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Continuing Education

Ethical Non-Monogamy: Relational Therapy for Throuples, Quads and More

Date: 9:00am - 4:00pm PDT September 12 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate School, Smith Hall

Lewis & Clark Graduate School, Smith Hall

What is ethical non-monogamy, and how does it differ from polyamory, open relationship and/or relational anarchy? How can therapists effectively support and adapt their existing knowledge and expertise to provide better service this traditionally underserved population? How are the relationship problems faced by this population similar and different from dynamics observed in couples?

Polyamory and Ethical Non-Monogamy (ENM) have been increasing in the United States with currently 4-5% of the adult population being in an ENM relationship. Portland, OR has a much higher rate being one of the focal cities of the polyamorous community. The mental health field has not prepared a therapist for doing “couples” work with throuples, quads or individuals in ENM relationships.

“Couples therapy” has been created and taught with a deep implicit assumption that intimate relationships of adults are between only two people. This has left therapists ill-prepared for the relational needs of many clients resulting in clients being referred and more harmfully the polyamory and ENM communities avoiding therapy due to harmful interactions with a therapist. This workshop is designed to empower the therapist to better serve the needs of the polyamorous and ENM communities.

Participants will learn:

  • Understand the socio-historic context of polyamory and ENM clarifying needs and terminology.
  • Examine and improve the role of the therapist as an ally and advocate the polyamorous and ENM communities.
  • Integrate social justice and existential-humanistic principles into existing modalities to better meet the needs of polyamorous and ENM clients.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2020, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Instructor: Justin Rock, MA

Cost: $125 by 8/20, $150 after. Includes 6 CEUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni, Adjunct Professors and School-Based Mentors save 20%. Free for Lewis & Clark Clinical Supervisors.

Register now

  • We are committed to making our events accessible to all needs and abilities. When registering, let us know your access needs. Please contact us at 503-768-6040 or with questions.

    Please note: Student registrations are for current students only and do not include continuing education credit (CEU/PDUs)


About the Instructor

Rooted in a formal education in philosophy, over the past 12 years, Justin’s professional career in Counseling Psychology has focused on combining work with families, couples and individuals in his private practice as well as being an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark College for the past 4 years where he teaches on topics ranging from diagnostics and assessments to polyamory.

Justin holds a Master of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark College in Counseling Psychology where he completed both the Counseling Psychology and Marriage, Couples and Family programs. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Lewis & Clark College with specific focus on phenomenology, existentialism and philosophy of mind. This philosophical foundation resulted in Justin becoming a practitioner and strong advocate of existential-humanistic therapy resulting in him becoming a founder and board member of Existential-Humanistic Northwest, a professional organization advocating existential-humanistic values and philosophies, that, after 8 years actively enriches the Pacific Northwest mental health community with a wide range of events, trainings, information and support.

When Justin is not teaching at Lewis & Clark or seeing clients in his private practice, he spends most of his time coaching an all girls ice hockey team, woodworking or cooking for his friends and family. Having traveled extensively throughout his life, Justin loves to learn how different cultures deal with life’s mundane and consistently human-challenges in different or similar ways.