PolyProfessionals: Finding Polyamorous Assistance
Why some folks need poly-knowledgeable professionals, and 5 places to find them.
Posted Mar 29, 2018
Why need a PolyProfessional?
People in polyamorous relationships might need a poly-knowledgeable professional for a variety of reasons, including a specific need for expertise or to support their community. If you don’t want to spend hours educating your therapist about polyamorous relationships, it can be really useful to find a family counselor who already knows about polycules, is familiar with techniques for treating poly-specific issues, and is able to focus on other things besides polyamory when appropriate.
A lawyer who is already knowledgeable about precedents set in other polyamorous cases can save hours of work that a less knowledgeable lawyer (or one with a different focus) would have to complete and bill to the client. When people in polyamorous relationships want to get married, have a baby, or get health care, they are going to get more sensitive and appropriate treatment from professionals who are already familiar with polyamory.
Another reason people in polyamorous relationships might search for a poly-knowledgeable professional is to support their communities by patronizing other poly folks. It doesn’t really matter that your realtor is polyamorous, but using their services when you buy a new house helps other community members make a living. If sex and gender minorities patronize each other’s businesses, it might even make up for some of the customers they lose because they are openly sexual non-conformists.
When I asked Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships and host of the radio show Sex Out Loud, why she started the Open List of poly-knowledgeable professionals, she responded that, “Plenty of polyamorous people who seek out therapy have told me that they've seen therapists who pathologized their relationship style right off the bat, usually because of a lack of knowledge and competency. It's so important for folks to have a therapist who understands polyamory and has experience treating polyamorous clients. Poly-competent professionals counteract the stigma associated with non-monogamy and create a safer space where people can find the support they need."
Where to find a PolyProfessional?
5. Professionals with expertise in LGBT+ populations can also be helpful for polyamorous folks, and many cities have a “pink pages” or LGBT+ business directories that could provide useful contacts. Alternately, check out the national listings at Gayellowpages.