Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy
Jessica Fern, with a foreword by Eve Rickert and Nora Samaran
Publication Date: October 23, 2020
Formats: Trade paperback, Kindle, ePub, PDF and audiobook
ISBN: 978-1-944934-98-9 (paperback); 978-1-944934-99-6 (ePub); 978-1-952125-00-3 (Kindle); 978-1-952125-01-0 (PDF); 978-1-952125-08-9 (audiobook)
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Attachment theory has entered the mainstream, but most discussions focus on how we can cultivate secure monogamous relationships. What if, like many people, you’re striving for secure, happy attachments with more than one partner?
Polyamorous psychotherapist Jessica Fern breaks new ground by extending attachment theory into the realm of consensual nonmonogamy. Using her nested model of attachment and trauma, she expands our understanding of how emotional experiences can influence our relationships. Then, she sets out six specific strategies to help you move toward secure attachments in your multiple relationships.
Polysecure is both a trailblazing theoretical treatise and a practical guide. It provides nonmonogamous people with a new set of tools to navigate the complexities of multiple loving relationships, and offers radical new concepts that are sure to influence the conversation about attachment theory.
“This is my favorite kind of book. Not only does it dissect the intricacies of interpersonal dynamics into fun charts and lists, but it also provides a helpful how-to for applying this information in your actual relationships, and to every aspect of your own life. I’m suggesting it to all my therapist friends immediately!”
“Polysecure is likely to become for people interested in polyamory, what Love Languages is for understanding romance. It gives people a way to understand how they may be recreating those old patterns by bringing their own childhood attachment styles into their adult relationships. And even more importantly, it offers concrete skills for how to use this knowledge to create healthier, more satisfying and secure relationship dynamics.”
—Max Rivers, intimacy coach and author of Loving Conflict: How Conflict Is Really Your Relationship Trying to Go Deeper
“I find Jessica’s work not only highly useful but absolutely essential to building healthy, secure open relationships. What a gift this intelligent, inspired piece of literature is to the broader non-monogamous community, as well as those about to embark on this brave frontier of multiple loves! I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in self-acceptance and self-mastery, as well as their own emotional well-being as they build loving, sustainable, healthy multiple relationships.”
—Kitty Chambliss, ACC, CPC, ELI-MP, relationship coach and author of Jealousy Survival Guide: How to Feel Safe, Happy and Secure in an Open Relationship
“Anyone even considering nonmonogamy would benefit from reading Polysecure. Jessica Fern does an excellent job of not only explaining attachment theory and applying it to nonmonogamy but also offering real steps readers can take and skills they can hone to help create the secure, satisfying relationships they want.”
—JoEllen Notte, sex educator and author of The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression, and the Conversations We Aren’t Having
“Polysecure is a must-read for polyamorous folks and for therapists with clients who are practicing consensual non-monogamy. However, I believe that its insights and messages could open doors for people who have, or are hoping to find, a single partner. We all carry unconscious beliefs about what love is and what it can be—and we can all benefit from asking ourselves if those beliefs really are leading us to the love we need.”
—Jeremy Adam Smith, Greater Good Magazine
“Secure attachment is absolutely central to successful polyamorous relationships, and insecure attachment is at the core of the jealousy and other challenges in open relationships of all kinds. This book can help poly people, as well as clinicians, get to the heart of their struggles and pain. It can help them to take concrete steps to become more comfortable with their nonmonogamous relationships and trust their partner’s love and commitment. This is required reading for people in open relationships and should be used as a textbook for every therapist who works with people in polyamorous relationships.”
—Kathy Labriola, counselor, nurse, and author of The Polyamory Breakup Book
“An extremely helpful addition to the literature on consensual non-monogamy, and the first self-help book to focus on applying attachment theory to non-monogamous relationships. Taking the reader by the hand, Jessica Fern explains how perfectly secure attachment styles are rare, and how all of us can usefully work with our attachment issues, whatever our way of doing relationships. Weaving together research findings with therapeutic literature and personal experience, Fern does an excellent job of challenging the popular view that non-monogamous people are more likely than anyone else to struggle with attachment. She presents an extremely helpful model locating our relationship patterns within our wider culture and community as well as within our family background and relationship experiences. The notion of openly discussing whether we want an attachment-based partnership or not is worth the price of the book all by itself, as is the chapter on developing a secure attachment with yourself. This is gold!”
—Dr. Meg-John Barker, author of Rewriting the Rules: An Anti Self-Help Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships
“A deeply compassionate book, Polysecure is a great read for both therapists who serve people in consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships and laypeople who are interested in what makes for secure attachments in such relationships. It offers an excellent summary of conventional attachment theory, critiques and re-interprets attachment theory for CNM relationships, and provides a roadmap for people in CNM relationships who want to establish emotionally intimate and securely attached relationships with multiple partners. One of the most important insights from Fern’s delightful book is that secure attachment is a product of relationship experiences, rather than relationship structures.”
“Polysecure is smart, readable, path-setting, and deeply caring. And practical. Jessica Fern presents abundant material that will inform poly-friendly therapists everywhere, and she offers six particular strategies that will help polyfolks and their beloveds to become more ‘polysecure’ in their relationships.”
—Lindsay Hayes, Polyamory in the News
Jessica Fern is a psychotherapist, public speaker and trauma and relationship expert. In her international private practice, Jessica works with individuals, couples and people in multiple-partner relationships who no longer want to be limited by their reactive patterns, cultural conditioning, insecure attachment styles and past traumas, helping them to embody new possibilities in life and love.