10 min Book Review!
This books is all about how to foster trust and security within polyamorous relationships, and I would highly recommend it.
Who is this book for?
- Anyone who is engaging in consensual nonmonogamy or polyamory and is seeking to better understand the relationship dynamics at play and how to make things go well. If you want to deepen your connection and security with your partners, this book includes a lot of helpful theory as well as practical application.
- People who are monogamous or poly curious and wanting to learn more about attachment styles and how to build security and trust in any relationship.
- Therapists and counselors who work with, or are interested in working with, polyamorous clients. This will be a great resource to help you understand a range of relationship styles and support your clients from an evidence based attachment perspective.
Who is this book *not* for?
- Anyone who is offended by the idea of consensual nonmonogamy or against polyamory in general.
- Someone who does not know what polyamory is, and is seeking a basic explanation of this concept and its current cultural place. This book is rather in-depth and will probably not be your first jumping off point if you are brand new to the topic.
- People who are looking for a resource on trauma in relationships. Though Fern mentions the impact of trauma, this is not overall a trauma focused book, and there are many other resources for understanding trauma, complex PTSD, and trauma within attachment theory.
- Someone looking for a quick-tips or quick-fix approach to relationship problems.
What to Expect
The first part of the book is all about attachment styles, and whether you’re new to attachment theory or have studied it a lot, Jessica Fern does a lovely job explaining what attachment styles are, what conditions contribute to their formation, and what is means practically in adult relationships. It definitely gets into the details of the theory, but is well worth the read if you’re interested. I also like how she extends the discussion of attachment beyond interpersonal relationships to include community and societal levels of interactions.
The second part of the books is all about consensual nonmonogomy. And again, whether your well versed in this area or more new to the concept, she does a beautiful job of articulating different types of consensual nonmonogomy, why people choose this relationship style, and how attachment theory applies to poly relationships. It was refreshing to reach this approach that breaks down the misconception that you can only form security with one partner, or that monogamy is the best or only way to have a secure and committed relationship.
And finally part 3 is the one that most people will be really excited about because it’s the practical application of how to build security in relationships. She talks about the HEARTS model, which stands for Here, Expressed delight, Attunement, Rituals and routines, Turning towards conflict, and then finally Secure attachment to self. These are really well written chapters that talk about HOW to build secure attachment, and includes both practical suggestions as well as reflection questions you can use to really personalize and adapt the concepts. This is a great resource because one of the most common questions I hear from my own clients after exploring their attachment style is “So now what do I do?”
If you would like support in exploring your own attachment style, relationship patterns, or experience of polyamory, somatic counseling can help! Please reach out for a free consultation.