Why are therapists so down on polyamory and swinging?

There is a very small number therapists who are versed in relationships other than heterosexual monogamous ones.  Why are they so down on them? Dr. David J. Ley, Ph.D. feels that it’s because less than a third of therapists ever receive sexuality education as part of their degree path, and because of this they regard with sceptism any relationship that doesn’t model their own, or at least their own concept of what an ideal relationship (for them mostly) would be like.

Dr. Ley comments:

Multiple studies conducted over the past few decades show that therapists and the mental health field in general have negative and judgmental views of any marriages that are not centered around an assumption of monogamy. When asked, such therapists predict failure for said relationships, and automatically attribute the desire and motivation for nonmonogamy to a history of pathology, typically sexual abuse. People who approach therapists and are involved in swinging, polyamory or open marriages are most often met with incredulity and scorn.

He goes on to say:

Fewer than a third of medical schools provide training in human sexuality. What consistent training there is in sexuality is typically only focused on the negative aspects, and pathology. So, what does that mean for the therapists? It means they are reacting based upon their own subjective experiences and values. “Would I do that? Could I do that?” If the answer is yes, then the patient’s behavior is normal and healthy. If the answer is no, then patient is abnormal and unhealthy.

Read the rest of this short article at Psychology Today: Why are therapists down on alternative sex? | Psychology Today.

  • Joreth

    That’s just bizarre. Human Sexuality was a required class when I was studying for a marriage therapist license in CA.  In fact, it was a required class and offered to freshmen.  I took it right along side my anthropology course and statistics course when I was 18.  My boyfriend (who was still a senior in high school at the time) loved it because I brought my human sexuality text books with me to his drama practice after school & all his friends thought he was the luckiest guy in the world to be dating a girl who was legitimately studying human sexuality.

    So I’ve never understood how so many therapists could escape sexuality training.