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Polyamory for Professionals ~ Upcoming Webinar!

Polyamory for Professionals

A 101 Webinar for Counselors & Therapists

Wednesday, August 30th. 5:30-7:30pm EST.

Interactive, Live Webinar you can access from all devices from your home or office.

$50-$75 Sliding Scale

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

 

Class Description:

This live webinar will cover the basics to getting started with working with people in non-monogamous relationship structures to help prevent common mistakes that turn polyamorous people off from therapeutic work and to create more poly-inclusivity in your practice.

Topics covered will include an introduction to the challenges & benefits of non-monogamous relationship structures, definitions of common terms, good questions to ask, assumptions to avoid, Do’s & Dont’s from local non-monogamous community members, and how to apply what you already know about doing therapy with individuals and couples to non-monogamous relationship structures.

Participants will walk away with a long list of resources such as books to read, worksheets to use with clients, and lots of helpful handouts to apply practically to work with your clients.

Plenty of time for Q&A will be left during the live webinar.

Can’t make the live webinar?

The recording will be available for purchase after August 30th.


PURCHASE TICKETS HERE


About the Presenter:

Yana Tallon-Hicks, MA, is a relationships therapist, sex educator, and sex columnist from Northampton, Massachusetts. She has been in and out of non-monogamous relationships for the last decade.

Yana brings her unique comfort with and knowledge of sex and sexuality issues to the individuals, couples, and relationships she works with at the Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley including LGBTQQ couples & those in non-monogamous relationship structures.

Yana holds a Masters Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Antioch University and her Bachelors degree in LGBTQQ and sexuality studies from Hampshire College. She is known for her workshops for high school age youth, college students, and adults which work to create a welcoming & comfortable space to explore crucial aspects of our holistic, sexual selves such as pleasure, communication, consent & the body and have been taught at colleges and youth groups all over New England.

In 2016 Yana was asked to deliver a prestigious TEDxTalk in Vienna, Austria on these topics, and her writing on similar topics is both nationally and locally published. Read more about Yana and her work on her About Me page.

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Strategies To Support Non-Monogamous, Polyamorous Patients

Bianca Palmisano interviewed me for this great piece on working therapeutically with non-monogamous & polyamorous clients for PsychiatryAdvisor.com. Check it out below!

One in five single Americans are or have been in a consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationship. The growing number of non-monogamous people in the United States suggests that therapists and social workers need to be ready to address alternative relationship styles like polyamory, open marriages, swinging, and casual hookups in their practices. While non-monogamy may seem like an unwieldy topic to broach, in most cases, practitioners won’t need to change much about their approach to counseling in serving this community.

Do I need a certificate to do this?

Non-monogamy can have rules and meanings as varied as the clients who practice it, just as traditional relationships are all complex and unique. This is good news for therapists, says Yana Tallon-Hicks, MA, a relationship therapist and sex educator. “As therapists… we already know that each couple has their own ways of defining intimacy, trust, commitment, and even what a relationship is. Chances are, if you got all of your couples together for a dinner party and asked them to define sex, commitment, or what marriage means to them, you’d get some wildly different responses and quite the heated dinner conversation!”

 

It can be helpful for practitioners to have some basic understanding of the different flavors of non-monogamy, but it is more important to understand “that all relationships are self-defined and on a spectrum of health,” Tallon-Hicks continues. “[This understanding] gives us the freedom of knowing that even if we don’t have a lot of experience with non-monogamous clients, we already know how to meet clients where they are and let them lead us through their own definitions and meanings of what makes their relationships tick.”

Non-monogamy….That’s like, cheating, right?

While personal understanding of non-monogamy varies greatly, it can be useful to have some basic working vocabulary on the topic…continue reading…

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How Do I Leave My Husband?

Hi Yana,

I’ve been with my husband for a decade. We married young and, in a lot of ways, he’s a great guy and right for me. But I still want to leave.

I did leave once a few years ago and he put me on a major guilt trip until I came home. Things have been better, but I’m still not happy. I feel completely obligated to him because he has no friends and I’m his whole world. I know me leaving would devastate him, but I also know I can’t stay and put his happiness above my own. For some reason I feel completely blocked to actually toughen up and tell him it’s over. There’s some barrier in my way, and I think it’s obligation.

— Dismayed to Stay

The hardest part of leaving a marriage is deciding to do it. And this you’ve already done. So, now what?

As a graduate student studying and practicing couples therapy, I would be remiss as to not recommend marriage counseling. Despite some popular opinions, couples counselors aren’t there to convince you to stay in your unhappy marriage or shame you for leaving it.

In reality, couples therapists are there to help couples make informed decisions about how to work on their relationships, give couples the tools and practice to do that work, help each partner make an informed decision about whether to stay or go, and even help navigate the transition of ending the relationship.

You don’t even have to have the same goal (Stay? Go? Separate? Divorce?) as your partner to benefit from work with an informed third party. In fact, couples counseling might help untangle this guilt/obligation cycle to the benefit of both you and your husband.

But I’m not your therapist, today, Dismayed, I’m just your local sex columnist. So, what say I? Consider what has your staying done to help your husband. It sounds like he still has no friends, no independent joys, and here you are still feeling unhappy.

This isn’t to say that your husband is a mean loser — you yourself describe him as a “great guy.” But you need to ask yourself: what has this obligation done for him, what has it done for you.

The tricky thing about anxiety, guilt, and obligation is that they hold illusions of grandeur. Obligation, for example, tells you “You’re definitely the only thing holding your spouse together. And if you don’t, you will be the sole person to blame for his eventual collapse.”

You have the power to break this misconception by telling Obligation to get over itself…continue reading…