2018

Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy

ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES AND CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THERAPISTS WORKING WITH COUPLES IN SEXUALLY OPEN MARRIAGES 

​Abby Girard, M.A. and Allison Brownlee, M.A.

​Department of Couple and Family Therapy
Alliant International University, San Diego


​Historically, there has been a sub-culture of men and women who adhere to non-traditional relationship constructions. Whether considered polyamory, swinging, or open marriage, these couples have been marginalized by their monogamous peers and continue to risk ostracism if they reach out for help from professionals. For clinicians, information about non-monogamous couple dynamics and assessment are limited. Additionally, there is a disparity in the training that clinicians receive to be competent in working with couples in non-monogamous relationships. The authors recommend assessment guidelines; clinical implications for working with couples in sexually open marriages, and explore limitations and issues that therapists could face when working with couples in non-monogamous relationships, specifically sexually open marriages.