Tentative Schedule

Schedule is Subject to Change

Friday April 12, 2019

7:30am – 8:15am – Check In

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Poly 101 for Counselors, Therapists and Life Coaches

Robert McGarey, M.A

The issues faced by polyamorous clients can be surprising and confusing for well-meaning helping professionals. In this workshop you’ll learn the most common challenges facing polys, common myths and fallacies about poly clients, and how you can better serve this unique clientele. We’ll also explore the most common problems counselors have when working with polys and how you can handle those challenges most effectively.


9:45am– 10:45am

What Makes a Family? Polyamory, Family, & Children

Liz Newsom LCSW, Robyn Trask, Marina Reiko

Polyamory means many loves but when does a lover become family? What is it to be a family? And what about the kids? This panel discussion in meant to address issues around polyamory families, the impact on children, and the challenges faced in families with multiple adults, lovers, and/or kids. What issues polyamorous families and their children deal with? We will look at integrating different values, how to balance family, kids, work, and multiple romantic/sexual partners as well as information from recent research into polyamory and children. We will share our personal experiences, successes, and challenges.

11:00am – 12:00pm

Couples Transitioning From Monogamy to Polyamory

Jessica Fern, M.S.

With the number of people transitioning from Monogamy to Polyamory on the rise there comes an increased need for poly aware professionals who are informed, sensitive and understanding of their non-monogamous clients' experience. In this presentation Jessica Cooley explores six specific dynamics and challenges that relate to couples who are transitioning from monogamy to polyamory while staying together. In this talk, Jessica goes beyond talking about relationship agreements, communication and jealousy, through exploring: -How the paradigm shift the couple is going through is creating their relationship challenges, not non-monogamy.  How the skills they used to stay healthy in monogamy may not convert in polyamory.  The importance of de-coupling.  Why the pairing of a Poly-as-Lifestyle partner with a Poly-as-Orientation partner can be particularly challenging.  How going Poly can catalyze an awakening of the Authentic Self -How going Poly can expose a Crisis of Attachment Style.

12:00pm – 1:30pm
Lunch (included)

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Ethical Issues In Counseling Non-Monogamous Clients

Nolan Lawless, LPC

This workshop will address and explore application of professional ethical principles and state legal guidelines to the unique challenges of working with clients who are exploring or practicing ethical non-monogamy. Topics addressed will include competency, working with clients interested in exploring non-monogamy, the coming out process, conducting therapy with triads or other non-monogamous relationship structures, and more. We will also discuss the unique ethics of practicing non-monogamy as a licensed professional.

2:45pm – 3:45 pm

Power: The Individual

Ruby Johnson, LCSW

Power dynamics and power exchange infers an understanding how coercion can impede the negotiation of consent. This is an experiential exercise how the intersection of cultural, society, intellectual, and mental differences impact a person’s capacity and capability to self-advocate. I use real life experiences as an advocate and activist (as a community leader and event organizer) for others as well as in my own personal relationships (racial, socioeconomic, and gender).




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