Polyamory represents a distinct subset of the larger universe of Consensually Non-Monogamous (CNM) relationships. The most commonly accepted definition of polyamory is a relationship structure in which the parties philosophically agree with and/or practice sexual and/or romantic relationships with multiple partners, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Unlike swinging and “open” CNM relationships, polyamorous relationships tend to emphasize the romantic/affective aspect, rather than the sexual aspect of their relationships.
The prevalence and frequency of these relationships among the general population has been widely debated, but in the last few years some useful information has finally emerged. Based on recent nationally representative samples, the percentage of individuals reporting being in non-monogamous relationships has ranged from a low of 1.6% (Herbenick, et al, 2017) to a high of 7.1% (Open Source Psychometrics Project 2015) among U.S. residents, although one study of currently single individuals found numbers in excess of 21% (Haupert, et al 2016). A recent European survey found 3% in self-identified “open or polyamorous” relationships (Dalia Research 2017). To put this in perspective, approximately 4.1% of the U.S. adult population identifies as LGBT (Gallup 2017). Cultural competence requires therapists to have at least a basic understanding of polyamorous and other CNM relationships.
This course will introduce polyamorous relationships, how they differ from and are similar to other CNM relationships, the structures polyamorous relationships take, recent research findings regarding participants in polyamorous relationships, and a basic look at some of the common “sticking points” for therapeutic interactions with polyamorous clients.
Jim Fleckenstein became a relationship coach and educator because of his own life experiences. After the end of his 25-year marriage in 2000, he put the skills he’d gained from his successful non-profit career and his insatiable curiosity to work on relationships. He created an educational nonprofit to foster new research into relationships. He also began a rigorous self-education process that included reaching out personally to leading researchers.
His efforts quickly bore fruit. His organization ultimately conducted five national conferences on relationships. He merged this organization into another, larger group in 2006 so as to continue his focus on self-education, scientific research, and helping people have successful relationships.
Jim was invited to co-present to a professional audience for the first time in 2002 at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). He has since been invited to present at seven more AASECT conferences, to the Eastern Region Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, to the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, and to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He was invited to contribute to the Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality in 2004. In 2015, he was lead author on his first published research paper in the peer-reviewed journal, Sexual and Relationship Therapy. This paper was selected to become a chapter in the 2015 book, Sexuality and Aging. He currently has a paper under review by The Archives of Sexual Behavior. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Positive Sexuality. In addition to his many professional presentations, Jim became a regular volunteer presenter at lay conferences, with nearly 20 appearances reaching hundreds.
Along the way, Jim developed a unique approach to relationships based on proven methods he encountered over his years of study. Ultimately, he formalized this approach as his Affirmative Intimacy™ method. He created The Earth Moved, LLC as a professional home for his coaching and educational efforts. His book, Love That Works: 38 Awesome Hacks for Amazing Relationships came out in December, 2019.
AMHTI is approved as a provider of continuing education by numerous national agencies and routinely applies for continuing education credits for professionals from state agencies when needed.
There are many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations that will grant continuing education credit for attendance at AMHTI’s seminars and activities. If you have questions as to whether AMHTI’s continuing education credits will count for your state, please contact us.
The Advanced Mental Health Training Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. AMHTI maintains responsibility for all programs and their content.
The Advanced Mental Health Training Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No.6901. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Advanced Mental Health Training Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Modern Sex Therapy Institutes [1787, 4/30/22-4/30/25], is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.
AMHTI is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Provider#: 50-11996. AMHTI is an approved provider with the The Florida Certification Board. Provider #5273-A.
AMHTI is an approved provider with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). Provider # 07-110-J.