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  • What Every Therapist Should Know About Polyamory

What Every Therapist Should Know About Polyamory

  • Friday, May 18, 2018
  • 11:15 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Rd, Menlo Park, CA

Registration is closed
Mid-Region Luncheon (1.5 CEUs available)
Presented by Melissa Risso, LMFT
In American culture, people tend to assume that individuals are monogamous. Yet recent studies show more than one in five Americans report engaging in consensual non-monogamy (CNM) at some point in their lifetime (Haupert et al, 2017). CNM can include a number of configurations, including and not limited to polyamory. Polyamory (often referred to as poly by clients) can be defined as a form of non-monogamy where people maintain multiple, simultaneous sexual and emotional relationships and where all parties are aware and consenting (Sheff, 2005; Haritaworn, Lin & Kleese, 2006).

With increasing coverage on polyamory in the last decade, there is still little taught to therapists about polyamory practices. Graduate programs and licensure requirements often do not cover polyamory, and several individuals in the polyamory community have reported experiences with therapists that are uni
nformed or biased about the lifestyle. Failure to explore polyamory could ultimately affect the way therapists understand and implement therapy practices between individuals in Western culture today.

In this presentation, Melissa will cover the falling concepts:

    1. Historical, sociological and political history of relationships within the United States
    2. Defining and identifying the types of polyamory
    3. Reasons why people choose polyamory
    4. Considerations and common concerns of opening one’s relationship
        • Consensual versus non-consensual polyamory
        • Relationship concerns
        • Emotional concerns
        • Jealousy & trust
        • Developing contracts
    5. What every psychology professional should know about polyamory
        • Exploring therapists biases, comfort and knowledge
        • Helping individuals/partners decide if polyamory is best for them
        • Helping individuals/partners negotiate agreements & boundaries
    6. Resources on polyamory

By increasing our understanding of polyamory, clinicians and counseling professionals will be better prepared in helping navigate the changing environment of sexual and relational structures in the 21st-century.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
    • Identify the most common relationship structures within consensual non- monogamies (CNM)
    • Understand of the historical, sociological, and political history of relationship structures in the United States
    • Define and recognize key terms, concepts, and definitions within polyamorous relationship structures
    • Define, explore, and consider cultural humility, ethics, and the ‘therapist self’ when working with polyamorous clientsLocate polyamory resources for clients
About the Presenter:

A prominent voice in the effort to reverse the stigma of how we learn about mental & sexual health, Melissa Risso has worked extensively as a therapist, tending to the needs of a wide demographic range, working with organizations focusing on Alzheimer’s, domestic violence, women’s shelters, crisis lines, and teen rehabilitation centers.

She has a private practice located in San Mateo, and her most recent work is surrounding sex therapy.
She has worked with children on the spectrum. is certified in Gottman Therapy Levels 1 & 2, UCLA Leadership Award Winner, and a California Domestic Violence training counselor. She has a podcast “Let’s Do It with Melissa Risso” which promotes positive conversations around both mental and sexual health. 

PRE-REGISTRATION ENDS MONDAY, MAY 14. Registration and payments must be received by the Monday before the event to guarantee lunch. Reservations will be held until noon. "Walk-ins" are welcome at a higher rate ($33 members / $40 non-members), however lunch and seating is not guaranteed.. Register online with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, PayPal, or check (payable to SCV-CAMFT). Your check must be received by the Monday prior to the event. Mail checks to SCV-CAMFT, P.O. Box 60814, Palo Alto, CA 94306. Please allow 10 days for delivery. Continuing Education: SCV-CAMFT is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs (CAMFT CE Provider #052466). SCV-CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. This course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science. This presentation is suitable for all clinical levels. Certificates: To obtain your certificate, you must sign-in and sign-out at the event and complete a program evaluation. These are CAMFT requirements. You will be emailed a link to the evaluation within a week after the event. Upon completion of the evaluation, you will have access to the certificate. You must add your name and license number to make it official. This link will be active for 2 weeks after the email is sent. Audits: You can audit as a member for $10 and $15 for a non-member. Auditing does NOT include a meal or CEU credit. You can add CEUs when you register for an additional fee. For those auditing, the presentation begins at noon. Cancellations: Refunds will be issued using the same method as payment, if a request for cancellation is received by the Monday before the event. No refunds will be issued if a request for cancellation is received after the Monday before the event. To cancel, please send an email to mail@scv-camft.org or call the chapter voicemail at 408-235-0210. Refunds will be issued within ten (10) business days. Accommodations for Disability: The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CAMFT is committed to providing a presentation that is accessible to all who wish to attend. If you have a special need and plan to attend, please notify us at mail@scv-camft.org or 408-235-0210. Requests must be made one week in advance. Chapter Board Meetings are generally held prior to the chapter’s monthly luncheons, at the same location, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Members are welcome to attend by notifying a board member. Grievance Policy: Any concern or grievance can be put in writing and emailed to mail@scv-camft.org.

SCV-CAMFT               P.O. Box 60814, Palo Alto, CA 94306               mail@scv-camft.org             408-721-2010

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