Poly, Non-Monogamy and Beyond!

Think of almost any Hollywood movie emphasizing love. Two people meet, fall in love and live happily-ever-after. The familiar dream, given much attention, is monogamy. Yet, for many, monogamy doesn’t quite fit.

If you have felt drawn to connect and express your love in ways beyond what you think is possible within a traditional monogamous dynamic, or even deepen your understanding of what monogamy means for you, you’re not alone. It is natural to start to look for new perspectives and possibilities, as you yearn to capture and share the full breadth of what you might experience in your life. Many of our clients are exploring additional paths beyond the monogamy they grew up with, as they develop close connections—at times connecting with more than one partner within a poly dynamic.

Relationship Configurations are Diverse!

There are countless variations of how one may engage in a poly relationship. There are also many ways of articulating our relationship preferences, beyond whether or not we are poly, which can also bring attention to our values, worldviews and desires. For example, you may have heard of the concept of practicing Ethical Non-monogamy (ENM), a descriptor that emphasizes the desire for having all partners explicitly aware that other partners may be involved, and a value of having all partners knowingly express comfort with the relationship dynamic. This is just one example, of many.

“Polyamory means many loves and refers to having or wanting more than one partner. The term has Greek roots—poly means many, and Latin roots where amor means love.”

At LifeRoots, we are passionate about working with clients who are intentionally exploring themselves within a range of relationship styles. We enjoy engaging with clients as they connect within poly dynamics ranging from closed triads/quads, etc., to solo poly and ethical non-monogamy, as well as monogamy, relationship anarchy, and more. Ultimately, we’re interested to learn how you feel drawn to express yourself within relationships, what you’re most curious about, and what areas you’d like to grow your confidence further, as you build meaningful connections in your life.

Accessing Support while Navigating Relationships

As you seek support to navigate a new or existing relationship(s) with confidence, you may value meeting with a therapist who is well-versed in alternative relationship dynamics. It can be valuable for anyone to receive support when it comes to navigating relationships, and relationships dynamics that are new to you, such as polyamory, are no exception. Opening one’s self up to connecting deeply with multiple loves can mean managing some additional complexities—there may be more desires to explore than you’ve encountered before, new perspectives and priorities to weigh with care, and potentially, some extra schedules to juggle!

Poly relationships naturally provide opportunities to integrate and grow each day, as you share caring experiences together. It’s natural for powerful emotions to show up when we’re hitting our growth edges. You may have noticed yourself searching for a space to talk about points of excitement, curiosity, and confusion—feelings that show up when you let yourself pursue experiences that matter to you.

As you connect, you may find yourself wanting to talk about potential dynamics you’d like to share with current or potential partners. You may want to learn about ways to initiate and pace conversations with warmth and care, as you bring in topics of importance to you, share new experiences and consider attentively introducing loved ones to one another. You may be curious about how to navigate “coming out” to your family, friends or coworkers who you’ve not yet been able to share valued parts of your life with. You may simply yearn to feel heard, and have a space to unpack how you feel and what you want, as you meet yourself in new situations.

“Counselling provides a space for feeling, processing and growth to happen.” 

Providing this space is our passion.

Exploring new approaches to connecting can potentially bring up powerful emotions. As you explore your deepest values and desires, you may find yourself in a strategic time to engage in supportive therapy. In meeting with a poly therapist at LifeRoots you’ll get acquainted with having supportive a space to talk.

A a poly-friendly counsellor can work with you, through growth and change, to strengthen your confidence in key areas, leaving you more space to enjoy the beautiful connections in your life. Some common areas clients may access supportive counselling include:

  • attentively giving/ receiving care
  • nurturing feelings of security
  • compassionately acknowledging/ navigating natural waves of fear, insecurity and jealousy
  • effectively expressing emotion and desires to partner/s
  • strengthening lines of communication and understanding
  • discussing boundaries and desires for rules/ clarity
  • easing into moments of enjoyment
  • sharing experiences of compersion
There’s more to you than your relationships.

We know that looking for a poly-friendly therapist, or someone whose acquainted with language that’s important to you, doesn’t imply your relationship is going to be the focus of your sessions. While it may be an area you’d like support with, you may already be comfortably engaging within your preferred relationship style, and simply prefer to work with a therapist who is open-minded and understands how you connect with those you care about. We’re simply here for clients who are interested to meet themselves and grow within a wide range of relationship styles, who are receptive to compassionate, focused support as they continue to evolve along a rich range of focus areas in their life.

Curious about life beyond the Relationship Escalator, Sex & Romance?

You may be curious about intentionally nurturing connections in your life, focusing on ways of connecting beyond the relationship escalator, as you purposely forgo the scripts of what a developing relationship has been traditionally expected to look like. You may feel passionate about emphasizing relationships with family members and platonic loves, bringing in equal or greater emphasis into these connections compared to those that involve physical intimacy. Even while acknowledging the implicit expectation many of us feel to invest heavily in our romantic partnerships, you may feel curious about decoupling the urge to differentiate romantic or sexual connections from other connections, altogether. You may notice yourself desiring to devote more energy, that you may have previously brought into romantic connections, to other dimensions of your life, such as your career aspirations or projects that hold deep significance to you. You may identify as asexual or aromantic, and nonetheless feel an interest to invest deeply in relationships and close connections.

You may be exploring yourself along a range of dimensions as you connect with your own sexuality, and may be processing what this means for how you connect with others. In inviting ourselves to connect with new possibilities, we can naturally encounter more aspects of ourselves, more feelings and open ourselves to meeting more echoes of our personal stories.

Poly-Friendly Therapy at LifeRoots

We are proud to offer poly-friendly reduced rate counselling sessions through Janelle Cooper, a masters student who completing her practicum at LifeRoots. Janelle has a strong interest in working with clients who are excited to explore themselves within a range of relationship configurations, and offers online sessions at a fraction of the cost—$60 for individuals or $80 for partners. She is offering appointment openings as early as this week. Lindsay Redman, who has years of experience specializing in poly-friendly counselling, offers appointments at rate of $200/ session. Both therapists offer video sessions to clients throughout Alberta, and are currently accepting new clients.

Spark up a conversation!