Te presentamos la última parte de un artículo de Goop sobre un tema que nuestra sociedad tenía pendiente: las nuevas formas de relacionarnos amorosamente. Algo que abordamos en varios de nuestros talleres y que nos interesa mucho dentro de nuestra investigación acerca de las formas de activar nuestra versión de vida más plena y auténtica. Como siempre, nos encantaría conocer vuestra opinión (debajo en los comentarios).
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How do you help clients who find that they are judged by their peers who are in monogamous relationships?
It’s hard, and I wish this weren’t our reality. I try to attune to whatever they’re feeling and meet them there, neither judging nor rushing the process. Sometimes we just need to be heard and witnessed in our pain.
Similar to internalized homophobia, negative societal messages about CNM can be embraced by people who are in CNM relationships. It can be difficult to remember that there’s nothing wrong with CNM or who we are when our peers judge us. I monitor this, and if I sense any judgment has been internalized, I may work with them to identify relevant contextual factors to help redirect the blame.
Data from our recent study showed that one of the most common mistakes therapists make with CNM therapy clients is attributing clients’ problems to CNM. For example, when a monogamous couple is having problems, we typically don’t assume it’s because they’re monogamous. We also don’t assume a monogamous client is depressed or anxious because they are “attempting monogamy.” Without adequate education and exposure, even well-meaning therapists seem to engage in these and other types of biased, unhelpful practices. It’s important that we name how stigma directed toward CNM may be causing the problem.
Why do you think poly and CNM relationships are so stigmatized?
This is another question we know very little about. My speculation is that CNM activates, in a unique way, our fear of abandonment. To some it may feel like normalizing consensual nonmonogamy may put them at greater risk of having their partner ask to open their relationship. Some may simply believe having sex with more than one person is immoral. Either way, this issue can quickly activate strong reactions and we need to be thoughtful and sensitive about this in our efforts to promote compassion and inclusion of CNM.
I do think we need to start talking about why a quarter to half of monogamous relationships experience sexual infidelity. Nearly half of marriages also end in divorce and infidelity is consistently listed as one of the top reasons for separation. It seems we are all likely to benefit from creating more space and safety in relationships to discuss our desire for novelty or connection with others, regardless of whether the individuals involved decide to open their relationship. If we remove judgment around extradyadic attraction, it will be easier to be fully honest with each other. CNM is not the enemy; it is an effort to promote honesty and integrity about our authentic experience.
What’s your advice for finding a good therapist, if you’re in a CNM relationship?
Too many clients who are in CNM relationships find they have to educate their therapists. We recently conducted a study about the experiences of CNM clients in therapy, where we found many people stopped going to therapy because their therapist judged them or didn’t know enough about CNM to be helpful. Our data suggests that people in CNM relationships are experiencing minority stress and are having a hard time finding therapists educated about CNM.
This past winter, Division 44 of the American Psychological Association accepted Dr. Moors’s and my proposal for a task force to address issues related to consensual nonmonogamy. We’re currently in the process of organizing more than fifty professionals from across the US and Canada who applied to join our team. You can access our resources and opt to join our mailing list by checking out our petition to support relationship diversity in mental health, medical health, and the legal profession.
Inclusive Education and Therapist Locator Campaigns are two of the CNM Task Force’s 12 initiatives. It is an issue we believe the field of psychology has an obligation to start addressing.
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