The Many Faces of Polyamory Longing and Belonging in Concurrent Relationships

The Many Faces of Polyamory: Longing and Belonging in Concurrent Relationships provides new perspectives on polyamory and the longing to belong in the relatively uncharted territory of nonnormative relationships.

This volume offers a valuable and compelling account on how to approach polyamorous relationships from the clinical perspective. While there is no uniform answer, Dr. Fosse’s compassionate and discerning approach that combines relative neutrality, an open-minded embrace of nontraditional lifestyle choices, and skilful attention to countertransference dynamics is likely to be inspiring. Dr. Fosse exposes the dynamics of love, sex, jealousy, and compersion as they play out in lives of those interested in polyamory, and more broadly, consensual nonmonogamy. Her focus is on relationships worth having.

With its nuanced clinical focus, The Many Faces of Polyamory will be an essential resource for psychotherapists, educators, students, and anyone inside and outside of the mental health field drawn to the intricacies of sexuality, intimacy, and how they are intertwined with relational satisfaction


“The idea of being polyamorous is enticing, but few if any clinicians have the in-depth knowledge of its joys and challenges to responsibly work with these clients. We need a brilliant teacher. Now we have one. Dr. Magdalena J. Fosse’s book The Many Faces of Polyamory: Longing and Belonging in Concurrent Relationships is a thoughtful and deep exploration of the many faces of polyamory. It is a treasure trove for psychotherapists who are interested in becoming more competent in treating non-monogamous patients. Her advice to therapists about dealing with ethical issues and other themes common to working with non-monogamous couples is thorough and its tone is reassuring. Dr. Fosse’s writing is a pleasure to read, and with its vivid case studies and the inclusion of a glossary of terms, it makes a fascinating read for the lay public as well.”


—Aline P. Zoldbrod, Ph.D., Author of SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It

“This beautifully written book is filled with theoretical richness and clinical wisdom. It is a page-turner, replete with vivid case illustrations — many of which have unexpected outcomes — and Dr. Fosse’s insights as to what polyamory itself reveals about the longing for intimacy.”


— Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

“The Many Faces of Polyamory takes the little known and sometimes controversial topic of polyamory and makes it a poignantly powerful story of people’s yearnings and bravery, vulnerability and love, fulfillment and heartbreak. Dr. Fosse presents a thorough history of this emerging form of multiple intimate relationships and addresses the emotional, psychological, and cultural issues that have given rise to it.
Most importantly, Dr. Fosse reveals herself to be a superb and compassionate therapist who truly accepts and honors those who bring their pain and conflicts, hopes and fears into her office.”

— Dr. David Treadway, Author of Treating Couples Well: A Practical Guide to Collaborative Couple Therapy


Polyamory with Dr. Magdalena Fosse, The Real Sex Education, Trick Hat Podcasts

November 2021
Relationship Therapy with Dr. Magdalena Fosse
December 2021

Sex Therapy with Dr. Magdalena Fosse
December 2021


Fosse, M. J. (in press). Pressures and pleasures of polyamory: A psychodynamic perspective. In P. J. Kleinplatz (Ed.) New directions in Sex Therapy. Innovations and Alternatives. 3nd Edition. Routledge.

Fosse, M. J. (2021). The Many Faces of Polyamory: Longing and Belonging in Concurrent Relationships. Routledge.

Fosse, M. J., Fosse, R., Hobson, A., & Stickgold, R. (2003). Dreaming and episodic memory: A functional dissociation? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 1-9.

Fosse, R., Fosse, M. J., Stickgold, R. (2003). Research focus response. Response to Schwartz: dreaming and episodic memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 327-328.

Stickgold, R., Hobson, J.A., Fosse, R., & Fosse, M. J. (2001). Sleep, learning, and dreaming: Off-line memory reprocessing. Science, 294, 945-1228.

Fosse, M. J., Stickgold, R., Fosse, R. & Hobson, J. A. (2000). Incorporation of Episodic Memories in Dreaming, Sleep, 24, 179-180.

Fosse, M. J. (April, 2000). Abstract: Incorporation of Episodic Memories in Dreaming, Sleep.


Selected presentations:

Nonnormative Patterns of Intimacy: Polyamory and Consensual Nonmonogamy, Harvard Medical School, September 2023

New Patterns of Intimacy: Contentment and Loss in Polyamory and Consensual Nonmonogamy, Polish Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Poland, May 2023

Contextualizing Relational Reality of Polyamory and Consensual Nonmonogamy. Collaborative Practice East Bay (CPEB), October 2022

Polyamory and Consensual Nonmonogamy in Hetero-and Mononormative World, Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute (CPI), April 2022

The New Relational Reality of Polyamory and Consensual Nonmonogamy, Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM), December 2021

Exploring the Impact of Polyamorous Relationships and Consensual Nonmonogamy in Divorce Mediation, Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM), October 2021

The Expanding Boundaries of Coupledom, DC Academy of Collaborative Professionals (DCACP), April 2021

When One is Not Enough: Working with Couples Exploring Consensual Nonmonogamy, Psychodynamic Couples & families Institute of New England (PCFINE), December 2020

Intentionally Non-Monogamous: Working with Clients Exploring Polyamory and Open Relationships.
Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance Conference on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, April 2016