Distinguishing Between Consensual Nonmonogamy and Sex Addiction

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Distinguishing Between Consensual Nonmonogamy and Sex Addiction

July 10 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT
Practicing clinicians learn to distinguish nonmonogamy from sex addiction in this CE workshop with a sociologist and polyamory educator

If you’re not familiar with polyamory, open marriages, swinging, and other forms of consensual nonmonogamy (CNM), you might find yourself faced with a highly sexually active, consensually nonmonogamous client and wonder if their behavior qualifies as sex addiction. It’s common for people outside of CNM to confuse the two, and to assume that CNM folks “just can’t commit” or are sexually out of control. But CNM and sex addiction are very different things, and understanding how they differ is crucial for being able to offer informed, compassionate care to your CNM clients.

Join Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff, a sociologist, coach, and educator who has spent her career studying nonmonogamous relationships and families, for a professional development workshop that will bring you the clarity you need. In addition to instruction, you’ll have time for questions, discussions, and offering case studies for advice. Our time will cover:

  • The most important and consistent elements of what CNM is, and what it isn’t
  • The elements of sex addiction, and the controversies around that concept
  • A comparison of the similarities and differences between CNM and sex addiction, and how to distinguish between them
  • Ways to predict situations, behaviors, and explanations that might indicate a client could be at risk of out of control sexual behaviors within or outside of CNM relationships.

People living a consensually nonmonogamous life can feel reluctant to seek the help they need when they’ve encountered so many assumptions about their mental health and sexual behaviors. You can become an informed and educated source of support that is vitally needed among this client population.

This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 2 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Please select the CEU option at registration if you are eligible and wish to receive the certificate. You MUST attend the live session and confirm your attendance in the session to complete the requirements. Workshops offered by non-AASECT affiliated educators have been supervised and reviewed by an AASECT-certified supervisor. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact info@aasect.org.

This class is virtual and will be recorded, with the link to the recording provided to all registrants. Sliding scale tiers are available, and you may also inquire about sliding scale accommodations at events@tamarapincus.com. You can find more workshops about polyamory and nonmonogamy this summer in our Practical Polyamory series. Check out our Continuing Education for Clinicians collection if you’re looking for more workshops aimed at mental health professionals, although almost all our workshops now offer CEUs through AASECT. And sign up for our mailing list for workshop announcements, Ask a Sexpert, and free sexual and mental wellness resources!

Dr. Eli Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamorous families with children, and has more than 25 years’ experience researching consensual nonmonogamies. Dr. Eli has a PhD in sociology and is a Certified Sexuality Educator who has written four books and 30+ academic articles on CNM and BDSM/kinky sex. She serves as a relationship coach, educator, and expert witness. She has appeared on hundreds of podcasts, television shows, and media interviews with outlets from NPR, National Geographic, and the New York Times, to Cosmopolitan and Savage Love. Dr. Eli blogs for Psychology Today and always wants to make friends with dogs.

The Pincus Center for Inclusive Treatment and Education specializes in working with queer, transgender/nonbinary, kinky, and ethically non-monogamous/polyamorous people. We value sex positivity (including asexuality), body positivity and fat liberation, and racial justice.

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