therapy) I've found it very helpful. I was moved in this direction by a wonderful book suggested to me by River called Radical Acceptance. Also very, very helpful.

My best advice would be to say that any therapist worth his/her salt will be interested in helping you accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish. I found that searching for a therapist that is poly friendly shouldn't be the goal. The goal is to find someone who will help you be the best possible version of yourself. Be it poly or mono, the therapist should have your best interests at heart.

Be open. Be COMPLETELY honest. And get to work.

Good on you!

Best of luck.

EpsilonLyr 04-05-2011 09:53 PM

Thank you again
I am constantly and pleasantly surprised by the unconditional support and advice you all have given me, a wayward stranger. The encouragement really does help, more than you know. Or maybe you do! I wish I could return the favor. At the very least, I will let you know how things go. ;)

Magdlyn 04-06-2011 12:27 AM

Good luck with your therapist. I did go to a poly and queer friendly therapist for 3 years. For the first year, I saw her twice a week, once alone and once with my soon-to-be-ex. I continued to go alone for the next 2 years after my husband quit. The therapist was awesome and helped me so much!

Then we changed insurance co's b/c of my ex's changing jobs. I tried another therapist who told me married women "shouldn't" ever get crushes on other people. The nerve! The stupidity! I never went back.

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