In Western culture, monogamy is largely held as the standard – or even the goal – when it comes to the types of relationships for which humans are “supposed to” strive. This narrative stems from persistent societal representations of this standard; lack of available knowledge and resources; one’s personal history and experiences; individual needs in relationships, etc. Even still, this fact remains the same: monogamy does not have to be the beacon for relational success, nor should we inherently treat it as such. What would it mean to acknowledge or affirm that there are not only other options when it comes to relationship structures and orientations, but also that relationships can be successful, nourishing, and beneficial for those involved even if they go against the societal grain? In this introductory-level training, we will examine language associated with nonmonogamous relationship structures, how our values as clinicians may be getting in the way of being affirming and successful with relationally diverse clients, useful lenses and interventions for working within this population, and case studies where these notions are put into practice
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