How to Navigate Alternative Relationships like Consensual Non-Monogamy and Polyamory
A rising number of people are questioning traditional relationship concepts and trying to find customized solutions for a fulfilling relationship life - for themselves and their partners. Maybe you are one of them?
There is plenty of options ranging from casual sex over affectionate love affairs to committed relationships. However, since there are still too few role models to witness and learn from and no handbook presenting a one-fits all solution, designing your alternative relationship can be a real challenge.
I accompany individuals, couples and multi-person constellations during their process of conscious relationship design. In doing so, I view my clients' romantic and sexual desires as a normal expression of a broad, diverse spectrum of possibilities.
Did you know that 1 out of 5 people has already been in a consensually non-monogamous relationship in some point of their life?
I personally find it a good development that people not just accept but to challenge the status quo and consciously create what feels good to them.
Typical questions of my clients
„How can we open up our monogamous relationship safely?“
„My partner wants an open relationship. I am somewhat open, but am very afraid of losing them. What now?“
„We are already living non-monogamy /polyamory and would like a therapist who welcomes this and is knowledgeable about this model. Can you help us with navigating specific relationship topics?“
„I am not interested in seeing other people but my partner has made a connection.
Would you support me finding out what feels true to me?"
„I have mental health challenges unrelated to my relationship style but I am polamorous and do not want to be pathologized. Am I welcome here?"
What would we be doing in our sessions?
That depends on what your goal is and how you would most benefit from my skill set and my professional experience. Common topics include:
Jealousy, fear of loss & co. How to deal with challenging emotions?
Jealousy is a common experience for people that are dealing with multiple partners and metamours. If this resonates with you, we will take a very close look at how this feeling unfolds for you, what that might have to do with your personal history and find some strategies for you how to deal with.
Communication in a partnership. How to say it?
One of the main cornerstones of every partnership is healthy communication. We will observe how
you and your partners speak with (- and listen to!) each other. Also, we will discuss how to really hear and understand each other.
Negotiating good agreements. What am I consenting to?
Good agreements are those that can be kept by both parties and allow you to maintain your personal boundaries. Discussing what you are willing to do and accept might not only be relevant to you when you are in the early stages of opening up, but also throughout your relationship when your needs and wants change.
Other topics include:
Diversity of relationship structures - from hierarchy to relationship anarchy
Attachment styles and the challenges associated with them
Infidelity, broken agreements and trust
Relationship transitions: New Relationship Energy, escalating/de-escalating and break-ups
Polyamorous families with kids
Challenges of coming out
Intersectionality - multiple marginalized identities ( e.g. BDSM/Kink, LGBTQIA+ and more).