Working across relationship diversity
Based on the Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) resource which Meg-John has written for the BACP, this day takes attendees through the diversity of relationship styles which are common in the UK today, and how to work with clients across them.
There will be a particular focus on openly non-monogamous relationship structures. This is because these are likely to be less familiar than monogamous structures to therapists - and they are increasingly commonly presenting in the therapy room. We will also touch on various types of monogamous and monogamish relating, as well as soloness and singledom, and relationship styles and identities which don’t involve any kind of romantic love.
The day will be situated in the current cultural context of shifting relationship rules which we will explore more broadly in terms of the impact that this has on our clients.
After considering the diversity of relationship styles, structures and identities that are available, the possibility of (multiple) monogamy spectrums will be introduced as a useful basis for helping clients to explore their preferred relationship styles. We will also spend some time examining the kinds of contracts and arrangements that people put in place, and the language which has developed in order for people to make sense of their relationships. As well as thinking about how we might work with individuals and couples who are relationship diverse, we will explore the ways in which larger polyamorous groups might engage in therapy.
Case studies will be used throughout the day to explore good practice, and attendees will be encouraged to confidentially bring their own client experiences to the day.
GSRD guidelines can be found here:
Meg-John Barker is the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including Queer: A Graphic History (with Julia Scheele), How To Understand Your Gender (with Alex Iantaffi), Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To) (with Justin Hancock), Rewriting the Rules.