Poly-friendly counsellors (directory of)

Hi, Everybody!

It has struck me how many people are considering therapy/counselling. And the replies often advise: "Look for a poly-friendly counsellor" or "Make sure it's a poly-friendly counsellor".

So it occured to me today: Just how easy is this, if you don't know how to look for one or if you live on a farm outside some small village?

Wouldn't it be a good idea to create a directory of poly-friendly counsellors/therapists, with points awarded on various aspects (feminism, children's needs given extra attention, reasonable fees, (pricey but well worth the cost?), speaks Spanish (or other language), explains things well, doesn't interrupt (LISTENS well), etc.)?

It could start off - for example - with people adding recommendations to this thread. Have you had counselling? Can you recommend a poly-friendly counsellor who was particularly helpful?

Or - on the other hand - can you warn against a counsellor who PRETENDS to be poly-friendly but actually isn't? One who hits on their clients? (It has been known.)

Give name, town/city, state, country if not the USA, and a (SHORT) description + a 0-100% evaluation of the aspects mentioned above (and any others that occur to others along the way).

If this takes off, maybe a web-page with a by-location listing could be created.

What do people think?

Is this even LEGAL?
 
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Location

It would help if you put the location of your counsellor in the title bar above the message space. This would aid others in scrolling through numerous replies, searching for a counsellor near them.

Though if you feel it's important to add something else, like: ":)Really fucking EXCELLENT advice!!!" or ":mad:BEWARE!!!", feel free to do so. :D
 

opalescent

Active member
In the US, there are a few places to look for poly-friendly counselors. There is the Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) list run by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). https://ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/kink-aware-professionals/kap-program-page.html Kink and poly often overlap. Tristan Taormino has section called 'The Open List' on her website, http://openingup.net/ that includes counselors and therapists.

I think there is another resource for poly friendly therapists and similar but I am blanking on it. I don't know of any international resources (some of the above may include Canadians).

I recommend people look for therapists that work with LGBTQ folks as they are often more open to alternative relationships. Of course this is not foolproof.

It seems to me that MrFarFromRight, you want something like a Yelp for therapists and counselors? yelp.com

I do think that a Yelp version of the lists - and for counselors in general - would be great but have no idea of how to go about creating such a thing.
 
In the US, there are a few places to look for poly-friendly counselors. There is the Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) list run by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). [...] Kink and poly often overlap. Tristan Taormino has section called 'The Open List' on her website, http://openingup.net/ that includes counselors and therapists.
[...]
I don't know of any international resources (some of the above may include Canadians).
[...]
I recommend people look for therapists that work with LGBTQ folks as they are often more open to alternative relationships. Of course this is not foolproof.
Kink and poly often overlap, but not always. I would HOPE that someone who advertised themselves as "Kink Aware" would mean more than "I have no prejudices against clients who are into kink", but would have more knowledge of kink and be therefore more prepared to counsel kink clients. The same goes for "Poly Aware." This forum contains ample proof that there are poly issues that people outside the poly scene have trouble grasping... even "normal" relationship guidance counsellors. And I can imagine kink cousellors who don't approve of poly and vice versa.

Our list would not exclude international counsellors.

Our list would incorporate a recommend/warning feature. I haven't looked at the KAP list, but if it's just a list, ours could go one better.

I had a VERY quick look at that yelp.com site, but I suspect that if you started something like that, you would run into 1 of 2 disadvantages:
either ANY counsellor could add themselves to the list. Unscrupulous ones could do so with NO idea of poly; or
A moderator or junta of moderators would have to decide whom to include in the list and would therefore be morally responsible for recommending (or allowing) inclusion of counsellors of whom they know absolutely nothing.

If a list was started on this forum, you would be able to see, for example, Counsellor X, recommended by RedPepper (excuse me, Red: it's only a hypothetical example), who reckons she [Counsellor X] is well-up on poly, children of poly, and kink.
"Hmm, well I trust RedPepper's judgement."

Another example: Counsellor Y, recommended by MrFarFromRight.
"Hmm! Judging from what I've read of his comments on this forum, MrFarFromRight doesn't know his arse from his elbow. Think I'll give Counsellor Y a miss."

Since it's members on this forum giving the advice: "Make sure it's a poly-friendly counsellor", it'd be handy for a list on this site to exist, instead of the advice givers (or receivers) having to search up forgotten URLs or having to Google it. opalescent, you've got a great track record of giving excellent advice, but even you wrote "I think there is another resource for poly friendly therapists and similar but I am blanking on it." (underlining - as ever - is mine)

More comments from other members?
 

nycindie

Active member
Doesn't anyone ever read the Golden Nuggets forum? (sigh)

We don't have the time nor resources to maintain directories of professionals, but we can point you folks in the direction of those who do. The Golden Nuggets forum is for resources like that and are updated from time to time.

In that forum, look at the Sticky Note titled Online Poly Resources. In Post #20 is a list of all tyoes of resources, including how to find poly-friendly therapists. I haven't updated links in a while, so if any are broken, please let me know.

Edited to add: I made that part of it a separate Sticky by itself - you will find it at the top of the Golden Nuggets forum. That forum has lots of goodies in it!

Thank you.
 
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Doesn't anyone ever read the Golden Nuggets forum? (sigh)
Well, I'm sure somebody must do. Now and then. But you can't expect everybody whose relationship is going off the rails to look first at a corner of the forum called "Golden Nuggets". Sounds akin to "Fireplace" in my opinion. It didn't occur to me to file this post there. Would it be possible to start a NEW corner called "Online Poly Resources For Emergencies" or something?

When members have problems, they ask other members for advice. (In my opinion, this can often be more productive than seeking professional advice.) Sometimes, when NON-members have problems, they join up, so that they can ask other members for advice... even though "Golden Nuggets" is open to use by non-members. Maybe - in an emergency - they'd try "Online Poly Resources For Emergencies" first.

OK, so I followed up one of those links (I'm not looking for a counsellor myself, but I'd like to know that the information IS out there):
http://polyfriendly.org/list.php?category=Psychotherapists

Just a brief glance (from someone who doesn't live in the USA): None in Alabama, none in Alaska, 4 in Arizona. That's 4 in the first 3 states alphabetically... I didn't go through the whole thing. Pages and pages worth of California entries. Only to be expected.

The entries are compiled by the professionals concerned, no unbiased evaluation.

I'm GLAD that the lists exist! I shall pass the link on to people who ask about counselling. That doesn't stop people from adding to this thread, sharing their personal evaluation of counsellors that they've used. Alaskan poly-friendly counsellors, anyone?

p.s. In all the threads that I've read where somebody was considering counselling - or another member suggested it - I don't remember anybody pointing to this Golden Nuggets post. Thank you for doing so.

The closest I've seen is kdt26417, (Official Greeter)'s standard greeting to newbies, informing them that they can find interesting stuff there. In a comment to someone (possibly) needing counselling, he wrote:
Hi *******,

I, too, recommend counseling, poly-friendly if possible, just for you if not for both of you.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Kevin, PLEASE don't take this as a criticism! You do a great job. Thank you for doing it. And it's NOT your job to have a finger on every pulse. I'm just making a suggestion for improving the site.
 

nycindie

Active member
Any list of practitioners provided by any organization will need constant updating. We don't have the resources to keep up with one. But other organizations do, however flawed they may be. My personal opinion is that I don't think it's a good idea for us to get into posting any therapists' contact information on here. If people want to make recommendations, they can do it by PM.

And nobody ever reads the Guidelines either, but they're there for everyone to review when they join. Joining an online community should include checking out their Guidelines and whatever Forums they have to offer. We can't hold everyone's hand and do it for them.

I appreciate that you want to make suggestions for something you think will be helpful, despite being someone who doesn't participate here for weeks or, more often, many months at a time. And that's fine, anyone can make suggestions. But it's a bit off-putting that you show up after a long absence, write a flurry of posts, and then post a critique of this site and make requests for changes, only to reveal that you've never visited all the Forums we have to see what is here for your benefit. I encourage you to look around and get familiar with what is already here!

We only have a few volunteer Moderators here to keep the spam and any arguments at bay, so a little patience is called for, I think. Thanks!
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I keep a running list of resources for finding poly-friendly counselors:

If you can't find a poly-familiar counselor, but can find an open-minded counselor, ask them to read, "What Psychology Professionals Should Know about Polyamory," a book by Geri Weitzman, Ph.D., Joy Davidson, Ph.D., and Robert A. Phillips, Jr., Ph.D.
 

nycindie

Active member
If you can't find a poly-familiar counselor, but can find an open-minded counselor, ask them to read, "What Psychology Professionals Should Know about Polyamory," a book by Geri Weitzman, Ph.D., Joy Davidson, Ph.D., and Robert A. Phillips, Jr., Ph.D.
Hey Kevin, is there a book or only a scholarly paper? In the "Explaining Polyamory to a Therapist" thread, I posted a link I had found to a 36-page publication by those authors with the same title. It's available as a PDF to download on the NCSF website here:

ncsfreedom.org/images/stories/PolyPaper/72548_NCSF_2012poly7.pdf (no www is needed)

So, I wonder if that is the same publication you mentioned or a shorter version. I think I'll add that to the Sticky I created in Golden Nuggets today.

As I also mentioned in that discussion, Elisabeth Sheff (author of the book The Polyamorists Next Door) has a few articles about polyamory over on PyschologyToday.com and one of them is:

3 Ways to Combat Therapeutic Bias Against Polyamory

.
 
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From now on, I shall use the following link for anyone who - I think - might benefit from counselling:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=333953#post333953

Thanks, Kevin!

nycindie,

I don't show up for months at a time because I live in the mountains without mains electricity, much less Internet. Internet activity during day-trips to "civilisation" is largely taken up with scrolling down my e-mail inbox, erasing literally hundreds of spam e-mails, while taking care not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

The flurry of activity comes on the rare occasions - like the present - when I have a relatively extended perod of 24/7 Internet access. Even so, I have enough to do (not just on this forum) without making a close perusal of Guidelines or Nuggets.

While my life choices make volunteering as a moderator on this site impracticable, they perhaps give me some insight into what changes somebody with limited time might like to see here.
 

nycindie

Active member
No worries. Since you've linked to a post inside this thread, if a Moderator sees fit to move it or merge it with another, the link will still point to the same post. However, the better thing to do is give them the link to the Sticky in Golden Nuggets because it's a Sticky meant to be used as reference.
 
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