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The Polyamorous Choice: Relationship Therapy working with Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM)

The Polyamorous Choice: Relationship Therapy working with Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM)

Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) and Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) are terms used interchangeably and both refer to intimate relationships that involve multiple sexual and/or romantic partners or experiences. These open and polyamorous relationships are varied in their diversity as they reflect the values, needs and meanings of the people involved.

Times:

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, London UK

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, New York, USA

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$69.26

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Course Credits

CPD: 3 / CE: 3

Speaker(s)

Silva Neves, Niki D

Course length in hours

3 hrs of video content

Location

Online streaming only

Full course information

The taboo about open relationships in the West has been reducing as a growing trend towards CNM is being observed (BBC, ScienceDirect), both in societal and academic domains. A greater mainstream acceptance coupled with a growing public understanding of non-monogamous relationships is making it possible for people practising CNM to be open about their sexual choices. Dating apps such as OkCupid for example have reported 31% of their 1 million respondents saying Yes to open relationships, whilst the dating app Feeld is designed exclusively for unconventional relationships.

All relationship styles have challenges and CNM relationships come with their own set of unique challenges including societal stigma and relationship minority stress. What has changed is that now clients are bringing these challenges to us as therapists rather than keeping them hidden for fear of being judged. Clients are increasingly looking for our support and guidance as they navigate their open relationships.

Yet counselling and psychotherapy training and relationship therapy courses rarely discuss relationship diversity. No wonder many therapists feel unprepared and challenged by the client’s relationship style fluidity in the face of our society’s norming of monogamous relationships.

  • Can therapists adapt to the changing socio-cultural landscape and the increasingly fluid relationship structures that many of our clients are living in?
  • Are therapists who hold mainstream values and beliefs about relationships, at risk of imposing normative beliefs, standards, and expectations onto their more flexible and diverse clients?
  • How do we adapt existing narrow therapeutic frames in relationship therapy to meet the unique requirements of multi-partnered relationship constellations?

This contemporary training draws on the concepts of Sexology: the up-to-date knowledge of gender identities, sexuality, relationship styles and behaviours, which is crucial knowledge for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors so that we don’t unduly pathologise some sexual behaviours that may be unusual, yet not problematic. It focuses on helping relationship therapists work with diverse relationship styles which go beyond the traditional dyad of ‘couples therapy.’

Through presentations, handouts, experiential exercises and case scenarios, in this interactive and practical webinar, we cover:

  • An introduction to diverse relationship styles
  • Common issues that people in consensual non-monogamous relationships may face – including the topics of compersion, jealousy, gender and sexual fluidity, boundary setting and violations, and anxiety – the shadow side of freedom
  • An introduction to models that support the therapist and clients in open and polyamorous relationships – including Niki D’s 7-STAGE MODEL of co-creating an open relationship, Jessica Fern’s HEARTS model for polysecure practice and ‘checking-in’ examples which aid relational negotiation in more complex relationship structures
  • Noticing and working with the strengths of those in CNM relationships
  • Addressing mononormative bias in the therapist or client

© nscience 2022 / 2023

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

This contemporary training draws on the concepts of Sexology: the up-to-date knowledge of gender identities, sexuality, relationship styles and behaviours, which is crucial knowledge for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors so that we don’t unduly pathologise some sexual behaviours that may be unusual, yet not problematic. It focuses on helping relationship therapists work with diverse relationship styles which go beyond the traditional dyad of ‘couples therapy.’

Learning objectives

  • Explain common issues that people in consensual non-monogamous relationships may face – including the topics of compersion, jealousy, gender and sexual fluidity, boundary setting and violations, and anxiety – the shadow side of freedom
  • Discuss mononormative bias in the therapist or client and models that support the therapist and clients in open and polyamorous relationships
  • Explain how to notice and work with the strengths of those in CNM relationships

You'll also be able to...

Develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels in clients and for safer trauma therapy

Identify and acquire recovery options and strategies for trauma clients inappropriate for trauma memory processing, particularly for those who don’t want to and those who decompensate or dysregulate from memory work

Also develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels for professional self-care

About the speaker(s)

Silva Neves is a COSRT-accredited and UKCP-registered psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist, and a trauma psychotherapist. He is a Pink Therapy Clinical Associate. Silva works in his Central London private practice and online. He specialises in working with sexual trauma and compulsive sexual behaviours and provides therapy for individuals and couples presenting with a wide range of sex and relationship issues.

Silva is a COSRT-accredited clinical supervisor and a Course Director for CICS (Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology).

He is a member of the editorial board of the international journal Sex and Relationship Therapy.

Silva is the author of Compulsive Sexual Behaviours, A Psycho-Sexual Treatment Guide for Clinicians (2021, Routledge) and Sexology: The Basics (2022, Routledge). He also co-edited two new volumes of the Pink Therapy series with Dominic Davies, due to be released in April 2023: Erotically Queer and Relationally Queer (2023, Routledge). https://www.silvaneves.co.uk

Niki D is an existential psychotherapist and supervisor with thirty years of experience in private practice, statutory and voluntary sectors. She runs a supervision group, GSRD therapy groups, and a therapy group for therapists. As a relationship therapist, Niki works exclusively with GSRD clients (gender, sexual, and relationship diverse) and as a clinical associate of Pink Therapy, she teaches the online module on GSRD relationships.

She has an MA in Existential Psychotherapy and additional training in GSRD therapy and somatic body therapy and is a visiting lecturer at Regents University.

Niki has a chapter on ‘opening up a dyad’ in the Pink Therapy book Relationally Queer (2023, Routledge), co-edited with Silva Neves and Dominic Davies. www.nikidtherapy.co.uk

3 reasons why you should attend this course

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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