poly therapist | polyamory counseling | portland Polyamory

I'm a sexuality educator, relationship coach and retired couples counselor and sex therapist supporting relationships all over the world.

I love love, in all its forms

I've helped thousands of couples explore sexuality with connection and courage, and build sustainable trusting partnerships.

My clients learn communication skills to open their relationships, practice ethical non-monogamy, and handle conflict with compassion.

Custom-tailored relationships

Currently, I'm working mainly with couples new to non-monogamy or open relationships.  I love helping people create trust and negotiate mutually-agreeable visions of a less traditional relationship structure.

Let's talk about sex

As a trained sex-educator I love helping people overcome shame and communication blocks around sexuality.  I've helped hundreds of couples through sexual disconnection and mismatch.  I also provide newly kinky couples and long-time BDSM practitioners with sex-positive support.

All relationships are welcome

Not all my clients are queer, kinky, or consensually non-monogamous, but even more traditional couples appreciate my breadth of knowledge, open-mindedness, and warm demeanor.

If you’re interested in taking this work further contact me for a free consultation.

 
In our very first session Gina saw something in us I hadn’t realized in seven years together. That shifted everything.
— Sarah & Tara, Portland, OR
 
poly therapist | polyamory counseling | portland Polyamory | couples therapy | marriage counseling | relationship coach

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPORT 

Finding the right provider is especially important for LGBTQ couples, non-monogamous couples, and sex-positive community members.  All too often I work with clients after they have had negative experiences with well-intentioned professionals who just didn't understand their unique needs.  

Check out these recommended resources to help you find the right professional provider in Portland, Oregon.

 

NOT YOUR AVERAGE COACH

Not only do I have professional training in coaching, but I earned a masters degree in education and in counseling and a PhD in pastoral counseling.  This means I studied couples counseling in formal college programs for five years and completed 2500 hours of professionally supervised couples counseling sessions. I wrote my dissertation on the application of couples counseling techniques to consensually non-monogamous relationships.

During that time I had the honor of studying under one of the most respected experts in couples therapy, John Gottman, and I interned at the Seattle Counseling Center for Sexual Minorities, where I worked exclusively with queer and kinky relationships. When I moved to Oregon I completed over 2000 more client hours toward my Sex Therapist credential and state licensure as a marriage and family therapist (before I closed my therapy practice to focus on coaching).  

What I'm saying is, I've invested a lot of time learning to support clients and teach communication skills to a wide range of unique relationships.

Most coaches have little to no professional training or educational experience.

I have years of both.

Though I no longer treat mental health disorders as a psychotherapist, I draw upon my background in therapy as a foundation for our work together.  This foundation creates a solid base for your learning and growth in coaching unlike any other.

 

CREDENTIALED COACHING MAKES A DIFFERENCE

In addition to my counseling training, I'm a credentialed coach and a member of the International Coach Federation.  This means there's a code of ethics guarding the work we do- and protecting your privacy.

If you’ve tried therapy and stuck to it… but you're ready to apply the skills learned coaching might be right for you. 

Counseling is important reflective healing work, but my clients come to me hoping to take action for change.  That's where coaching comes in.

Counseling (the "assessment and treatment of mental health disorders") is about asking why something is happening.  Coaching doesn't assess or treat these disorders- my clients are healthy.  Instead we ask what you want to do differently.  How do you want to change? 

Many of my clients still see individual therapists for support on their own.  I am happy to have you sign a release to allow me to talk with your therapist so we can collaboratively support your wellness if you wish.

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP

poly therapist | polyamory counseling | portland Polyamory | couples therapy | marriage counseling | relationship coach

I'm also a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.  As a member I agree to continuing my education in psychology and human relations and to uphold their ethics code in my work.  

In 2018 alone I completed over 50 hours of AASECT-approved sexuality counseling professional training.

All these memberships are in place to protect, reassure, and support you as my client knowing I follow ethical boundaries and maintain my professional education.  

 
I feel a million times better than when we started working together. When we first called Gina I thought we might be splitting up. We’re both really solid on our own and we’ve grown more so over the years. I thought we’d tried everything possible to reconnect.

But even after one session I felt things starting to shift. Gina suggested simple things that helped us get back to solid ground.
— Mariah, Seattle, WA
 

TAKE A COURSE WITH ME:

I created several relationship foundation courses that could help couples at nearly any stage secure their base and reaffirm their connections. Click the images below for more information.

 
Gina Senarighi Polyamory Coach Poly Couples Counseling Nonmonogamy

PROFESSIONAL SPECIALIZATIONS

Long before I became a therapist I trained as a relationship coach (at Invite Change Academy) and a Compassionate Communication facilitator with Holly Eckert.  I learned tools there to help couples change unhealthy communication patterns and create inspiring visions for their futures and I use them as a foundation for my work to this day.   

I trained as a sex educator at the Kinsey Institute where I taught thousands of college students about human sexuality.  I received my first masters degree in education in 2004 from Indiana University.

In 2010 I received my masters in counseling after training with an eclectic multi-disciplinary approach at the Leadership Institute of Seattle. Most of my masters research and clinical practice focused on non-monogamy, polyamory and LGBTQ relationships. (Just to be clear, I am no longer providing mental health counseling services.  I no longer treat mental illness because I believe my clients are healthy.  If you'd like to talk more about what that means for our work together let's talk!)

Soon after graduate school I interned at the Relationship Research Institute and studied the Gottman Method of couples work. This helped me learn essential tools to help couples repair from conflict and build trust long-term.  

In 2012 I trained with Brene Brown to better understand shame, vulnerability, and authenticity in human relationships.  I love talking about this training- please do ask me for more information!

I've also trained professionally in herbalism, astrology, tarot, Trauma Release Exercise, Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), mediation, the Work, and Compassionate Listening.  Ask me about any of these in a consultation- I love using my eclectic professional training to support you.

 

Most of my clients are attracted to my approach, style, and unique expertise in nontraditional relationships as well as the warm and friendly nature of our working relationship.  

Curious how I can help your relationship?  Let's chat.

 
None of our friends would ever believe we were seeing a couples therapist. We are the ones everyone looks to as relationship role models. Everyone thinks we have it all together. But we’ve started having little arguments here and there and things weren’t feeling right.

I really liked seeing someone who focuses on our strengths and commitment instead of just all the negative.
— Terrence & Kaylin, Beaverton, OR
 

WHAT I STUDIED IN SCHOOL:

GINA SENARIGHI Polyamory COUPLES THERAPY

PhD in Religious Studies- Pastoral Counseling, 2019 (because I want those three little letters attached to my name and I like talking about less traditional spiritual paths)

MA in Counseling Psychology, 2010 (because I wanted to teach people to love themselves and others better)

MS in Higher Education, 2004 (because I used to teach college students to be leaders)

BSE in Social Studies Education, 2002 (because I was going to be a History teacher)

BA in Women's Studies, 2002 (because when everyone questions feminism it helps to have fancy books to point at)

BS in Geography, 2002 (because I really, really like maps)

 

CERTIFICATIONS & TRAININGS:

Seven Principles of Making Relationships Work Facilitator, 2019 (because research on relationships is valuable)

Imago Relationship Therapist, Level 1, 2019 (where I helped couples deepen connection in new ways)

Gottman Certified Therapist Level 2, 2019 (because understanding couples communication is critical to my work)

Daring Way Facilitator Certification, 2014 (where I learned all about resiliency, courage, shame, and belonging)

Desire Map Licensing Program, 2014 (where I got clear about desire and goals)

Positive Psychology Certification, 2013 (where I learned the science of happiness and tools to build happy lives)

LGBTQ Therapist Certification, 2010 (where I got real official about serving a fabulous community)

Relationship Research Institute Intern, 2010 (where I learned all about fighting and making up and building trust)

Gottman Certified Therapist Level 1, 2010 (because understanding couples communication is critical to my work)

Compassionate Listening Project, 2008 (where I really focused on the importance of being heard in order to heal)

Invite Change - Transformative Coach Certification, 2006-2008 (where I learned about transformative life coaching)

People's Institute Northwest, 2007, 2008, 2009 (where I really practiced listening and reflecting on privilege)

Trauma Stewardship Institute, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (where I learned to prioritize of self care and balance)

National Coalition Building Institute, 2007 (where I learned what to do with internalized oppression)

Myers Briggs Facilitator Certification, 2007 (I got to learn about career counseling and personality testing- great stuff!)

Nonviolent Communication Intern, 2005-2008 (where I learned about ask for what you want and listen to other people)

Family and Neighborhood Mediation Intern, 2005-2009 (where I learned about repairing relationships after fighting)

Kinsey Institute Sex Educator Certification, 2004 (where I started talking to people about passion, shame, and resilience)

 
Gina helped me love myself first. I’m clear with myself and can ask partners for what I need now.
— Leah, New York City
 
poly therapist | polyamory counselor | open relationship counselor
 

THOUGHTS FROM MY CLIENTS:

 

"Now I trust we'll end up fine. Even through really big hurts, I know we have a strong enough base to make it out fine.  We'll be fine." 

- Damien & Rachel, Portland, Oregon clients 2017

"I can't believe I made it into my forties without knowing this stuff! 

Gina is a great teacher about all the things you never knew you need to know about relationships."

- Holly & William, Portland, Oregon, clients 2016-2017

 
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 - Mariah, Portland, Oregon, client 2017

 

"After just one talk with Gina I went home and had a real sex talk with my husband for the first time in 30 years.  WOW! This is opening up a whole new world.  I'm just so grateful." 

- Brenda, Gresham, Oregon 

"I don't want games. I want an honest open relationship without drama. Gina got us there."

- Jill & Mark, Vancouver, Washington

 

"When we started working with Gina I wasn't sure we would make it through.  She got us back on the same team after we hadn't really been talking for at least six years." 

- Jade & Jesse, Troutdale, Oregon

"Gina helped me love myself first.

I'm clear with myself and can ask partners for what I need now."

- Leah, New York City

 

"I really like that every week I walk away with something to think about or actually do.  Gina never coddles me and is pretty directive- which I need."

- Liz & Matt, Fort Worth, Texas

"The daily gratitude practice was really powerful.  I can't believe how much this simple thing helped us reconnect."

- Dreya & Molly, Portland, Oregon

 
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Blaine, St. Helens, Oregon

 

"When we came [to see Gina] it felt like we were each doing our own thing. Now it feels like this is something we're doing together... something that will bring us even closer.  It was really good for me to have a facilitator help me move from scarcity and fear to connection."

- Alissa & Stephanie, Seattle, Washington

"I didn't know how we would make it through after [my wife] caught me cheating. We were so stuck when we first met Gina and I think we both thought it was over. It took some time, but it feels like we're friends again." 

- Rob & Lindsey, Camas, Washington

 

"We got creative and even tried a few things together, but ultimately decided monogamy is best for us. Even still, after 22 years together the conversations we had with Gina helped us have a deeper connection and more clarity than ever before."

- Robin & Michael, Portland, Oregon

 

"Before if we fought we wouldn't speak for days. Now it's like 30 minutes and we hug."

- Jenny & Jeff, Chicago, Illinois

"I thought sex between us was good before. I didn't know we needed help with that but... it's even better now."

- Laura & Staci, Madison, Wisconsin

 
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"After our sessions with Gina, we've been closer than ever [in our fourteen year marriage]." 

- Brenda & Loren, Portland, Oregon

 

"Gina makes the most complex parts of our relationship problems really easy to understand. I didn't know I needed to learn so much about relationships.  

I always walk away [from sessions] seeing things from a new perspective."

- Dan & Megan, Buffalo, New York

"We're back together. I'd say that's a success.

I didn't know if it would happen. And I definitely didn't think it could be this good again."

- Michelle & Darla, San Jose, California

 

"I never really thought of myself as non-traditional, but here we are.  

Gina helped me think outside the box without judgment or fear."

- Andie & Hong, Eugene Oregon

"Gina helped me stop hating myself so much. Now I'm a better partner to myself and I'm ready to start dating and be a better partner to someone else.  I just made my first online dating profile.  

It's kind of exciting."

- Jodi, Portland, Oregon

 

"I'm sick of working with therapists and never really seeing anything change.  Gina is different. I always walk away with things to think about and action steps to take.  

I feel like I'm making real progress for the first time."

Sarah, Portland, Oregon

"We've tried lots of Portland couples therapists and never found a professional who can understand our unique [polyamorous] relationship. Gina makes talking to her really easy without having to explain or justify our relationship structure."

Tanya & Mark, Forest Grove, Oregon

 
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- Michaela & Brad, Portland, Oregon

 

"I've never felt so bad as when my husband found out I was having an affair. It was awful. We fought all the time and never slept. [Gina] got us both grounded again so we made up and moved on."

- Tori & Chris, Milwaukee, Oregon

"I thought I would lose my mind when he first brought up opening our marriage. I thought he just wanted to leave. I couldn't see any way we would make it work. Gina helped us figure out a plan that works for both of us."

Chris & Kelly, Bali, Indonesia

 

"Nobody tells you how to handle being in a committed relationship with a bi-sexual woman. I didn't want to deny her sexuality, but we didn't know how to do an open relationship and stay together.  Gina helped us walk through every step."

Catherine & Erik, Portland, Oregon

"..So, I guess we were really talking about opening up because we were avoiding doing the hard work together.  Now that we're more intimate with each other, I don't see a reason to see other people." 

- Kara & Kyle, Portland

 
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"I didn't get what I wanted out of [working with Gina] but I got something even better. I can't describe it exactly, but I didn't know it could be this good between us."

- P.K. & Maggie, Mexico City, Mexico

 

"We've been polyamorous for many years, but this is the first time we've tried living with one of our partners. Gina helped us assess the strengths of our triad and work on the areas where we needed to communicate better."

- Jenny, Greg, & Rita, Boulder, Colorado

 

"I'm really not a big therapy person, but Gina made it easy to talk to her without judging us and her help really got us thinking bigger about what we need in life and from each other.  

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm glad we went through it."

- Adam & Cassandra, Beaverton, OR

"After seven years we stopped sleeping together and didn't really know why. I know it seems so obvious, but Gina got us to talk about sex like, really talk about it with each other. I know it sounds cheesy but now it's like we have soul-sex."

- Vanessa & Soren, Atlanta Georgia

 

"Gina made the hard stuff seem so much easier. I don't think we'd still be together without her." 

- Brian & Amaya, Portland, Oregon

"What's gotten clearer is that if we're strong as a couple, we're fine opening things up, even with less boundaries than we originally thought."

- Mary & Eric, Orcas Island, Washington

 

"We fight less now. And when we do it's way better. We get over it quicker and I don't always worry she's leaving me." 

- Elsa & Erikah, Portland, Oregon

"I flip-flopped about this divorce for months. Working with Gina brought me the clarity to leave. Now I can't believe the level of relief I feel!"

- Kate, Clearwater Beach, Florida

 
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"Gina gave me the a-ha moment I needed to leave a really terrible relationship.  I'm glad she tells it like it is."

- Kurt, Asheville, North Carolina