Working across relationship diversity or monogamy/non-monogamy

This day will introduce the diversity of types of openly non-monogamous relationships which are found in the UK, focusing on the most common versions: swinging, open relationships and polyamory (having multiple relationships). These kinds of relationships will be situated in the current cultural context of shifting relationship rules which we will explore more broadly in terms of the impact that this has on our clients. Research will be introduced covering the motivations that people have for engaging in open non-monogamy, and we will outline the structures of relationship that are possible. We will then spend some time examining the kinds of contracts and arrangements that people put in place in openly non-monogamous relationships and what the aims of these are. We will also look at the language of non-monogamy which has developed in order for people to make sense of their relationships. Towards the end of the day we will look at the relationships that fall somewhere between monogamy and non-monogamy and begin to question whether this distinction is, indeed, a useful one. The possibility of monogamy continuua will be introduced as a useful basis for working with all clients around such issues. As well as thinking about how we might work with individuals and couples who are non-monogamous, we will explore the ways in which larger polyamorous groups might engage in therapy.