February 28th is Metamour Day

February 28th is Metamour Day

Our friends at National Coalition for Sexual Freedom have declared that February 28th is Metamour Day. This is a day where we have an opportunity to recognize, honor and celebrate our metamour(s). In poly-amorous relationships, a metamour is the partner of one’s partner where there is no shared romantic experience.  Metamours play an important role within the relationship structure. Often this person serves as an extension of the relationship and may fill the role of friend, confidant, co-parent, or another significantly role. This role can also be complicated by feelings surrounding the relationship itself. In most cases your partner chooses their partner, your metamour. This choice can result in a wide range of feelings from pleasure and joy to jealousy and confusion. Often, these feelings can be related to use of the resources available in the relationship structure, time, money, or emotional capacity and availability. Other times the feelings can be attributed to complimentary or conflicting values or communication styles. Sometimes we experience compersion, sometimes pain, sometimes both occur simultaneously. With hard work, open communication, balance and honesty the relationship structure can thrive, working on clear roles and boundaries for all members of the relationship, partners and metamours alike.

Here are some tips for how to care for your metamour:

  • Support your partner’s other relationship(s)

  • Communicate and maintain clear boundaries

  • Express yourself honestly

  • Allow space for values and opinions that may differ from yours

  • Communicate your emotions and needs

  • Be open to the communication and needs of others in the relationship structure

  • Work from a place of empathy and compassion, treating people with kindness often results in more desirable outcomes

  • Have clear agreements that are living and breathing documents open to review and renegotiation as relationships develop

  • When your agreements allow for it, spend quality time with your metamour without your partner

  • Celebrate successes within all areas of the relationship structure

  • Recognize your metamour with tokens of appreciation (cards. flowers, gifts, etc)

While it may not always be easy to share the person you love with another person, taking the time to recognize and celebrate the joy that person brings your partner can enhance your relationship and promote intimacy.

 

Are you and your partner(s) struggling to develop relationship agreements that work for you? Consider attending Relationship Agreements: an Overview or our intensive series with interactive activities and homework Developing your Relationship Agreements: Intensive Series.

Are you a clinician who needs more information on consensual non-monogamy, including polyamory? Consider signing up for continuing education covering this topic area: Consensual Non-monogamy for Clinicians.

Nickie Fuentes, MS LPC, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC works with gender, sexuality and relationship structure minorities at Modern Tribe Counseling, located in Chamblee, GA.  

Art Therapy Group for Trauma Survivors

Have you been looking for new ways to manage life after a traumatic experience? Are you a survivor of trauma and wanting to learn how to thrive in life? Starting this month, Karen Corry, LAPC, ATR-P, NCC will be leading a 10 week art therapy trauma group for adult survivors. This group is ideal for those who are creatively inclined and who want to push themselves therapeutically in new ways.

The intention of this group is to support adult survivors of trauma through engaging in creative interventions, processing with others safely, and by developing artistic coping skills to implement in daily living. Group members will be encouraged to create art about the impact trauma has had on identity, self-esteem, relationships, communication, and the ability to cope. The group’s focus will be on the process of creating art, the emotions that emerge during the journey, and the individual’s interpretation of the art. There is no artistic skill or experience required, as all interventions will be guided, and materials demonstrated.

Group members can expect to express themselves through: using collage and mixed media, altering books, visual journaling, guided imagery and painting, mindful practices, the creation of masks, and exploring the use of drawing and writing in healing.

This group is affirming of, embracing of, and a safe place for individuals of all sexual identities, gender identities, relationship structures, and lifestyles.

For more information or to schedule your assessment, email Karen Corry at kcorry@moderntribecounseling.com or call 678-744-6750. Karen is also currently accepting new individual clients and those seeking relationship counseling.


Introducing Art Therapy at Modern Tribe Counseling

At Modern Tribe Counseling, we take pride in providing individualized therapeutic approaches. We know not all therapies or therapists work for every person. When Karen Corry, LAPC, ATR-P joined us, we knew she was bringing something special to the team. Using art therapy, Karen creates access to those in our community who may not have found value in traditional talk therapy. Art therapy is ideal for those who want to look inside themselves, express their experiences and process in a creative way. When art therapy is mentioned, many people have questions, misconceptions, or anxiety about it. Let’s work through that with some FAQs and Myths, answered by Karen Corry, art therapist and therapist here at Modern Tribe Counseling.

 Art? That’s just for kids, right?

Art therapy is a fantastic modality (approach) for any age. Art therapy helps us tap into our subconscious in ways that words sometimes fail us. Working creatively is helpful in understanding and working towards our goals, processing our identity, and working through difficult issues that we may not consciously fully understand. Teenagers and adults specifically can benefit from the relaxing qualities of art therapy, developing creative ways to communicate, and in learning effective and healthy coping skills.

Okay…I’m horrible at drawing. What if can only draw stick figures?

If drawing stick figures help you understand or communicate what’s going on, bring on the stick figures! However, art therapy can utilize many different materials and media. For example, collage, beads, clay, and photography are a few options that do not require drawing and different materials and media bring out different emotions for us. Art therapy is not about technical skill or your ability. It’s often about the therapeutic journey of creating art and about what surfaces in the artwork and not necessarily about the final product. No ability or experience required. You’d be surprised at how good you are at being an art therapy client when you give it a try.

I’ve been wanting to get better at drawing, will working with an art therapist help me with that?

Art therapy sessions and art therapy groups are about therapy. We won’t be focused on the technical skill of art making. However, practicing drawing and using it creatively to work through things will likely increase your abilities and could affect your art style. I will always teach you how to use a material, but our focus will be on emotions, your journey in life, your experiences, etc.

What can I expect from an art therapy session or art therapy group?

After the initial sessions where we discuss the expectations of therapy, paperwork, and getting to know each other, sessions will take a path that we create together. Sometimes, we will work on a specific intervention (directed art activity) related to your needs or goals and other times, we will have time to free create. We will typically verbally process and discuss the art work and the experience of creating the art. This is all intended to help you reach your goals and feel healthy overall. Group therapy works very similarly but often has an overall theme for the group activities and the group goals, such as working through depression, developing coping skills, processing trauma, etc.

 I already have a therapist. Do I have to stop working with them?

Nope! You do not have to. You can join an appropriate group, we can discuss starting a group for your needs, or you could work with me alongside your current therapy. Typically, when someone also works with a specialist, the client approves through consent forms for the clinicians to discuss the work being done in treatment. If you don’t have a current therapist, I’d love to have you as a client.

Do I have to pay for my art supplies?

The materials for sessions and groups, such as paper, canvases, drawing materials, paint materials, collage images, glue, and any necessary art tools are provided as part of therapy and its associated costs. If there are any materials you particularly enjoy using, you are welcome to bring them to use during therapy. The fee you pay for your session or group will include materials.

Does my insurance cover art therapy?

Unfortunately, insurance does not cover art therapy as a modality. However, we work with each client on an individualized basis to determine medical necessity for counseling and therapy services.

Karen Corry, LAPC, ATR-P, NCC recently joined the Modern Tribe Counseling team as a full-time clinician. Karen is an associate licensed professional counselor (LAPC), a provisionally registered art therapist (ATR-P), and a national certified counselor (NCC). Karen uses both counseling approaches and art therapy approaches in her work with her clients. In January, Karen will be starting a 10 week art therapy trauma group for adult survivors on Tuesday evenings, which will include learning creative methods for processing and expressive coping skills in a safe group environment. Karen is currently accepting new individual clients and those seeking relationship counseling.

Email her at kcorry@moderntribecounseling.com or call 678-744-6750 for any additional questions, if you are interested in the group, or to discuss your therapy needs.