Polyamory is the practice of ethical non monogamy. Aside from this very loose definition, there is really no agreed upon way that people practice polyamory, or any one way to do it “right”.
People who practice polyamory come from all backgrounds and walks of life. More surprisingly, many people are already practicing polyamory, but do not identify as such.
It’s more common than you think
As we begin to understand more about human sexuality and behaviour, it is becoming clear that it is extremely difficult (but certainly not impossible) for most humans to remain monogamous in the long term.
Not accepting that this is the case can often lead individuals to experience a lot of shame, and engage in a lot of unhelpful behaviour.
What should my counsellor know?
Not every body has had a negative experience with disclosing that they are in a non monogamous relationship to their chosen health professional, and health professionals in general appear to be becoming more accepting.
However, it is a common experience that even when a health professional is accepting of polyamory, individuals may spend valuable time in session educating them about non monogamy.
Occasionally, individuals have come across a health professional that feels that polyamory indicates a sexual addiction, who believe that it is impossible to be non monogamous and remain ethical, or who continually shift the focus of discussions towards the individuals non monogamous lifestyle (regardless of whether it is causing the individual problems).
Seeing a Counsellor -
A counsellor who is competent to work with non monogamous/polyamorous relationships:
Understand what non monogamy/polyamory is
Understand that jealousy is a natural and manageable part of non monogamous/polyamorous relationships
Understand that non monogamous/polyamorous relationships have their own unique difficulties
Understand that non monogamy/polyamory is rarely the only cause of relationship difficulties