Polyamory in Therapy:
A Deep Dive Into Clinical Strategies for Challenging Cases
Would you like to feel comfortable, confident, and competent working with relational challenges involving polyamory and other forms of consensual non-monogamy?
If so, this prerecorded course is for you.
Polyamory in Therapy is much more than an intro to consensual non-monogamy.
It’s designed to help you work effectively with the kinds of challenges that often arise when working with polyamory.
What do you do when
- one of my clients has broken their relationship agreements?
- one partner wants polyamory, and the other doesn't?
- one partner has committed infidelity, and now wants to transition to polyamory?
- partners are struggling with intense uncomfortable emotions, like jealousy?
- new relationship energy is leading one partner to be inconsiderate and self-absorbed?
- you feel uncomfortable about non-monogamy but want to be able to effectively help a diverse clientele?
This course will answer these questions and many more.
In this course, you will discover:
- How to help your clients explore many options for how they might open their relationship, including weighing pros and cons, understanding risks and benefits, and exploring differences of opinion between partners
- How to guide your clients as they craft strong relationship agreements for their non-monogamous partnership, helping them avoid common pitfalls and recover from setbacks
- How to assess what went wrong with previous failed attempts to open the relationship, and how to help clients recover and move forward strongly
- How to examine your own belief systems about marriage, relationship, and fidelity, in order to better serve clients who are very different from yourself without getting thrown off course
- What you need to know about BDSM/Kink and LGBTQAI+ populations in order to work effectively with the overlapping marginalized groups that make up the polyamory community
- Why I love working with polyamorous people and relationships, and why I think you’ll love it too!
Plus, you’ll walk away with:
- Nuts-and-bolts information about a variety of consensual non-monogamies, including pitfalls and benefits of each
- 17 worksheets, handouts, resource lists, and booklets, including several that you can offer your clients
- 4.5 CEUs approved by AASECT,* following successful completion of a learning assessment
Who am I, and why am I offering this course?
My name is Martha Kauppi, and I’m an AASECT-certified sex therapist and supervisor. I specialize in relational sex therapy, including alternative family structures like polyamory. I have spent years thinking about why polyamory works beautifully for some and fails spectacularly for others. I’ve learned a lot in the process. I’m offering this course because I want to offer you the tools and information you need to help your clients craft relationships as unique as they are.
Six recorded video lessons:
- Class One: “All About Polyamory for Therapists”—I’ll give you a rundown of the many forms of consensual non-monogamy and introduce you to key terminology. I’ll explain the major polyamorous relationship structures and shapes, brief you on the demographics of polyamorous communities, and explain “polyamory theory,” or the set of beliefs about love and intimacy many polyamorous people hold. We’ll also discuss how to identify and understand your own personal bias and how to conceptualize cases with polyamorous clients.
- Class Two: “When Your Polyamorous Client is Also Kinky or Queer”—an indispensable primer on the marginalized populations that commonly overlap with polyam communities, including the particular challenges these clients face. We’ll cover working with kink/BDSM, and explore the relationship between LGBTQ identity and polyamory. I’ll also explain some key beliefs that resonate between kink culture, queer culture, and polyamorous culture and share advice for working with clients who are very different from yourself.
- Class Three: “Common Challenges and Necessary Discussion”—how to help your clients craft the polyamorous relationship of their dreams, and avoid common snags along the way. I’ll explain how to guide a differentiated agreement-making process, one that ensures that your clients address everything they need to discuss, and prevents broken agreements before they happen. I’ll also share an effective treatment plan for working with jealousy and describe how to help your clients self-regulate and co-regulate through emotional challenges.
- Class Four: “Recovering When Things Go Wrong”—what do you do when one partner just can’t seem to keep their agreements? Or when one partner engaged in infidelity, and now wants to give an open relationship a shot? This session will cover these thorny questions, as well as revealing the root causes of broken agreements and offering guidance for how to help your clients make a good repair when things go wrong.
- Class Five: “Challenges and Benefits Related to Relationship Roles and Stages”—each role in a polyamorous relationship comes with its own unique set of challenges. In this session, you’ll learn how to understand the particular difficulties faced by your clients who are primaries, secondaries, hinges, or nesting partners, and how to help them rise to the occasion. We’ll also discuss the challenges posed by a variety of relationship transitions, including breakups and shifts in relationship structure, and I’ll offer some guidance for how to help your clients handle the mountain-moving force that is new relationship energy (NRE).
- Class Six: “Beyond the Partnership: Polyamory and the Wider World”—polyamorous partners aren’t just partners; they’re parents, siblings, neighbors, and coworkers, and being polyamorous can pose some unique challenges (and offer some potential benefits) for their other relationships, beyond the romantic ones. In this session, we’ll discuss coming out as polyamorous, children in polyamorous families, and the impacts of marginalization on your clients. We’ll also explore the ethical considerations you’ll have to keep in mind when working with polyam clients, and I’ll offer some useful tips for marketing yourself as a polyamory-friendly therapist.
- Bonus interview: "Polyamory Q&A: Burning Questions from Relationship Therapists." In this interview, I answer real questions from relationship therapists about working with polyamory. We cover the basics as well as some complicated situations.
- PLUS! You'll get my guide for partners to starting the conversation about non-monogamy, "8 Steps to Opening Up." Share this guide with your clients to help them support a pressure-free, curious, and open-hearted conversation about non-monogamy with their partner(s).
This course is approved for 4.5 AASECT CEs*
*This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 4.5 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification.
Q: Are there CEUs with this class?
Q: I have never worked with a polyamorous client before. Will this class be over my head?
Q: I want to learn how to work with polyamorous clients, but 4 and a half hours seems like a lot.
What People Are Saying About Martha’s Work
Kelly Scharver, Couples Counselor—Virginia
Martha has an incredible talent to teach complicated material in a digestible way. Every time I have heard Martha present, I have implemented what I have learned in my sessions right away.
Dian Rains Allen, Ph.D., MFT, LPCC—Vallejo, California
Martha is so generous and welcoming with her information and abundant resources, experience, online seminar leadership, and knowledge.
Katherine Waddell, MS, LMFT—Northampton, Massachusetts
Martha is a consummate professional and dynamic teacher and speaker, with an amazing breadth and depth of knowledge about work with sexuality and couples. I am so thrilled she’s offering a workshop for therapists about gaining competency with non-monogamy and poly relationships, because this is such a growing need and it’s so critical that we therapists respond to it from a place of information, awareness and understanding. Martha’s work is really one of a kind and I am so excited to continue to learn from her.
Ann Langley, Ph.D—Redwood City, California
Martha’s seminar at the 2018 Couples Conference was a worthwhile and engaging learning experience. Martha is obviously clinically skilled and knowledgeable about polyamory, and she kept the audience engaged with each other in their thinking and learning. Her warmth and openness encouraged participants to share professionally as well as personally.
Lori Weisman, MA, LMHC—Bellevue, Washington
What Martha teaches about poly is such important information for all therapists to learn. It is clear that she stands out as a specialist in this area of work. Our profession needs her expertise at a time when there are few trainings to address this issue.
Polyamory in TherapySign up
Please note: if you took this course in 2020, don't sign up now; you have lifetime access to the recordings. Contact Amelia at support at marthakauppi dot com if you need help accessing your membership.