Hello Sexy People!
I’ve been doing this a long time. What I’ve noticed is there is quite a bit of confusion about what is the difference between a polyamory therapist (also referred to often as a poly therapist, or poly therapists) and a polyamory coach (also referred to as a poly coach, a poly counselor, or poly counseling). Folks may also do searches seeking a polyamory-friendly or poly-friendly coach or therapist. This means a professional who may not be practicing polyamory or consensual non-monogamy themselves, but they are well-versed, trained, or otherwise non-judgmental about such relationship structures or practices.
It is true that there is a difference between therapy versus coaching…
The therapist’s typical functions are to help clients fix problems, overcome issues (sometimes rooted in past trauma), and sometimes manage mental illness. Coaches do not work with mental illness nor spend large amounts of time on client issues and problems. In fact, coaches typically do not see anything as a problem, only as an opportunity. Coaches focus on solutions! They do not dwell on the client’s past nor try to analyze behavior. Individuals seeking help may come to the realization that the past is directly affecting the present situation, but this information usually comes from the individual themselves. The past is only the focus of coaching as a learning/growing tool, and as it relates to the present situation. Coaches do not start in the past, nor stay there, but release the energy the past has on individuals so they can move forward.
So the therapist usually helps the client figure out “why,” while the coach helps the client focus on “how.”
Many of my clients thus are working with a quality therapist alongside myself as an expert relationship coach specializing in building a healthy foundation – utilizing great emotion management and communication tools – in open relationships. This helps build the emotional muscle to not only survive but thrive with the challenging feelings that inevitably come up along that journey.
Another item to keep in mind is that many therapists are still not trained in (or practicing) polyamory and/or open relationships. This can lead to pathologizing – thus making the client feel “abnormal” for living their lives as they see fit – the very individuals seeking help during stressful times. This all can potentially do more damage than good for the client! There are good therapists and bad therapists, just as there are good doctors and bad doctors. Often the best one for you may not be in your local home town, if you indeed believe you could benefit from therapy and/or coaching. Some people who seek my help have been in therapy for literally YEARS with no real lasting results. Some are unfortunately even worse off than when they started. Finding the right professional for the job at hand is critical.
How To Get Help With Poly Coaching
If you are struggling to open up your relationship and finding challenges, I deeply empathize with what you are experiencing. I have been there myself! That’s exactly why I am so passionate about supporting this community – I don’t want others to struggle as I did – especially when I know that there are effective and amazing tools out there to build the emotional intelligence and muscle to move through this stage of your relationship(s). Many good folks that come to me have already tried researching articles, books, and their local support groups, but find they need more guidance, and that’s OK! For many folks, asking for help is quite challenging, and I get that. Yet often folks’ health, sanity, and ability to focus starts to get impacted by difficult emotions that arise, which can ripple out to other areas of their life. This is when getting professional help can be so powerful and effective, turning months or years of struggling into mere WEEKS.
If you would like to have an authentic, clarifying conversation with me so we can discuss ways to help you create loving, happy, secure, and exciting open relationships, feel free to learn more about my coaching services here. Then the button at the bottom of that page will offer you the opportunity to book a FREE Breakthrough Session with me – taking you directly into my calendar. I look forward to speaking with you!
Take good care of yourself at this time. I am so happy that you are here in our community and reading this post. Know that your emotions are normal and valid, that you can feel and then release them… and experiencing compersion (the opposite of jealousy) will come at the right time for you.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. If you are looking for more information and guidance, feel free to listen to the episodes of my polyamory podcasts. There, I interview other experts in this field, and also folks just like you, learning to live the life of their dreams that they previously did not think was possible. Resources such as poly podcasts can be a great additional to your research and toolkit.