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Old 02-27-2010, 06:38 PM
spacehippiegeek spacehippiegeek is offline
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Default Does anybody have experience searching for a counsellor?

I have a problem which I have no idea how to deal with, and I was wondering if anybody here had been through this, or had any advice.

I need counselling. This is not for any issue to do with polyamory, but for personal issues. I saw this one counsellor last August, but I stopped for several months, due to my struggle to take care of my mental health. (Yes, I realize it should have been the other way around - I should have seen him more, when I struggled more.) I wasn't poly or in any relationship at the time.

Now I want to start counselling again. In the mean time, I've started a new relationship with a married poly man. I really don't know how to approach the counsellor to ask him if he is accepting of polyamorous relationships. I don't know if it's a good idea to bring it up over the phone. Or maybe I should just go to an appointment, and bring it up then. But I don't know if I should spring it on him with no warning.

I should also mention that his particular guy does Christian marriage counselling. He was very professional and respectful when we talked, and he never brought up religion. But I suspect he is more conservative on romantic/sexual issues. That was not a problem before, because I was single then. So if I have to look for a new counsellor, should I maybe ask them how sex-positive they are, rather than asking outright how they feel about honest, ethical non-monogamy?

I can't be the only person who's had to deal with this. Does anybody have any advice?
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:32 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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We met a poly-friendly counsellor by getting a referral from a friend in the BDSM scene for someone who was BDSM-friendly.

I wouldn't say it's automatic, but I'm guessing that a lot of BDSM-friendly counsellors would also tend to be more open-minded to alternative lifestyles in general, which includes poly. BDSM communities tend to be a lot "bigger" than poly communities, so it can be easier to find people to get referrals for a good counsellor who's alternative-lifestyle-friendly. Maybe check FetLife to find people in your local BDSM scene.

Another option, look for your city's alternative-living/new-age magazine. They're usually on the rack in front of small/local/independent health food stores (i.e. not GNC) or alternative bookstores. They usually have ad sections for alternative medicine practitioners to advertise their services. That's how we found a good alternative-friendly counsellor after moving to a new city.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:32 PM
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assets assets is offline
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http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/main.php

You may also find one in your area on here.

Last edited by assets; 02-27-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:03 AM
spacehippiegeek spacehippiegeek is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
We met a poly-friendly counsellor by getting a referral from a friend in the BDSM scene for someone who was BDSM-friendly.
Unfortunately, I don't have any connections in the local bdsm community. It probably wouldn't be polite to show up to a social gathering just to ask if anybody knows any good doctors, LOL.

I do have an acquaintance who is interested in joining that community, though. I suppose I could ask him to ask around, depending on how much personal information I was willing to share. But I think that at a certain point, as long as I'm not making people uncomfortable with the information, the wish for privacy is a hindrance to searching for the information I need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Another option, look for your city's alternative-living/new-age magazine. They're usually on the rack in front of small/local/independent health food stores (i.e. not GNC) or alternative bookstores. They usually have ad sections for alternative medicine practitioners to advertise their services. That's how we found a good alternative-friendly counsellor after moving to a new city.
That is an excellent idea. My city has a couple of independant weeklies. I'll check them both out. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by assets View Post
http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/main.php

You may also find one in your area on here.
That's a useful link! Unfortunately, there's nobody in my city listed there, but there are a couple in a nearby city. Depending on how my search goes, I may even be willing to make the trip. Hopefully it won't come to that, though.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:13 PM
polytriad polytriad is offline
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We have to drive about 1 1/2 hours to see our councilor. Some of them do phone sessions. I would recommend an in person session for the first visit and then you can take it from there.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:30 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Red face I'm in the same boat

I'm about to do an in-take appointment to get into therapy myself, and I'm hoping to focus on handling my mood disorder, rather than my (healthy and functional) relationship status.

The term I'll be using as a starting prompt is "sex-positive". A counselor or therapist who professes to be sex-positive seems likely to be more open to poly clients.

There's also some informational pages designed for professionals interacting with us, once you've broached the topic, so that you don't have to go over vocabulary and ethics:

http://www.numenor.org/~gdw/psycholo...ounseling.html
http://www.polyamory.org/~joe/polypaper.htm

This article is just good in general as intro, though not professional-specific, fairly recent:
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ma..._new_frontier/

Good luck to us all!
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