Viktoriya Fuzaylova, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England
- Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
- Cynthia Whitaker, PsyD, Committee Member
- Dean Hammer, PsyD, Committee Member
CNM, Coming out, Consensual nonmonogamy, Ethical nonmonogamy, Multicultural psychotherapy, Nondisclosure, Polyamory, Prejudice, Psychotherapy, Secrets, Self-disclosure, Stigma, Therapeutic relationship
Presented is a qualitative phenomenological investigation of the experiences and perspectives of individuals who self-identify as consensually nonmonogamous regarding disclosure of that identity in psychotherapy. Members of this rarely-studied group (n=10) shared their accounts through an anonymous open-ended online questionnaire. Their prompted autobiographical accounts were analyzed for recurring themes and unique concepts which were drawn together into a model of disclosure of a nonmonogamous identity in a therapeutic setting. This model suggests that while nonmonogamous clients expect prejudice from their therapists, their desire for personal integrity and their culturally informed conviction that openness is necessary for best results, often leads them to disclose early in the treatment and to select therapists based on the reaction to the disclosure. Results also highlighted a tension between access to knowledgeable and affirmative care and financial considerations, which are largely due to the scarcity of therapists sufficiently informed about nonmonogamy. The findings of this study provide direction for further research and an impetus for systemic changes in the training and practice of mental health professionals.
Fuzaylova, V. (2018). Nonmonogamous Clients’ Experiences of Identity Disclosure in Therapy. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/413