Is Your Partner Guessing?

Is Your Partner Guessing?

Trees With Question Marks

Have you ever noticed that rather than communicate directly, you make your partner guess about what you want? Certain conversations can be difficult to begin. Strong emotions can keep us from getting started. Fear of conflict escalating may hold us back. Unspoken signals can confuse us and make it less safe to proceed. Not trusting

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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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Relationship Reset

Girls touching noses in christmas lights

This article is a guest post from Candice Wu, LCPC. She is an intuitive coach and holistic healing facilitator who helps people through the power of love, self-forgiveness, empowerment and body wisdom.    Have you ever felt like you wanted to just reset or reboot the relationship? The Outdated Default Relationship Dynamic Recently, I noticed

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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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Infidelity as a Growth Opportunity

tiny sprout growing through sand, growth

Santiago Delboy is a colleague and friend to LifeWorks who brings insight and thoughtfulness to his work, writing and collaboration. We are pleased to share some of his thougths about infidelity. This post appears in Santiago’s blog, which can be found here.   This afternoon, I watched a TED talk by therapist and author Esther Perel about infidelity. I read her book Mating

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When Relationships Fall Apart

handshake

This article was written by Lisa Blair, M.A. and David Bedrick, J.D., who are both Certified Process Work Diplomats. It first appeared here and is reposted with permission.  Every relationship has two handshakes: one above the table and one below. The first handshake is a conscious agreement between the two people, saying “We’re going to support each

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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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Navigating the Relationship Journey

couple celebrating on mountain

Santiago Delboy is a colleague and friend to LifeWorks who brings insight and thoughtfulness to his work and collaboration. We are pleased to share some of his writing. This post appears in Santiago Delboy’s blog, which can be found here. Just to state the obvious, relationships are not easy. While we are “wired” to be in relationships and they

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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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How to React After Accidentally Misgendering Someone

sketched figures facing one another

This article was originally published in 2014 through the Q Center in Portland, OR. We are delighted to share it with you. Being misgendered can create an uncomfortable, embarrassing and even unsafe situation for many trans* individuals. There’s no doubt that when working toward creating or contributing to safer, more accessible spaces and services for

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Loving Bravely – Book Review

Loving Bravely by Alexandra H. Solomon, Ph.D.

Clients are often interested in ways that they can do their own self-awareness and relationship work outside of their weekly hour of therapy. A great way to do this is by reading books that help you explore your inner experience and the relationships in your life.

With that in mind, I am really excited to share with you all a book that I had the pleasure to help create with it’s author Dr. Alexandra Solomon. The book is Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want.

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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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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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What Basson’s Sexual Response Cycle Teaches Us About Sexuality

Basson's model of sexual motivation

The following article has been adapted from “Taking a Closer Look at Basson’s Model of the Sexual Response Cycle,” Jo Flannery’s article for Sexology International. It has been edited from its original format. To read the original article, click here. There is no one reason people choose to have sex. Rather, human beings become aroused

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How to Create Fulfilling Relationships After Experiences of Abuse

hanging heart in window

We are pleased to share this article by our friend and colleague, Niyati Evers, MAPW, and diplomate in Process Work. Niyati is a sex-positive therapist with Alchemy of Eros, a Portland, Oregon-based professional counseling services organization that seeks to create a welcoming, non-judgmental space where people can explore issues around relationships, intimacy, power, passion, desire,

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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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