The Fluid and Blurred Boundaries of Love: Challenging Mononormative Bias in Counselling to Support a Multitude of Monogamies and Beyond
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Consensual non-monogamy, or romantic pluralism as I prefer to call it, is increasing in acceptance and visibility in Western society. In response, institutions like academia and helping professions like counselling are working to respond appropriately by challenging mononormative bias, the presumed superiority of monogamy and its associated scripts, for the sake of romantically plural individuals and families. However, the rising popularity of these relationship styles and factors like high divorce and infidelity rates among monogamous couples are influencing the expressions and practices of monogamy as well: the line between monogamy and romantic pluralism is blurring on the romantic spectrum and in everyday life. Unfortunately, the literature tends to dichotomise romantic pluralism and monogamy, leaving a gap in evidence-based guidance for meeting the needs of contemporary monogamous individuals and families. To help bridge this gap, challenging mononormative bias and complementary non-dualistic therapeutic approaches prepare counsellors in meeting the diverse needs of clients identifying anywhere along the romantic spectrum.