Tag Archives: Tools

Got Jealousy? Join Me at Conferences & Workshops!

Happy Valentine’s Day (almost)!  I’ll be presenting 4 times in the SF Bay Area this coming week. Perhaps you can join me at one or more events? It’s not too late!  List up front; longer descriptions below:

Continue reading

The Toilets Burst! and other New Year Thoughts

Dear Friends:

Recently we who observe the Gregorian calendar celebrated the turning of the calendar year, that artificial time when we divide one block of time from another, to enable our finite human brains to cope with being part of a slice of the infinite.  In other words, Happy New Year!

Today I’m sharing an excellent essay below, by my dear friend Francesca Gentille, on keeping things in perspective, and learning to choose interpretations around certain events. I can sure relate to her plight, having been through something similar just a couple months ago, with drains blocked and hot water shut down so we’d at least have toilets during a private event. (And as one of the priestesses for her ceremony on New Year’s Eve, I was also glad of the heads-up, so I could make sure to pee in advance! LOL)

I also share her perspective in that essay, that life can be made a bit easier by actively choosing interpretations that lead toward happiness. Believing that the world isn’t “out to get me” is generally a stronger, more empowered position to take, in many cases leading to my being able to see more options and possibilities than I could from the “poor me” position.

I also feel it’s important, though, to honor that for some folks — e.g., clinically depressed, or recently bereaved — the ability to make the most empowered interpretation just isn’t there. Continue reading

balance

Balancing: Depression, Anxiety, Aliveness… and Polyamory?

What is Aliveness, and How Does It Relate to Depression, Anxiety… and Polyamory?

“Aliveness is composed of one part energy, one part emotion, one part meaning, one part engagement, and one part relatedness. For aliveness to be in balance, each of these five components of aliveness must be in balance as well.”
— Steve Bearman, founder of the Interchange Counseling Institute, in http://www.interchangecounseling.com/blog/depression-anxiety-and-the-mismanagement-of-aliveness/

The article is a bit long, but well worth a look, in my opinion. 🙂

As Steve Bearman points out — and is so often the case — balance is the key. In your life, how do YOU bring yourself into balance?

And because this is a blog about polyamory (and other forms of outside-the-box relationships), I’m curious to know:

Do your poly/open relationships tend to bring you INTO, or OUT OF balance and aliveness?

For me, polyamory is key to my meaning and relatedness, in particular, as well as — when things are going well — bringing me energy, positive emotion, and engagement.  When things are going poorly, however, poly-drama can rapidly suck my energy, and cause swirls of negative emotion. It has the possibility to either enhance, or detract from, my life overall, depending on my ability to stay in balance. Continue reading

Trust Fall Exercise -- Man falling backward into waiting arms of many people

Gratitude, Control, and Acceptance in Poly Community

Polyamory and Control

In polyamory (and open relationships), we’re often admonished for being “out of control,” or told that we should feel ashamed of who and what we are.  “Control” often shows up in polyamorous relationships in various other ways, too. For instance, people sometimes try to control their partner/s — or even more commonly, their partner’s partner/s) through inflexible rules. [Note: these are in contrast to Agreements, which require cooperation; read more here].  Poly people also often try to control their own feelings of jealousy or insecurity by suppressing or repressing them.  As Rocky the Squirrel says, “that trick never works!”

Fortunately, there are actually ways to moderate, work through, and get through such difficult situations and feelings. Thanks go to Veronica Monet for this clear, step by step guide to Getting What You Want by Giving Up Control:

How to Get What You Want by Giving Up Control of Self and Other

1) Breathe and Connect to Your Feelings
2) Feel Empathy and Compassion for Yourself
3) Replace Negative Thoughts with Hopeful Scenarios
4) Extend Empathy to Others
5) Let Go of Control and Practice Acceptance

Simple, powerful steps, with powerful results. (The rest of the article is great, too, and I recommend it.)

Letting Go of Shame to Find AcceptanceBy gnuckx [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I myself am receiving powerful messages right now to “let go” in my life. It’s not been something I’ve been traditionally good at. This is part of why I’m reaching out more for help of all sorts.  I need some “hopeful scenarios” to replace the negative thoughts, you know?

In that article, Veronica also quotes Brené Brown, well known expert on shame and vulnerability:

“You cannot shame or belittle people into changing. This means we can’t use self-hate to lose weight, we can’t shame ourselves into becoming better parents and we can’t belittle ourselves or our families into becoming who we need them to be. . . Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” [Brene Brown’s I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”, page 197]

This speaks directly to what I was talking about a couple of weeks back (in Facebook) when I said I disagreed with the notion that we can hate ourselves into health. It’s also relevant to other situations in my life which are requiring letting go. It is HARD to ask for and accept help, especially when one has always been accustomed to being the one to offer it.  It’s especially hard for men in our culture. But it can be hard for women (or people of any gender) as well, in part because it requires letting go of the popular USAian idea that we can be “rugged individuals” and should be able to do everything on our own. It also requires letting go of the shame, and the internal messages that to ask for help is to have failed, or that we’re unworthy, or will never be good enough. It also requires us to give up control over what other people think of us, and the fear that they’ll judge us negatively for who we are, or what we need.

Polyamory and CommunityPoly Living Puppy Pile

One of the greatest gifts in polyamory (and sometimes in open relationships), in my view, is that of community. As we honestly open ourselves to others, and create bonds and ties and networks, we naturally create a community of not only lovers, but of loving people of all sorts; people who can be there for us in times of loss and hardship, as well as times of joy and celebration. It’s hard (for me, at least)to trust in this net, because of the strong messages of nuclear family, and individual responsibility. But as I allow myself to be more open and more vulnerable, I am finding more and more support — mentally, emotionally, and physically — is available to me.

Of course, this requires that I be open to receive that support, and that can be a challenge for a perfectionist like me. But by following those steps Veronica outlines above, I can breathe through the confusing feelings, and eventually learn to accept what IS. Not always easy, but usually possible.

I find that for me, part of the process is to continually remind myself to stay in a state of gratitude, which allows me to be open to receiving the gifts that may come my way, as well as allowing me to remain relaxed and able to respond appropriately.  “Fear is the mindkiller,” after all, and when I’m in a state of contraction, resistance and fear, I often cannot move, quite literally.

So it is now that I end this post where I began my day, in gratitude for my community.  I am grateful for so many of you, both those whom I know, and those whom I’ve never met, and may never meet. I am grateful for those who can help me with my physical and financial needs, and for those who can help me with my emotional, mental or spiritual needs. It is an article of faith for me, that in giving to each other, we always give back to ourselves. And I am especially grateful to my friend Adam, at the moment, who is providing an example that yes, it IS possible — through gratitude, acceptance, and letting go — to change for the better.

I hope by sharing these thoughts I can inspire you, as I have been inspired today by my friends and community. And may you always, always remember, that

Love is always OK.

~♥ Dawn

FREEPS: Are you interested in talking with me about polyamory, or about any of the topics in this blog?  I’m happy to give back via a Free 30-minute session, or a 1/2 price 60-minute one. Past clients have reported increased happiness, decreased feelings of shame and jealousy, and have gained clarity and useful tools through working with me in a co-creative process. I’d love to help you understand and manifest your own best life and loves! Contact me and we’ll set up a time that works for you. 🙂

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

5 Ways to Meet Open-Hearted People

Ever wonder how to meet other polyamorous, open, or ethically non-monogamous people?  Feel like you must be the only “weirdo” in the country?  Wish there were a way to connect with people in person… or conversely do you wish there were a way to find out more about this “new” lifestyle without leaving your living room?  Well, congratulations, you’re in luck!

As a person with access to the Internet (which you must be if you’re reading these words), you have access to some of the most powerful tools there are to connect with other people, and learn about this collection of lifestyles that can loosely be grouped under the heading of “ethical non-monogamy,” “open-relationships,” and/or “polyamory.” (Not sure what these words mean? Check out this past article on my blog, where I discuss some of the differences, and what it means — in MY opinion, anyway! — to be “polyamorous.“) The Internet has had a truly profound effect on our culture, as it has allowed a way for people to fairly easily locate other people of like-mind.

5 Ways to Meet Polyamorous/Open People

In this series, I’m going to discuss 5 different ways you can learn more about these sorts of relationships, and/or meet other people who are interested in the same things … and might even want to date you!

1) Conferences — one-time, occasional, or periodic gatherings
[BONUS! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for info on the upcoming Atlanta Poly Weekend Conference] Continue reading

Updated Polyamory Resources

Hi folks!  In preparation for the recent workshops I gave in San Jose and in Berkeley, I updated my Polyamory Resources Handout.  Below I’ve copied the new version for your pleasure and information.  This was designed to fit on 2 sides of a single sheet of paper, so it doesn’t have anywhere near all of the resources I have listed elsewhere, … let alone all there are these days!  However, this list should provide a good place to start or continue your explorations into “outside the box relationships.”

I’ve pasted the content below my signature, for ease of access.

I’ve also got a pdf version available.  Drop me a line at loveotb@gmail.com if you’d like to get a copy!

Because no matter who or how many you love… Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Are you local to the San Francisco East Bay area?  If so, you may want to check out this new class that I’m co-creating with Francesca Gentille!

 Sat. April 26th, 12:3A Race With Mermaids and Tritons -- Smithers-Collier0 – 6pm: Afternoon Delights on the WILDER SHORES OF LOVE:  Relationships Outside the Box

Class ~ Take-home Information ~ Participatory Experience ~ Connection Salon & Tea ~

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SOME RESOURCES FOR POLYAMORY
(and Other Relationships)

© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson of Love Outside the Box

Websites

http://lovemore.com/ – Loving More® Non-profit home page, including newly updated FAQ and local resource links, discussion list, and NEW interactive personals.

http://www.morethantwo.com/– Polyamory: What? Why? How?: An EXCELLENT “primer” on polyamory.

http://www.polyamory.org – home page for the Usenet newsgroup alt.polyamory, this page also has a lot of information about other internet resources, including FAQs, mailing lists, books, movies, etc.

http://www.modernpoly.com/ – Lively presentation, social networking tools, and open-source approach.

http://solopoly.net/ – “Life, relationships, and dating as a free agent” Information, posts, and support for “poly singles” and others interested in or practicing polyamory, open relationships, etc. in a “non-dyadic,” “solo,” egalitarian, or not-couple-centric way.

http://www.blog.loveoutsidethebox.com – “Guidance and Tools For Open-Hearted People — Because Love is always OK!” Resources, links, free downloads and more from Dawn Davidson, counselor, coach & presenter on polyamory and other alternative relationship styles.

A Few of the Many Books

(alphabetically by author; see Amazon Recommendations list below to purchase!)

Anapol, Deborah M. – Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, IntiNet Resource Center 1997

Block, Jenny – Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, Seal Press, 2008

Chapman, Gary – The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Northfield Publishing, 1992

Chapman, Mim – What Does Polyamory Look Like? Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships, iUniverse.com, 2010

Davidson, Dawn – KISSable Agreements (and Other Secrets to Negotiating in Polyamorous Partnerships), 2013 Available as a pdf download

Easton, Dossie and Liszt, Catherine – The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships& Other Adventures, 2nd Edition, Celestial Arts Press, 2009

Gottman, John M. and Silver, Nan – The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, Three Rivers Press, 2000

Kramer, Matt – Conversations before a Marriage, InfoBooks, 1999

Labriola, Kathy – Love In Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice On Open Relationships, Greenery Press, 2010

Labriola, Kathy –  The Jealousy Workbook, Greenery Press, 2013

McGarey, Robert – Poly Communication Survival Kit: The Essential Tools for Building and Enhancing Relationships, The Human Potential Center, 2001

Rosenberg, Marshall – Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, PuddleDancer Press, 1999

Taormino, Tristan – Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, Cleis Press, 2008

Taylor, Patricia Huntington – The Enchantment of Opposites: How to Create Great Relationships, Traveling Artists, 1997

West, Celeste – Lesbian Polyfidelity, Booklegger Publishing, 1996

Groups and Lists

http://www.polyamory.org/SF/mail-lists.html – SF Bay Area Local discussion and event lists.

http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Poly-Collective/ – Bay Area Polyamory Collective: A collection of Meetup Groups and other listings for Bay Area people interested in polyamory, open relationships, and more. Includes meetups for “Newcomers” in East Bay and SF.

Loving More’s “Love List” email discussion group (moderated) — https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LovingMore_lovelist/info

groups.yahoo.com/group/ExpansiveLoving/– “Expansive Loving,” a discussion list and online meeting place for spiritual and “new thought” polyamorists.

Where to meet potential poly partners (in the SF East Bay) — a brainstormed list of places to meet “likeminded” people. Not necessarily poly-specific, and focused on the SF East Bay, but you may find some good ideas even if you’re from elsewhere in the world. 🙂
http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/where-to-meet-potential-poly-partners-sf-east-bay-focus/

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/eastbaypolypotluck/info  – SF East Bay Area Local discussion/potluck, once/month or so at rotating East Bay homes.

SF Bay Area Calendars of interest to polyamorous/non-monogamous people. http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/maps-charts-resources-for-relationships/sf-bay-polynon-monogamy-event-calendars/

International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Non-Monogamy: https://sites.google.com/site/ipachome/ — with Academic & non-academic tracks – February 21-23 2014

Agreements and Safer Sex

http://www.sfsi.org/ – San Francisco Sex Information. Clearing house for safer sex information and training. Check here for other good links, too.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org – Click on Find a Center under Health Services to find a location for testing.

More Relationship and Safer Sex Agreements Examples and Info: http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/resources-more-relationship-safer-agreements-info/

Our Open Agreement – an online open-agreement-making tool by Cat Maness, MFTi http://www.ouropenagreement.com/

Aggregation sites related to polyamory

Poly-Friendly Professionals: http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/main.php
Poly Conferences: http://polyevents.blogspot.com/
Polyamory In The News: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/
Poly Movies: http://www.theinnbetween.net/polymovies.html
Poly Music: http://www.theinnbetween.net/polymusic.html
Poly Books: http://www.theinbetween.net/polybooks.html
Poly clothing & jewelry: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2010/04/poly-jewelry-clothing-and-other.html

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2014 Dawn M. Davidson]

Green First Aid Kit

MORE Jealousy First Aid! TODAY, 9/19 at 2:15pm Pacific

Green First Aid KitGreen First Aid Kit

 

Hey folks!  I’m excited!  Kathy Labriola and I are presenting an ALL-NEW teleseminar called MORE Jealousy First Aid.  It’s TODAY, Sept. 19th at 2:15pm Pacific Time.

That teleseminar that Kathy Labriola and I did September 4th was a whole lot of fun! If you haven’t listened to it yet, you can listen to it streaming on the web right below:

Listen to “Jealousy First Aid” — Teleseminar from 9/4/13:

Or listen by phone: dial 1-712-432-3131 and enter Recording ID: 85925220 when prompted. (Get the “free take home materials” by signing up here. You’ll get an email with the above instructions, plus links to download the handouts.)

After the last call, we heard from a number of you that you’d like even MORE techniques — more ways to help deal with jealousy in the moment, and especially more ways to help not only yourself, but also your partner/s. So we think you’ll be happy to know that we are doing another free call on dealing with jealousy!

Thursday September 19th, 2013,
at 2:15 – 3:30pm Pacific

This will be a whole new call, facilitated by Dawn Davidson and Kathy Labriola, two well-known polyamory educators and counselors in the San Francisco Bay Area.

During this class, we’ll review the basics of what jealousy is and why we experience it, and then move on to several NEW techniques to help you navigate these tricky waters. Kathy will help you to identify and change some of the core beliefs that may be fueling your jealousy, and Dawn will lead you through a “trance rehearsal” to help you deal more effectively with jealousy-provoking situations in the future. We’ll also discuss the concept of compersion, and offer up a few ideas for the non-jealous partner, as well as for the person experiencing the jealousy. This teleseminar will again be participatory and will include a Question and Answer period as well as NEW take-home materials for continued learning!
RSVP today for MORE Jealousy First Aid, and get some great information and tips from not just one but TWO experts on riding the Green Wave of Jealousy!

Kathy and I can’t wait for you to join our next call!

…because no matter who or how many you love… Love is ALWAYS OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Have you checked out the “beta version” of my KISSable Agreements Workbook?  It’s available now from my website for only $10!

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Poly & Religon

Polyamory and Christianity: Strange Bedfellows, or Loving Companions?

Poly & Religon

Series title at ModernPoly.com

With the recent legal changes and affirmations around same-sex marriage, the conservative right is grappling with their own predictions of doom and gloom and the slippery slope.  The unthinkable has happened, so what could be next?

Those of us who are polyamorous are quite aware that we’ve long been painted as “the bottom of the slippery slope,” so it comes as no surprise to us that fundamentalists, especially Christians (e.g., the Christian Broadcasting Network), are looking to interview poly people on the topic. But while we polyfolk aren’t finding the conservatives particularly surprising, apparently WE are surprising THEM.

In particular, in his recent (and not yet released) interview, Dave Doleshal (founder of the Academic Polyamory Conference) reported that the interviewer for CBN was extremely surprised that there are many Christians who are also polyamorous.  According to Dave, this

“…seemed to make his eyes bug out. It seemed like this was a possibility he had never considered.”

As many of us who are polyamorous already know, there are indeed many poly* Christians.  (By “poly*” I am including those who identify as polygamous as well as polyamorous in this case, as the two groups are certainly overlapping in some ways, though not in others.) There are some who are devoutly Christian, and also poly*. In my practice as well as my personal experience, I have met some that believe that they are fulfilling God’s commandments (e.g., “Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31) by being poly*. Some consider themselves to be following in the footsteps of Old Testament leaders, such as Kings Solomon and David, who each had many wives, or of Jacob, who famously waited 7 years to marry Rachel in addition to Leah. There is strong precedent for multiple wives (though less precedent for multiple husbands), in the Bible.

Note that we are not talking here about the Unitarians, who have a strong polyamory contingent. Nor are we limiting the discussion to Mormon splinter sects.  Many Christians do not consider either of those groups to be Christians, strictly speaking. We’re talking about Catholics, Episcopals, Lutherans, and many, many more from the mainstream Christian denominations. Some are closeted, and some are open with their Christian communities.  All are Christian AND poly*.

For those of you who might be Christian, but feel the call to being poly* as well, here are a few resources on the topic. [Note:  I have not explored all of these deeply, so this does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any particular beliefs, practices or politics; just a link to a few places to look to convince yourself that you are not alone!]

Article on Modern Poly site:

Liberated Christians:
http://www.libchrist.com/

http://www.christianpolygamy.com/

Facebook Group for Poly Christians:
https://www.facebook.com/christian.polyamory

For those who may not know, I myself come out of a conservative Christian background. My ultimate choice was not to stay within the Christian Church, but to pursue Love as a spiritual path.  However, I do understand the mindset and the choices that those who are called to both might face. If you’re ever interested in discussing your own situation with me, feel free to book a free or half price session. I’m happy to listen, and to share any wisdom I can offer, because, as many of you already know, I truly believe that

“No matter who and how many you love, no matter their gender, their body shape or size, their race or the color of their skin, their political affiliation, their talents and abilities, their spiritual or religious leanings, their education…

Love is ALWAYS OK.”

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Have you signed up yet for the FREE teleseminar, “Jealousy First Aid,” that I’m doing on September 4th at 5:45pm, with Kathy Labriola? It’s gonna be great! We’ll run through two tools you can use to reduce feelings of jealousy, and also tell you how you can get her new book The Jealousy Workbook (and hopefully also how you can get MY new book, the KISSable Agreements Workbook!)  Sign up now, so you can get the information on how to call in, and how to get the recording later!

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Green First Aid Kit

Got Jealousy? Get First Aid!

Green First Aid KitHello, all you poly/open folks!

Have you or someone you love ever experienced painful episodes of jealousy in an open relationship?  You know the ones… maybe you feel alternately cold, and hot, and like you want to do damage to the furniture, or your partner, or maybe even yourself.  You want to scream, and feel like this poly/open stuff is just too hard, and you just want to throw in the towel and give up. Ever felt like that?

Yeah, me too! And honestly, who hasn’t? (Well, ok, maybe you haven’t, but if so, I’ll bet your partners have! And that’s not fun either.) Jealousy is all too common, and it’s never fun. Would you be willing to invest about an hour of your time in order to learn effective, practical in-the-moment techniques to reduce these jealous feelings — even as they are happening?

If so, then you”ll want to register for our free teleseminar:                                           

“JEALOUSY FIRST AID”       

Wednesday Sept 4, 2013, at 5:45 to 7pm

This free teleseminar will be facilitated by Dawn Davidson and Kathy Labriola, two well-known polyamory educators and counselors in the San Francisco Bay Area. Understand your jealousy, and learn and practice two very effective exercises to manage your jealousy in this short and powerful class!

During this class, Kathy will help you to create and understand “Your Personal Jealousy Pie Chart” to reduce the fear, anger, and sadness of jealousy. Dawn will lead you through her “Juggling for Idiots” jealousy exercise using a simple modified-EMDR technique that anyone can use to get immediate relief from an acute jealousy episode. This teleseminar will be participatory and will include a Question and Answer period as well as valuable take-home materials for continued learning!
RSVP today for Jealousy First Aid, and get some great information and tips from not just one but TWO experts on de-fanging the green-eyed monster!

Kathy and I can’t wait for you to join our call!

…because no matter who or how many you love… Love is ALWAYS OK!

~ Dawn

Dawn icon portraitDawn Davidson
http://www.loveoutsidethebox.com
loveotb@gmail.com
510-686-3386

kathyLabriolaKathy Labriola, Counselor/Nurse
anarchofeminist@yahoo.com
(510)841-5307
http://www.kathylabriola.com
Pre-order the NEW “The Jealousy Workbook”!

PS:  Having trouble with the signup form, or just want to talk to a human being first?  You can also contact Dawn at LoveOTB@gmail.com, 510-686-3386; or Kathy at anarchofeminist@yahoo.com, or (510)841-5307.

PPS:  Don’t suffer longer than you need to!  RSVP today for Jealousy First Aid!
https://di986.infusionsoft.com/app/form/jfa-event-sign-up

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Love In Abundance: A Book Review

kathyLabriolaHave you checked out the awesome book by Kathy Labriola, Love in Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships?  Here’s what I said about it on Amazon the other day:
This review is from: Love In Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice On Open Relationships [Paperback] [2010] (Author) Kathy Labriola (Paperback)

Kathy Labriola’s book, “Love In Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships” is a great contribution to the literature on polyamorous and/or open relationships. She gives excellent advice garnered from her extensive counseling experience, and backs up her recommendations with clear, helpful examples. Her topics are helpful and interesting, running the gamut from communication advice to suggestions for how to deal with jealousy, and much more. One especially unusual and helpful aspect to the book, in my opinion, is Labriola’s commitment to sexual orientation inclusiveness. In her relationship examples, she seamlessly includes same-sex relationships as well as heterosexual ones. She discusses several kinds of relationship formations as well, and not just the “usual” heterosexual, primary-secondary/hierarchical model.

On the not-so-perfect side, some people have found her section on advice about communication between men and women to be a bit “gender-essentialist,” and others find her advice in general to be somewhat “basic.” I myself think she has observed some true patterns over the years regarding communication between men and women, and has some good communication advice that isn’t limited to relationships between the gender binary, nor to any particular style of relating. I also find her advice to be grounded in reality, and a gentler introduction to the concepts than some of the books that came before.

I highly recommend this book to my clients and other people interested in polyamorous/open relationships. I think it fits in nicely, filling the gaps between the groundbreaking Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits : Secrets of Sustainable Intimate Relationships by Deborah Anapol, and the book touted for years as the “poly bible,” The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. Not as radical as Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines For Responsible Open Relationships by Wendy-O Matik and far less dense than Ravencroft’s Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeful, I think this book is a solid guide in an often confusing territory, especially helpful to those completely new to the concepts.

Highly recommended for relationship explorers of any sort, and a must-have for any counseling professional who serves these communities.

By the way, did you know Kathy is releasing a new book in September? It’s the Jealousy Workbook, and it looks like another fabulous resource.  I have a small part in it too, with one of my Tools for “Riding the Green Wave” published in the section called “Ask the Experts.”  Hooray! The new book isn’t available yet, but you can pre-order it directly from Kathy.

Green First Aid KitAlso, Kathy and I are hosting a Teleseminar called Jealousy First Aid, on September 4th, at 5:45pm Pacific Time.  I’ll be doing a more formal announcement of that soon, but in the meantime, I’ve just finished the web-form to sign up, so if you’d like to get started, feel free to fill out this form, and get on the list! (And please do let me know if the form doesn’t work right or something; this is the first time I’ve used this program to do this, so I’m a little nervous about it working!)

Here’s hoping all your relationships are going along swimmingly this summer!

~♥ Dawn

PS: Interested in talking to me directly about your jealousy or other poly/open issues? I’m happy to do a free 30 minute, or a 1/2 price 60 minute phone session with you. And through the end of August, I’m still running my summer special, so you can save over 30% on a package! Contact me via my webform, Or call me (510-686-3386) to set up a time to talk!

 

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]