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4 min read

Non-Monogamy Therapy in Brooklyn: What To Know

Maybe you've noticed: the romantic and sexual landscape of society, at least in the West, is far more diverse and vibrant than it once was.

Actually, let's reframe that - it's always been diverse and vibrant, but some of the most diverse and vibrant parts of it have historically been forced into hiding - whether by stigma or by actual law.

Whereas in the past public relationships had to follow a set of rules - opposite sexes (the gender spectrum until very recently was totally ignored), same race, married with children, man working while the woman stays at home, blah, blah, blah - relationships now are finally starting to be allowed to truly represent the full range of human romance and sexuality.

There's still a lot of work to do, but those in non-cis-hetero-monogamous relationships can exist in public these days with reasonable certainty that they won't be arrested or killed.

But just because relationships - specifically in this article, non-monogamous relationships - can exist peacefully in most areas of the country, does not mean each one is perfect.

A non-monogamous relationship is still a relationship, which means conflict, tension, and issues are part of the natural course of things.

Let's explore the realm of non-monogamous therapy, including its benefits, uses, and what to expect from your first session.

What is ethical non-monogamy?

Non-monogamy gets a bad rap sometimes. There are two primary reasons for this:

  • Many people still retain outdated notions that relationships are between one man and one woman, and that any other arrangement is an affront to one deity or another.
  • Nearly all proclamations of non-monogamy in the media are depictions of nonconsensual, non-ethical non monogamy.

Society as a whole, as well as historians and scholars, are working on that first one. While it may never totally disappear, the world is certainly better about secular tolerance now than it ever has been.

As for the second reason, many people don't realize that there are many different forms of ethical non-monogamy.

Non-ethical nonmonogamy is nonmonogamy that is either not agreed to by one partner or that is attained using non-ethical means. Usually, non-ethical nonmonogamy is another word for cheating. Cheating is bad, since it requires, by nature, dishonesty and hurtfulness.

Ethical nonmonogamy, by contrast, is nonmonogamy that all parties agree to of their own volition. There are hundreds of different forms of ethical non-monogamy.

Some couples choose to open their relationship, allowing romance and sex betwen each partner and outside parties. Other couples explore their own kinks and sexuality by allowing outside parties into the bedroom.

Still others are polyamorous, meaning that they feel romantic love for more than one person at a time. Polyamorous relationships can consist of 3 people or 50, and are completely ethical so long as all parties involved are knowing, consenting adults.

There is no real template or blueprint for what a relationship is supposed to be. In knowing that, we come to understand that all relationships, no matter their form and so long as they are ethical, deserve respect and should be able to function as intended without let or hindrance.

This translates, in the mental health world, to therapy for non-monogamous relationships.

Reasons to Go To Non-Monogamy Therapy

Being relationships, any non-monogamous arrangement is bound at some point or another to have conflict. Human beings are individuals with their own goals, characters, assumptions, boundaries, and personalities. Mix them together, in any arrangement, and blades can clash.

There are thousands of reasons why a nonmonogamous relationship might request the help of a professional. Here are some of the most common.

Problems With Communication

This is not specific to nonmonogamous relationships, but communication is imperative in any relationship. When it breaks down, it can cause conflict and distress.

If one partner in the relationship is uncomfortable with the way they are being treated or in how the dynamic is changing, it can be very hard to communicate it. In a non-monogamous relationship, this can lead to jealousy or resentment in the long-term.

A professional nonmonogamy therapist can help every partner voice their concerns so that the relationship remains fair and gratifying for everyone.

Changing Preferences and Desires

Because people can change over time, so can relationships. Particularly in the case of nonmonogamous relationships, changing preferences for the relationship need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

For example, if two men are in an open relationship, and one starts to feel like they want to close it up, a professional therapist may be able to mediate between them and ensure that either the relationship closes safely and productively or that a compromise can be reached without too much distress.

No reason at all!

You don't have to wait for something to go wrong before going to non-monogamy therapy. In fact, many groups go to therapy in order to bond more closely, work on communication before it becomes a problem, or even just get to know each other better.

What To Expect from Non-Monogamy Therapy

Non-monogamy therapy usually starts with an initial analysis of how the relationship is currently operating.

Your therapist will likely take some time to understand both the dynamic of the relationship as a whole and the individuals who are in it. Sometimes, the therapist will insist on one-on-one time with each member to ensure that, in cases of communication blockages, they all the necessary information.

Once your therapist has an understanding of the relationship, including what it does well and what can be improved, they will get to work ensuring strong interpersonal communication and setting the relationship up for long-term success.

If there are specific problem-points - for example, a miscommunication that led to an unknown affair with an outside party - the therapist will work to help the partners resolve this in a civil and productive way.

Non-Monogamy Therapy in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

Our team of doctoral-level couples therapists is proud to offer nonmonogamy therapy for Brooklyn residents. Our team is large and diverse, so we offer a free guided consultation with our patient coordinator to help match you with the right therapist.

Give us a call. Feeling better may be closer than you think.

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