In case no one has told you lately: it’s okay if you want multiple partners; it’s great and healthy to feel an abundance in your life that you want to share with more people.
But wanting non-monogamy isn’t enough to make it happen, partners don’t ‘manifest’ out of thin air, and practicing healthy non-monogamy can be a journey that involves self-work, learning new relating skills, and figuring out new ways of thinking beyond binaries that encompass the full spectrum complexity of open relationships.
We’re fortunate to live in a time where there are many great resources to support anyone wanting to explore non-monogamy: books, blogs, podcasts, and social media channels dedicated to consensual non-monogamy can now be easily found and accessed with a quick internet search.
However, books can’t teach you everything, blogs tend to focus on one (or two or three) individual’s experiences only, podcasts are rarely personalised to you, and social media is beholden to algorithms which can affect the information you receive and influence what content creators create.
On top of that, the level of ‘expertise’ varies greatly, perspectives are often culturally skewed, and there are still not many resources that are dedicated to trauma-informed non-monogamy.
There’s no “one-size fits all” to Consensual Non-Monogamy — or as I often think of it, Honest Non Monogamy. And that’s one of the reasons I started offering workshops about Non-Monogamy eight years ago. What started as a small gathering at a festival grew into a full day class, and then evolved into three separate virtual workshops.
Now, for the first time, I’m offering these virtual workshops together as a package, and adding in additional materials, resources, and worksheets, to create a comprehensive immersion for anyone who wants to take an honest, collaborative, trauma sensitive and somatically grounded approach to their non-monogamy.
This Course Is For You If:
- You’re new to Consensual Non-Monogamy and looking for guidance, and you want more than books, blogs, podcasts, and social media can offer.
- You’ve been practicing Non-Monogamy for a while but find yourself feeling stuck or having challenges.
- You want to take a trauma-informed approach to your non-monogamy.
- You resonate with what you’ve read/heard about Relationship Anarchy and Solo Polyamory.
- You desire multiple loving relationships: you aren’t just interested in “unicorning”, finding a third, or swinging/casual relationships.
- You learn well in group environments.
- You enjoy subverting patriarchal, heteronormative, and colonial norms.
- You’re keen to find sustainable, practical tools to support you in your non-monogamous relationships.
- You are ready to dedicate time to learning, engaging, and applying new skills and frameworks to your relationships.
“This was one of the best workshops I have taken regarding polyamory and trauma informed agreements in twenty-five plus years of seeking to develop skills within myself and relationships.”~ Workshop Participant
What You’ll Get
- One Year’s Access to 5 lessons of premium content, including worksheets, audio recordings, and more.
- One Year’s Recording Access To 3 workshops: The What, Why, and Where of Non Monogamy; Navigating Complex Relationships; and Boundaries & Agreements.
- 4 Exclusive E-Books/Workbooks: The Guide To Non Monogamous Dating; Relationship Nourishing & Grounding; Vectors of Power and Privilege; Boundaries and Agreements Workbook
- Lifetime online access to the Radical Relating community.
- 10% discount on any individual or group relationship coaching for 12 months from when you sign up.
What this Course Is:
This course is an opportunity for an immersion into the skills and practices for healthy, successful non-monogamy, with the support of a community of peers and a professional relationship coach, specifically from a Relationship Anarchist set of values.
This course is trauma-informed: everything we explore comes from a place of understanding that trauma is a consequence of experiences that overwhelm us beyond our capacity to engage, and that multiple-partner relationships can be overwhelming. The work we do follows four principles of trauma-informed relating: Creating Safety, Supporting Healing, Nurturing Resilience, and Actively Engaging.
This course is also an introduction to my coaching work — if you’re new (or new-ish) to Non Monogamy and looking for guidance, this course is a much more cost-effective way to lay the foundations for your non-monogamous relationships. Coaching can then support you anytime you feel stuck, want to trouble-shoot, or want some personalised coaching for your specific situation.
The workshops in this course offer an opportunity to be with a global community of peers, to learn within a group setting where you can hear different experiences and perspectives, and share your own.
The additional course materials, in the form of audio recordings, worksheets, and transcribed videos, provide further support, information, and troubleshooting for specific situations you may encounter in your relationships.
The course content is infused with values of Relationship Anarchy, Queerness, Feminism, and Anti-Colonialism. The course community space seeks to be actively anti-racist, trans-inclusive, and anti-ableist.
This is a space to get messy, real, and honest about what you want, what challenges you, and what you have capacity for in your relationship landscape. You’ll get to ask your questions, meet other folks exploring non-monogamy, hear new perspectives, and come away with a depth and breadth of wisdom.
Whether you are solo (and embarking on the journey of honest, consensual non-monogamy as a singleish or unpartnered individual), or in an existing relationship looking to open up, you’ll learn how to identify what forms of non-monogamy you are seeking. You’ll discover new language to articulate and describe your desires and your boundaries, and you’ll be supported by tools, practices and reflections based on trauma-informed and somatic practices.
If you’re already practicing non-monogamy, this course invites you to refresh your perspective, embrace new ideas, and inspire relational habits that will enhance the experience of all your relationships.
This Course Is Not:
- a replacement or substitution for healing work with a qualified professional therapist.
- something you follow just by reading along.
- for couples seeking to ‘fix’ their relationship by opening up.
- for anyone who doesn’t like challenging patriarchy, racism, and colonialism, either in themselves or in others.
- for anyone who does not want to be in a non-monogamous relationship.
Values and Ethics Disclaimer
This course is great for folks who have enjoyed or resonate with the works of folks like Brene Brown, Betty Martin, Dr Kim Tallbear, Dr Meg-John Barker, Gabor Mate, and Peter Levine. This is not suitable for people who enjoy the products of Joe Rogan, Aubrey Marcus, Teal Swan, Kelly Brogan, or Jordan Peterson.
Additional course content may contain subtitled video, audio with transcripts, and visual images with text descriptions and print-friendly versions of e-books.
The course has been designed with an intention that individuals with visual or audio accessibility needs will still be able to enjoy and participate in the course.
“After the workshop I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like my version of non-monogamy wasn’t “wrong” and, even more helpful, my former partners wasn’t either. I connected with people thinking of the same things as I was, struggling with the same things, and asking questions like me. I cried. I breathed. And for the first time in my life I didn’t feel like a love alien dropped onto this planet.”
About the Workshops
The 201 Workshop will be offered again live in 2024, and all participants in this course will be welcome to join for no additional charge.
Honest Non Monogamy 101: What, Why, and Where Are You Going?
Not everyone comes into non-monogamy with the same motivation.
Sometimes we come into it with a mix of dissatisfaction with our existing relationships, or history, alongside a desire for something that could be different. mixed in. in with this from many people is dissatisfaction with modern western cultural norms, and colonialism, and a desire to explore relationships from a feminist perspective, free of misogyny.
This first course class dives into your personal psychology about what kind of non-monogamy would be the right fit for you, why it is that you want that, and invites you to envision where you want that to go. This class provides you with all the essential information that you need in terms of understanding yourself, and what you need to express to potential polyamorous partners in your life.
From a trauma-sensitive mindset, we explore why we each crave multiple relationships, look at what types of open relationships there are, and consider the long term visions for where the wide open path of non-monogamy can take us.
We’ll also tackle some common myths and misconception about polyamory and other forms of non-monogamy, and set the foundation for more courses through the year.
Honest Non Monogamy 201: Compersion, Trauma Informed Relating, and Navigating Complex Dynamics
This workshop is all about befriending our ‘brain demons’, those gremlin-like stories that can seize hold of us when we feel activated, afraid, jealous, or scared in our non-monogamous relationships.
This workshop will support you in developing a more nuanced understanding of how and why shadow feelings (like jealousy) arise in our polyamorous relationships, and empowering you with the tools to navigate them in your self, and also to support your partners and metamors as they navigate their own.
We’ll explore how to understand our fears and jealousies, dive into cultivating compersion, and learn how to balance multiple relational needs(and what to do when they come into conflict with one another) — and more!
– What Trauma is, and why and how we experience it.
– The four pillars of Trauma Informed Relating
– Triangulation in Polyamorous Relationships, how it creates drama and conflict in complex dynamics, and how to diffuse it.
– Understanding Jealousy and other shadow emotions as a nervous system response
– Languages of Trust
– The three types of compersion, and how to cultivate the capacity for full-bodied somatic compersion.
Honest Non Monogamy 301: Boundaries, Agreements, and Complex Relational Needs
Relationship Agreements serve an important function in long-term and anchoring partnerships — they create spaces where everyone can feel honored and celebrated in their boundaries and within connection — but figuring out how to create them & sustain them in equitable and fair ways can often leave us feeling emotionally pretzled.
Many of us have tricky relationships to boundaries: we don’t experience being empowered about them in our youth, and so grow up without knowing how to really recognise or know them in others either. When we’ve experienced challenges in either asserting them or having them honored, our boundaries might grow walls, becoming fortresses that impede out relationships. This is a natural response to hurt and loss of trust. It takes great care, tenderness, kindness, dedication, and love to safely undo these fortresses. A healthy boundary has the strength of a tree: deeply rooted in what is nourishing, strong and stable, yet doesn’t break when the wind blows. It can dance with the seasons and weather thru the storms.
Developing healthy boundaries is about becoming attuned to the deepest truth of our felt experience, and increasing our capacity for resilience and gracefulness when those storms arise. From a foundation of health boundaries, we can build stronger, liberating relationship agreements.
In this workshop, we’ll be exploring the felt, somatic experience of what feels good, and what doesn’t feel good. We’ll dive into trauma-informed ways to create agreements in relationships that allow for openness and freedom, rather than agreements that feel like limits and controls.
We’ll be digging into the differences between rules and boundaries, diving into how to understand our own core needs and the needs of our partners, and we’ll be exploring how slowing down can help us in creating spaces of relating where everyone has more possibility of feeling their needs met.
This is a space to get messy, real, and honest about what you want. You’ll get to ask your questions, meet other folks exploring non-monogamy, hear new perspectives, and come away with clear tools and frameworks to help you explore open relationships in healthy, trauma-sensitive ways.
- The Pillars of Trauma Informed Relating
- Your Relationship Sandbox, and how to define it.
- Tolerance & Endurance, what they are and how to notice when you move from one to the other.
- Implicit & Explicit Agreements, including cultural assumptions.
- Types of Agreements in Relationships
- Recognizing your Core Desires
- The Journey of Conflict Intimacy
- Cultivating Agreements & Relationship Repair
About the Additional Materials
Lesson Two: Relationship Grounding and Nourishing
Lesson Three: Distress Tolerance, Object Permanence & Attachment
What you’ll need:
- A journal (physical, electronic, or otherwise) to record your experiences and reflections.
- An hour or two every month to review activities and worksheets.
- An device you can access the internet with.
“I receive so much incredible value from your work — I LOVE how you organize your rich information. You also have a knack for setting up a really safe, thoughtful, reflective container for learning. I really appreciate and admire your brain! Hoorah! In addition, your teaching brings together an amazing community of courageous humans that gather to learn and practice trauma-informed relating with ourselves and others!Sunday’s class was a deeply nourishing in ways I didn’t know I needed. THANK YOU!“Course Participant
3 ways to register: choose the rate that works for you
Who am I?
My name is Mel, and I’m a relationship coach who guides social misfits and cultural rebels to experiences of joyful, embodied, authentic, open relationships.
I’m a white-presenting 2nd generation settler of MENAHT and Celtic/Anglo descent. I was born in the UK, grew up in Kuwait, and Canada has been my home since 2004. I am grateful and humbled to live, love, study and share, as a visitor on the beautiful and sacred Unceded territory of the K’òmoks First Nation, which are traditional territories of the K’omoks, Pentlach, Homalco, Wei Wei Kai, Wei Wei Kum, and Tla’amin peoples — people who have been in relationship with this land and these waters for 10,000 years.
I hold a certification in Counselling for Intimacy in Relationships from the Vancouver College of Counselor Training, and am trained in Holistic Peer Counselling and ZEGG Forum facilitation. My current studies are focused on Somatics and Trauma-Informed approaches to healing: I am a student with Somatic Experiencing International, working towards my certification as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. I am also in the process of completing my training as a Somatic Movement Teacher with the Institute of Applied Somatics. I previously studied with the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education.
I have been teaching in one form or another for over 25 years, and currently sit on the faculty at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts, in addition to freelancing non-monogamy and consent workshops and education to schools, institutes, and community groups.
I’m queer, and practice relationship anarchy as a solo polyamorous person. I’m also dyslexic, and live with Long Covid. I’m a survivor of sexual trauma, gaslighting, and complex PTSD.
I practice anti-racism, anti-oppression, and support decolonization.
I refute binary gendered scripts.
I support inclusion.
I advocate for consent culture, feminism, and dismantling the patriarchy.
I support accountability and compassionate community care.
I bring all my experience to the work I do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sign up for the workshops individually?
Please visit Eventbrite to see what workshops I have coming up!
Can I sign up together with my partner or do we have to register individually?
Please register individually. If you need financial support or a discount to make this possible, please feel free to send me an email.
How Is This Different From Your Monogamy Detox Course?
I’ve designed this course with the beginner non-monogamist in mind, whereas The Monogamy Detox was originally created to support folks who had already been exploring non-monogamy for some time, and as such they have a different scope of focus.
While there is some overlap in the content, they’re taught in different ways, and there is a lot of content that is unique to this course, just as there is a lot of content that is unique to The Monogamy Detox.
In addition, participants in this course get to spread the work out over five months and retain access to the materials only until the end of the gregorian calender year, whereas The Monogamy Detox is conducted over the course of six weeks, and is life-time access.
Whilst I offer The Monogamy Detox live twice a year, the Honest Non Monogamy Essentials course will only be offered LIVE once per year.
Do you have a Safer Spaces Policy?
Yes I do! You’ll read the full policy once you sign up, but in summary:
- Honor Your Own Boundaries
- Respect Privacy
- Stay on Topic & Say What You Need
- Centre the voices of those who might not get as much air time in mainstream society.
- Do No Harm***
- All participation is optional
*** Anti-science rhetoric, conspiracy theories, COVID-19 denialism, anti-masking, Q-Anon and related alt-right and fascist ideologies are harmful and support of them in the workshop space will result in immediate removal.
My primary partner and I are only wanting to date secondary partners, is this course appropriate for us?
Yes, but be prepared to be challenged on your ideas about coupledom, and the Relationship Escalator.
Why do you make a big deal about being queer and feminist, can’t you leave the woke politics out of it?
The personal is political, and as a queer feminist human who has the privilege to be visible in the public eye, it’s important for me to emphasize this. Its also a way of filtering out folks who embrace patriarchal approaches to alternative relationships. If you feel activated by discussion of patriarchal narratives, my work is probably not a good fit for you.
How long do I have access to the course?
You’ll have access to the workshop recordings, materials, and coaching discount for 12 months from when you sign up.
Your access to the online Radial Relating community is lifetime access.
What if I’m unhappy with this course?
Well, I would be sad. But if you’re really unhappy with the course, just email me within 10 days to get a refund.
I still have a question, how can I contact you?
I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at email@example.com.
I desperately knew in my bones there was another script out there for me but when I struggled to find a healthy version of one, I haphazardly began writing it myself. And now?! To come into an entire community of people actively peeling back the veil to reveal their own trauma and vulnerability?? I am over the moon and feel so enthusiastic all the time. It’s the first time in the last several years where I have had such sustained joy and direction.
Monogamy Detox Course Student
Just wanted to send my deep gratitude and appreciation for your workshop. I let go of some self-indictments around believing something “different” about love, and was able to move towards being more in integrity with myself (and those with whom I relate). I was also able to become really clear about my core “essentials” in relationships (whether monogamous or non-monogamous; romantic/sexual, emotional, social/community or other), and am certain these breakthroughs will only serve my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those I have relationships with now and in the future more than I can even comprehend.
My session with Mel went beyond value for money. She created an immediate sense of being seen and heard in non-judgmental space. Mel reflected accurate insights to me, and held space for me to explore things that were beneath the surface. I was moved by the integrity she worked from in our sharing. I felt great compassion and wisdom with her, and my thoughts and emotions shifted to we worked. Mel is sharing a gift with her energy.