A Therapist’s Guide to Consensual Nonmonogamy: Polyamory, Swinging, and Open Marriage, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

A Therapist’s Guide to Consensual Nonmonogamy

Polyamory, Swinging, and Open Marriage, 1st Edition

By Rhea Orion


162 pages

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pub: 2018-03-07
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Consensual nonmonogamy (CNM) means that all partners in a relationship consent to expanded monogamy or polyamory. Clinicians are on the front line in providing support for the estimated millions pioneering these modern relationships. This first available guide for therapists provides answers to prevalent questions: What is the difference between expanded monogamy and polyamory? Is CNM healthy and safe? Why would someone choose the complexities of multiple partners? What about the welfare of children? Through illustrative case studies from research and clinical practice, therapists will learn to assist clients with CNM agreements, jealousy, sex, time, family issues, and much more. A Therapist's Guide to Consensual Nonmonogamy serves as a step forward toward expanding standard clinical training and helps inform therapists who wish to serve the CNM population.


"Poly? Monogamish? Nesting? These are only a few of the possibilities for consensual non-monogamy. This book is an empathic and well-researched treasure of resources for any therapist or counselor whose clients are searching for options beyond ‘death-us-do-part.’"

Gina Ogden, PhD, LMFT, author of Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy and Exploring Desire and Intimacy

"Thoughtful, heartfelt, and, above all, well-supported with decades of research and experience, Dr. Orion’s delightful Therapist’s Guide to Consensual Non-Monogamy is edutainment at its best. A joy to read, this book is packed with well-organized and approachable information that Dr. Orion supports seamlessly with interesting research and case studies. The Therapist’s Guide to Consensual Non-Monogamy would be useful for counselors previously unaware of CNM who want a basic understanding, therapists just beginning to explore working with clients in CNM relationships, and more experienced practitioners who already serve CNM clients and wish to hone their skills."

Elisabeth Sheff, author of The Polyamorists Next Door, Stories from the Polycule, and When Someone You Love is Polyamorous.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface Introduction Part One: Definitions and Social Issues 1. The Magical Story of Monogamy 2. Social and Clinical Misconceptions about Consensual Nonmonogamy (CNM) 3. Understanding Consensual Nonmonogamy Part Two: Issues and Interventions 4. Agreements, Boundaries, and Rules in Consensual Nonmonogamy Case Excerpt: Jill and Jack 5. Helping Jealous Clients Case Excerpt: Ann and Stan 6. Communication Issues of Honesty and Disclosure Case Excerpt: Sandra, Matt and Jon 7. It’s About Time Case Excerpt: Kim and Ranger 8. Attention and Mindfulness in Consensual Nonmonogamy Case Excerpt: Sherry, Barry, and Shepherd 9. Sex and Consensual Nonmonogamy Case Excerpt: Annika 10. Families and Consensual Nonmonogamy

About the Author

Rhea Orion, PhD, LMFT, CST, is a grandmother, writer, and cancer survivor. She has worked for two decades as teacher, marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapist, and family and consumer scientist.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Human Sexuality
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Couples & Family