Open Relationships: A Culturally and Clinically Sensitive Approach

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Romantic and sexual relationships that challenge the notion of monogamy are more common and visible in American society than earlier years, yet there is very little literature focusing on therapy with clients in open relationships. Concepts from the literature on open relationships that could be used in couple and family therapy are discussed in addition to specific ethical considerations for therapists who work with this population. A case description that illustrates a clinical approach that draws upon constructionist and narrative elements is provided. A discussion of how therapists can assist with the negotiation of non-monogamy, and suggestions for ways to create secure therapeutic space for clients in open relationships also are provided.