An Interview With Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D., CASA, CSE

An Interview With Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D., CASA, CSE

Highway 1 on the pacific coast, California.

Eli Sheff is a leading expert on polyamory and has conducted groundbreaking research on polyamorous families with children. In the past, she has contributed her findings to the LifeWorks blog. This summer, Eli is traveling the country for her Practical NonMonogamy workshop tour, which is bringing her here to Chicago. On Saturday July 7, 2018,

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Constructing a Queer Life: On the Choice to Parent, or Be Child-Free

Arrow Pointing Over Rainbow

Many people grow up following a cultural life script: you go to school, get a job, marry your one true love and start a family. Happily Ever After! At least, that’s a common scenario many cultures, based on heteronormativity, have historically supported. But as many of us grow up, we realize that that version of

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Queer, Poly, Kinky, Single? Alternative Valentine’s Day Ideas

rainbow heart for alternative valentine's day

Navigating Valentine’s Day can be tricky, especially if you’re single, or if your relationship falls outside the margins of heteronormative monogamy. As the 14th approaches, you might feel like you can’t escape ads selling jewelry by reinforcing the gender binary or promotions trying to push pricey dinner dates for two. But, even as you feel

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Polyphobia: Anti-Polyamorous Prejudice and Discrimination

group overlooking sea at sunset

Eli Sheff is considered a leading expert when it comes to polyamory and stigma. Eli is the CEO and Director of Legal Services at the Sheff Consulting Group, a think-tank of experts specializing in diverse subcultures and under-served populations. The following is an article she wrote for Psychology Today about polyphobia and discrimination.  Prejudice is making judgements about

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Children in Polyamorous Families Part 5

Drawing of family

This fifth and final blog in the series on children in polyamorous families focuses on custody. The first looked at age-dependent experiences and why the kids are in such great shape, and the second detailed some of the advantages and disadvantages in poly family life. Third in the series came poly families’ strategies for dealing

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Children in Polyamorous Families Part 3

poly family drawn by child

This is the third in a series of blogs on children in polyamorous families. The first looked at the age dependent experiences of children in polyamorous families and why they appear to be doing so well, and the second detailed the advantages and disadvantages these children identified in poly family life. Third in the series, this blog explains four strategies these kids use to deal with the disadvantages found in poly family life, including blending in, being careful who they told about their families, avoiding the issue completely, and negotiating with parents.

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Children in Polyamorous Families Part 2

child smelling flower

In the first part of this series on children in polyamorous families, I explained how these kids have age-dependent experiences and why they appear to be doing so well in general. This second blog in the series details the advantages and disadvantages that children report in my study of polyamorous families. Advantages Children and young

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Green House Experiences & Insights

Greenhouse Psychotherapy Training Program Logo

We are now accepting applications for the Green House 2019 Cohort. Launched in 2016, the Green House is LifeWorks’ postgraduate psychotherapy training program. Participants join us here in Chicago for 12 months of tuition-free learning and real-world clinical experience centered on self-development, individual supervision, and cultural competence. Wondering if the Green House is right for

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The Conflict with Conflict in Poly Relationships

Cindy and Rami

Ever had conflict? Most people have had more conflict than they care to recall. Conflict is important to everyone and every relationship but when you are in a multi-partnered relationship good conflict skills become even more critical. On May 6, 2017, Rami Henrich, LCSW and I presented a workshop on applying the principle of deep

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More to Love: Polyamory in the Real World

Rami Henrich being interviewed regarding non-monogamy

On May 30, 2017, LifeWorks partner Rami Henrich, LCSW was part of an interview for Chicago Tonight which aired on Chicago’s PBS station WTTW regarding polyamorous relationships.  In the on air interview, Rami shares her experience of being in a polyamorous relationship for over 34 years.  She is joined in the interview by Caroline Kearns of Chicago Polyamory Connection

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Meet Jacque Pfeifer, MAMFT

Jacque Pfeifer, MAMFT is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Green House, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program. What first drew you to the Green House? Initially, I was drawn to the Green House program because I am passionate about working with marginalized communities, especially the non-monogamy and LGBTQ communities. As

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Meet Meryl Morris, LCSW

Meryl Morris, LCSW is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Green House, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program. What first drew you to the Greenhouse? I first became aware of LifeWorks after meeting Rami Henrich and Cindy Trawinski at the 2015 Alternative Sexualities Conference. They invited me to a KPACT

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Healing from Affairs — Cheating is not Polyamory

two people playing in water

Affairs can surface in a long-term relationship.  Can healing occur when the affairs have been covert, repeated and ongoing? Several years ago a couple, Peter and Sherri (not their real names), a married, het/cisgender couple, came to see me. They had been married for approximately 25 years. As are my usual questions when I first

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Interview with Jo Flannery, AMFT, MA Sexology

Jo Flannery, AMFT, MA Sexology, is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Greenhouse, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program. The Greenhouse provides new clinicians with opportunities to develop their identities as therapists, deepen their skills and unique strengths, and expand their cultural competence through hands-on experience and educational modules.Click

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Cultural Competence and Bias

Painting of faces and hands

As therapists, we recognize our ethical obligations to know and acknowledge the limits of our training and skills. We know that our expertise grows over time with experience and supervision, training, reading, dialogue and further training. These activities contribute to our mastery of specialized areas, methods or skills. But what about cultural competence? How do

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Welcoming the 2016 Greenhouse Therapists

GreenHouse Logo, with smiling sun

LifeWorks is proud to announce that the first Greenhouse cohort is underway. Four new therapists have joined our team for 2016. Please welcome Brandon Haydon, LSW, Allison Burque, LCSW, Natalie A. Hock, MSW, and Jo Flannery, AMFT, MA! The Greenhouse is a postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentorship program developed and sponsored by LifeWorks. The program

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Becoming a Poly Ally: How to Start

pink rectangles on red background

This blog was inspired by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) blog How to Be a LGBTQ Ally. I am grateful to HRC for their groundbreaking leadership in the fight for the rights of LGBT people in US and around the world. To read the original HRC blog, click http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/how-to-be-an-lgbt-ally For a lot of people, learning

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The Long Haul

long road

The following is an excerpt from a recently published article by Rami Henrich, that can be found in Elizabeth Sheff’s book, Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families. The first of its kind, this anthology collects stories and essays written by and about real people living in “polycules”: the networks between people in

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