Speaking Engagements


Sheffa leads non-monogamy trainings for aspiring and licensed therapists and other healing professionals in North Carolina.  Contact Sheffa if you would like her to teach in your area.

Past engagements:

Introduction to Ethical Non-Monogamy for Psychotherapists: 
Therapy with More Than Two

Benjamin Landman, Psy.D. and Sheffa Ariens, MFT

Committed partnerships can take many forms beyond the “traditional,” heterosexual, married, monogamous couple. Cohabitation, divorce leading to blended families, and gay marriage have extended our ideas about what constitutes family. An increasing number of people are open about choosing polyamory – honest, emotionally and sexually committed relationships with more than one partner. Polyamorous relationships offer new opportunities and new challenges to practitioners of both individual and partner therapy.

 Attendees at this workshop will

  • Gain an understanding of the basic concept and vocabulary of ethical non-monogamy, and of the differences between polyamory and other non-monogamous practices such as swinging and “friends with benefits.”
  • Become familiar with a range of polyamorous relationship structures and practices, including those with a primary dyad and those without.
  • Consider therapist preconceptions and misconceptions that may lead to automatic pathologizing of poly people, and reduce the likelihood of establishing a productive therapeutic relationship.
  • Learn fundamental strategies for working with poly partnerships in therapy, and understand some of the unique challenges offered by doing this work.
  • Have the opportunity to hear, raise and discuss case examples of poly people in individual and partner therapy, in instances where polyamorous relationships both are and are not the central focus of treatment.

Benjamin Landman is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Chapel Hill. He received his doctorate from George Washington University, and has worked in maximum-security, university counseling and community mental health settings. Dr. Landman’s interests include therapist bias, and therapy with religious clients; he has presented on these topics for three divisions of the American Psychological Association, as well as in an invited address for the American Psychoanalytic Association. 

Sheffa Ariens is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in ethical non-monogamy and polyamory. For the past ten years in private practice, Sheffa has had a front-row seat to the changes happening in the modern romantic landscape. Informed by her personal and professional experiences, she helps clients cultivate healthy, sane, and growth-oriented approaches to non-traditional relationships.  She works with individuals, couples, and poly families, as well as others who identify outside of the traditional paradigm. For more information, see her website at www.trianglepoly.com.


Where:  Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 West Cornwallis Road, Durham, NC 27705

When:  Thursday June 12, 2014, from 12-2 pm
CEUS:  2 “contact hours” (LCSWs and LMFTs)