||[12 Mar 2006|10:08pm]
Wow. Lotsa things to think about after tonight's dinner with the family. I told everyone about deciding to write my thesis on polyamory, and the reactions were varied. At the table sat a psychologist, a marriage and family counselor, a (bisexual) Lutheran pastoral counselor, a psychiatrist, a gaming programmer, a school principal and myself. An educated crowd. It was *very* interesting to get feedback from these folks.
"It would be interesting to see how many of these folks have attachment disorder."
"I don't see anything good in it."
"Isn't that what Mormons do?"
"Oh, how nice."
"You mean swingers?"
"That was tried in the 70's and it didn't work."
"Fear of Intimacy"
"Is there a DSM diagnosis for that?
And my father (the pastor):
"I'm proud of you."
Everyone was very interested in the topic, and wanted to learn more. Everyone was also very open with their reactions, for which I was grateful. I felt very supported by all of them, but they were wondering what the hell it was all about!
I think what I could put my finger on was that for many folks, such as W the Principal, there was a "buzz" reaction to polyamory involving (1) beliefs about polygamy and the oppression of women and (2) feelings regarding their own romantic relationships/security.
I did get some really good hashing out, though. And a few good laughs.
I: "One of my questions is about what kind of relationship counseling model best suits polyamorous folk."
Father: "Group counseling?"
R the Psychologist: "Oh, you'll have so much fun doing your research! You can do undercover investigation!"
Mother (the therapist): "Or investigation under covers..."
||[09 Mar 2006|11:42pm]
Ok. Things are just beginning here. I'm excited. I spoke with my faculty "mentor" who gave me some names for people interested and doing work with nontraditional families. No one I've talked to yet seems to think polyamory relationship counseling is as exciting a topic for a thesis as I do.
I was surprised when the topic came up in my counseling class, one girl even asked if polyamory is usually associated with cults. (!!!) This is the same woman who was very flustered and shocked when I told her I want to be a sex therapist. So, some edumacation is definitely needed in these parts.
The one woman I was very excited to have on my committee is probably going to accept a position at Smith College. She's the only trained sex therapist I know of in the department.
So I'm workin' on it. Slowly but surely.