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Initiatives

The American Psychological Association Division 44 Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force promotes awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships. These include but are not limited to: people who practice polyamory, open relationships, swinging, relationship anarchy and other types of ethical non-monogamous relationships.

The goal of the Task Force is to generate research, create resources, and advocate for the inclusion of consensually non-monogamous relationships in four areas: 1) basic and applied research, 2) education and training, 3) psychological practice, and 4) public interest. In order to carry out our mission, have have identified 12 initial Initiatives. A brief description as well as and the individuals leading each Initiative is provided below. The resources linked can be shared and referenced freely.

  1. Consensual Non-monogamy Fact Sheet (Lead: Amy Moors, Ph.D. & Heath Schechinger, Ph.D.): An easy-to-read infographic that provides helpful information about CNM, including a definition, stats, dispelled myths, and recommendations for further reading.

  2. Healthcare Brochures (Co-leads: Michelle Vaughan, Ph.D. & Heath Schechinger, Ph.D.): Resources designed to educate medical and mental health providers about consensual non-monogamy.

  3. Consensual Non-monogamy Inclusive Practices Tool (Lead- Heath Schechinger, Ph.D.): A benchmarking tool to highlight inclusive clinical practices and policies related to equity and inclusion for people engaged in CNM.

  4. Therapist Recommendations (Co-leads: Heath Schechinger, Ph.D., Dossie Easton, Geri Weitzman, Ph.D., & Amy Moors, Ph.D.): This team is creating a guide with empirically informed recommendations for therapists working with client’s who engage in consensual non-monogamy.

  5. CNM Literature Project (Co-leads: Daniel Cardoso, Ph.D. & Michelle Vaughan, Ph.D.): This team is creating and supporting resources designed to summarize, index, and organize peer-reviewed and historic CNM literature that can be used by researchers, educators, and clinicians. These resources include the Consensual Non-monogamies Literature List and the Kenneth R. Haslam Collection on Polyamory.

  6. Special Call Campaign (Co-leads: Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Ph.D., Sharon Flicker, Ph.D., Daniel Cardoso, Ph.D., & Ashley Thompson, Ph.D.) This team is responsible for organizing special calls (e.g., journal issues, conference symposia) related to consensual non-monogamies.

  7. Intersecting Identities Campaign (Co-leads: Leonore Tjia, M.A., Roberto Abreu, Ph.D., & Christopher Stults, Ph.D.): This team is promoting awareness of issues facing individuals engaged in consensual non-monogamy with multiple marginalized identities through writing a peer-reviewed paper on the topic, compiling a list of advocacy groups that work intersecting CNM identities, and challenging common homogeneous narratives about CNM.

  8. LGBTQ Resources Campaign (Co-leads: Dawn Brown, M.S. & Stephen Forssell, Ph.D.): This team will work with local and national LGBTQ leaders to increase CNM representation in LGBTQ resources. They are creating resources addressing the intersection of CNM and LGBTQ identities and providing recommendations for how to can be inclusive of CNM.

  9. Legal Issues Campaign (Ashley Thompson, Ph.D. & Ryan Witherspoon, Ph.D.): This team is committed to addressing legal and discrimination issues related to consensual non-monogamy, such as the effects of stigma and discrimination and the implications for family law and employment discrimination, as well as CNM being a protected status. This team is producing a peer-reviewed paper.

  10. Healthcare Provider Directory Campaign (Co-leads: Heath Schechinger, Ph.D., Bree Zimmerman, M.A., & Deanna Richards, Ed.M.): This team is dedicated to removing barriers to accessing culturally competent care through organizing a campaign to include consensual non-monogamy (and/or related terms) on healthcare provider locator directories.

  11. Inclusive Education Campaign (Co-leads: Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Ph.D. & Apryl Alexander, Psy.D.): This is developing a pledge campaign to promote CNM inclusion in education and training programs. One project will include recruiting educators to pledge being inclusive of consensual non-monogamy in their courses. They will maintain a database and promote awareness of individuals and organizations who pledge in order to increase visibility and advocate for inclusion.

  12. Inclusive Demographic Forms Campaign (Co-leads: Jen Rafacz, Ph.D. & Rachel Ann Kieran, Psy.D.): This team is committed to increasing awareness about including relationship status/structure (e.g., monogamous, polyamorous) on client history/intake and demographic forms. A couple initiatives of this group include writing an article addressing inclusive demographic forms, organizing a pledge campaign, and providing sample language for assessing relationship style on demographic forms.