Call for Participants in Study

imagesMy name is Sherry Mason and I am a psychology student at the University of Central Oklahoma. I, along with a counselling student, Adam Everson, and professor of psychology, Dr. Alicia Limke, Ph.D., are executing research in an attempt to understand the relationship needs of polyamorous people and how those needs are met through multiple partners. As it stands, there is very little research about this community. This greatly disadvantages therapists as well as individuals/couples seeking treatment.

The survey link is as follows:

The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and consists of questions about relationships, feelings toward being a sexual minority (i.e., polyamorous), and some general questions on personality. This study is open to individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The applicant will also be entered into a random drawing for a $5.00 gift card to The safety and privacy of all participants is highly important, we ask that anyone be allowed to share the link to this survey, but to refrain from disclosing any information about their involvement to keep their participation completely anonymous. This project has been approved by the University of Central Oklahoma Institutional Review Board #16107.

If you have any question or would like more information please feel free to contact me at: smason5 (at) Or my associate: Adam Everson, aeverson (at) Or my advisor: Dr. Alicia Limke, Ph.D., alike (at)

Thank you for your time and consideration!
Sherry Mason, AA Psychology
University of Central Oklahoma
Department of Psychology

Journalist Seeks Couple Interested in Non-Mono & Therapist Assisting Them

A journalist for an international, reputable publication wants to write an intimate, thoughtful longform piece that follows a married couple as they start the process of opening up their marriage to ethical nonmonogamy. Ideally, this couple is in engaging in couples therapy as they navigate this new phase of their marriage; those conversations, recounted or recalled, would provide structure for the story and a way of clearly translating the complexity of the thought process of the couple. The couple could remain unidentifiable; ideally, the therapist would use his or her name, although that could possibly be discussed as well. This article would seek not to sensationalize this phase of the marriage, but explore it as an increasingly logical, even possibly conventional option, in a world in which the traditional family has already been reconceived and marriage itself has expanded its definitions. The piece, which could be part of a larger cultural reframing, has potential for high impact. If you're interested, please email asktristan [at] and I'll connect you with the journalist.

Open Relationship Intensive in LA

Open Intensive

How do people create nontraditional partnerships that are loving and fulfilling? There are few established scripts or visible role models for open relationships, so people in them can often struggle without support and guidance. In this four hour intensive program, sex and relationship educator Tristan Taormino shares some of the key principles that can help your open relationships succeed. She will review some of the most common styles of open relationships, from partnered nonmonogamy to solo polyamory, and discuss how to customize them to meet your individual needs and wants. She will share wisdom from the over 100 people she interviewed and profiled in her bestselling book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships.

The workshop will address common issues and problems including:

  • New relationship energy
  • Time management
  • Sexual and emotional safety
  • Boundary setting
  • Agreement violations
  • Coping with change


Through creative exercises, you’ll discover how to unpack all the different elements of jealousy and identify what triggers your jealousy and how it manifests for you; learn to develop coping strategies and find access points to the practice of compersion.

Learn how to tackle challenges including:

  • Communicating about highly-charged topics
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • The art of re-negotiation
  • Roadblocks to fulfillment
  • Confronting fear


Whether you’re a newcomer or veteran to the world beyond monogamy, come discover strategies to help you nurture and grow your open relationships. Open to people in all kinds of relationship configurations as well as solos and singles of all genders and sexual orientations. Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.


Date and Time: Sunday, November 15, 2015, 1:00-5:00 pm
Location: The Stockroom, 2809 1/2 Sunset Boulevard 
Los Angeles, CA 90026.
Register at Eventbrite. Open to people in all kinds of relationship configurations as well as solos and singles of all genders and sexual orientations. Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
Ticket Types:
Early Bird (through October 15) $75
Regular $100
VIP $125: priority seating, personalized signed copy of Opening Up, gift bag
VIP + Dinner $200: priority seating, personalized signed copy of Opening Up, autographed DVD, luxury gift bag, dinner with Tristan after the workshop

July 26: Cultural Humility and Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationships

Cultural Humility and Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationships
Organized and facilitated by Shawn Chrisman and Ruby B Johnson

July 26, 2015
Vantage Point Counseling
3300 Oaklawn Ave, Suite 415
Dallas, Texas 75219
for more details, go to

In Dallas, Texas on July 24 2015, PolyDallas2015 is hosting the Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationship Symposium. It is being held at the office of Vantage Point Counseling Services. This is the first symposium, with a primary focus on polyamorous relationship and family structure, to be held in the Dallas/Fort Worth [DFW] area. Co-Presenters Ruby B Johnson and Shawn Chrisman hope to contribute to the knowledge base of mental health practitioners and other community providers. For those attendees who are not in the DFW area, this symposium is offered as a live webinar stream.

Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous relationships have become more visible over the last decade. The way individuals, in their 20s to early 30s (Millennials), are relating, connecting, attracting, and permitting themselves to have non-traditional relationships is creating a more sex positive and dynamic relationship structure. However, Generation X proves to have a different experience and expectation of relationships and their structure.

Hence the exposure, experience, and knowledge base of these different relationships is mysterious to many mental health and substance abuse providers within the community. Demystifying and educating providers is key to providing a conducive non-shaming therapeutic environment. Providing knowledge is a practice of cultural competence; infusing cultural humility into practice creates authenticity and positive regard within the clinician.

To support these principles of the helping relationship, the content richly addresses definitions of polyamory and non-monogamy, coupled with a graph which offers a visual aid for attendees. Heteronormative and monogamous privilege is exposed as well as how those forms of privilege create challenges to provider’s beliefs, values, and norms of relationships. To assist with unpacking privilege, myths and misconceptions of these relationships are debunked. Next, the focus shifts to the therapist and other helping professionals.

With each one of the tenets of cultural humility, solutions, techniques, and suggestions for change are offered that include (not limited to) unconscious bias, racial bias, counter transference, professional boundaries, dual relationships, microaggressions,, social, political, economic bias, sex positivity versus sex addiction, and intellectual privilege (Dunning-Kruger Effect).

Certain theories have been shown to assist with effective practice such as systems, constructivism, Bowenian, feminist, and gender queer. Techniques such as the genogram, gender/relationship inclusive assessments, narrative versus structured assessment, collaborative (with client) treatment planning and interventions, including considerations for cultural, social, community, and services barriers. Additionally, one must be aware of community resources and support.

Please follow us on Twitter @polydallas2015.


Ruby B Johnson (LMSW, LCDC, SAP, CSAT Candidate) received her Bachelors of Social Work in 2003 from Texas Women's University and her Masters of Social Work in 2005 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Since 2003, Ruby’s roles have included clinical practitioner, community and professional development educator, and graduate and under graduate adjunct professor. In private practice, her areas of expertise are substance use disorders, sex addiction, intimacy and love addiction, multi-cultural families and couples, SOGIE, polyamorous/non monogamous partnerships/families, and Kink/BDSM. Ruby Johnson provides therapeutic support, care, and intervention with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant/non-binary, queer, and same gender loving communities. Currently, Ruby is in private practice at Vantage Point Counseling Services and Inamorata LLC.

She has presented at several national, state, and local conferences including Society of Social Work Research Conference, Council of Social Work Education Conference, DFW Behavioral Health Symposium, and, most recently, her proposals were accepted at The State Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Conference and Black Families, Black Relationships, and Black Sexuality Conference in Philadelphia. Ruby is a member of various professional organizations including Texas Association of Addiction Professionals [TAAP], Association of Addiction Professionals [NAADAC], International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals [IITAP], American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists [AASECT], Society for Advancement of Sexual Health [SASH] and most recently, Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians [ABSC].

Shawn Chrisman (MS, LPC, PhD Candidate) is currently a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas.  He received his clinical training with a Master’s in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, and is currently working towards his doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from Widener University.

Shawn works with individuals and couples on sexuality-related issues, including addressing intimacy, sexual identity, gender dysphoria, sexual dysfunctions and other concerns.  Shawn also identifies as a kink-aware therapist and works with couples enjoying diverse relationship structures, such as open or polyamorous relationships.  Shawn is an active member of American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).  He has also presented workshops for professionals and community members at local universities and organizations. Shawn has been published in Qualitative Health Research.