【摘要】Romantic and sexual relationships are at the heart of many mental health issues, and consensual non-monogamy (CNM) is becoming an increasingly common alternative to monogamy. As CNM grows in popularity, it is vital that therapists learn more about treating this population. After exploring the origins of human sexuality and romance, looking at biological and environmental factors that impact the expression of human sexuality and romance, this qualitative study examines the benefits, struggles, and unique experiences of heterosexual individuals who are engaged in, or have recently engaged in, CNM relationships. Eight CNM practitioners participated in a semi-structured interview; the interviews were subsequently analyzing using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This study identified four distinct categories related to various participants' experiences that resulted from their participation in CNM. The categories were: 1) the perils of monogamy, 2) growing pains, 3) the pillars of CNM, and 4) jolly poly. The author of this study discusses the implications of these findings for therapists who are treating, or who wish to treat, individuals, couples, or groups who are engaged in CNM. Overall, the findings of the study indicate that CNM is a viable, healthy, alternative to monogamy, but one with unique challenges. For example, individuals who engage in CNM tend to experience stigmatization and isolation as a result of their CNM engagement, and also struggle in the early stages to find boundaries, rules, and relationship agreements that work for them. Nevertheless, this study found that these individuals also experienced unique benefits that they might not have experienced had they not pursued CNM. The benefits were wide-ranging, and included increased sexual experience, improved relationships, and an improved sense of self This author examines the clinical implications of these unique struggles and benefits, and provides recommendations for the therapeutic treatment of CNM individuals, couples, and groups.
【作者单位】The Wright Institute.;