As co-chair of the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force, Dr. Schechinger is spearheading a grass roots effort to promote 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. Currently, there are over 65 volunteer members who are contributing to a variety of projects ranging from creating recommendations for therapists, to generating research and promoting awareness to the public.
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 consensual non-monogamous relationships in the following four areas:
-Basic and applied research
-Education and training
How you can help
Check out the Task Force’s current initiatives to learn about ongoing projects and consider opting into the mailing list when you sign the Task Force’s petition to support relationship diversity. You can also follow the Task Force on Twitter and Facebook.
If you have questions, ideas, or want to send a kind word of appreciation, feel free to message the Task Force co-chairs (Drs. Amy Moors and Heath Schechinger) at Div44CNMTaskForce@gmail.com.
Consensual Non-monogamy Resources
Here are a few resources developed by Dr. Schechinger and other members of the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force
Sample Language for Assessing Relationship Style on Demographic Forms- One of the first steps to providing culturally competent care is amending client-history and intake forms to assure that they are inclusive toward marginalized populations, including those engaged in consensual non-monogamy (CNM). An increasing number of mental and medical health centers are taking this step, including all 10 University of California counseling centers. These sample questions were created in collaboration with a group of consensual non-monogamy researchers and community leaders and include the language used by the ten UC counseling centers.
Consensual Non-monogamy Inclusive Practices Tool- A benchmarking tool to highlight inclusive clinical practices and policies related to equity and inclusion for people engaged in CNM.
CNM Therapist Brochure- This is a resource that can be used to help educate mental health providers about CNM.
CNM Healthcare Brochure- This is a resource that can be used to help educate medical health providers about CNM.
APA Division 44 CNM Task Force Initiatives- This is a list of the current initiatives of the Task Force.
CNM Task Force Petition to Support Relationship Diversity- A petition where you can also sign up for the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force mailing list.