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.
Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience. However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This Task Force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities.
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.
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. We welcome support from mental and medical health professionals, legal professionals, graduate students, and community members alike.
We are honored to serve in this role and organize to promote the interests of the consensual non-monogamy community on behalf of APA Division 44. Thank you for your interest support in this endeavor.
Heath Schechinger, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist, University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley
Co-chair, APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force
Amy Moors, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Chapman University Research Fellow, The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University
Co-chair, APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force
APA Division 44 CNM Task Force Initiatives & Leadership
1. Consensual Non-monogamy Fact Sheet (Lead: Amy Moors, Ph.D.): An easy-to-read infographic that provides helpful information about CNM, including a definition, stats, dispelled myths, and recommendations for further reading.
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.): A resource designed to summarize, index, and organize peer-reviewed and historic CNM literature that can be used by researchers, educators, and clinicians.
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 Training 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 (e.g., The Safe Zone Project , Healthcare Equality Index). They are creating resources addressing the intersection of CNM and LGBTQ identities and providing recommendations for how to can be inclusive of CNM.
9. Anti-discrimination Campaign (Ashley Thompson, Ph.D. & Ryan Witherspoon, Ph.D.): This team is committed to addressing 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. Therapist Locator 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 by organizing a campaign to include consensual non-monogamy (and/or related terms) on therapist 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.
Our Advisory Board consists of individuals with substantial experience in a particular domain (e.g., therapy, public outreach, research) who have made themselves available to provide consultation and guidance to the Task Force Co-chairs and project Leads. Our network of advisors include:
Charles Moser, PhD, MD
Dave DoleShal, Ph.D.
Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D.
Jes Matsick, Ph.D.
John Sakaluk, Ph.D.
Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D.
Richard Sprott, Ph.D.
Susan Wright, M.A.