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Rebecca Calhoun-Shepard: Public Lecture and Dissertation Defense
September 6 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Come join us for this public lecture and oral defense of doctoral dissertation by PsyD candidate Rebecca Calhoun-Shepard.
Title: Polyamorous Millennials in Therapy: Interpreting experiences to inform care
Abstract: Polyamory (poly) refers to a way of loving involving multiple concurrent romantic relationships. It has been suggested that consensual nonmonogamies are becoming increasingly visible, particularly in the millennial generation. This warrants exploration of cultural considerations and the unique needs of this population to inform care and minimize potential for harm. The present study used interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to explore the phenomenon of polyamorous millennials in therapy as described across semi-structured interviews with therapists and poly clients. Three primary themes emerged from aggregate data, including Idiographic Experiences in Therapy, Therapy with Polyamorous Millennials, and information about Polyamory and Millennials beyond a therapy context. These themes synthesized participants’ accounts of satisfying, desired, and unsatisfying experiences in therapy, as well as recommendations for and the qualities of a preferred therapist. Therapists who “get it” were delineated, and results also reflect learning practices, processes and interventions within therapy, ethical considerations, and information about consensual nonmonogamy and the millennial generation in general. In addition to striving to accurately reflect the essence of participants’ experiences, results of this study intend to support providers towards empowering and well-
serving this population in therapy.