If you have questions about unconventional relationships — Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM), BDSM, transgender, intersex, same-sex, inter-racial — Dr. Elisabeth Sheff can help provide you with answers. While she is a Sociologist and not a therapist, Dr. Eli can understand your relationship challenges, help you to put these challenges in a larger social perspective, give you information from her own and others’ research, and provide the guidance borne of talking with hundreds of people about their relationships and families. For clients who want more than the usual “how does that make you feel” that they find on therapy, Dr. Eli will discuss options and give direct advice — but is not attached to you following it.
Relationship consultations are great for folks who have questions about the inner workings, wisdom, maintenance strategies, and safety of unconventional relationships. Coaching sessions provide ongoing guidance in developing skills, exploring strategies, dealing with conflict, clarifying boundaries, and expanding self-soothing strategies. Come solo, as a couple, or a group, and get your questions answered or build your skills and break through your communication rut.
To schedule an appointment, email Eli at firstname.lastname@example.org
$150 per hour or 4 hours for a $500 retainer*
These consultations are designed to answer clients’ questions regarding their own actual or potential relationships. Dr. Sheff uses her research data to answer client’s questions and offer feedback about what others in similar situations have done. Sessions aim to provide information and help clients to clarify their own thoughts and expectations, and consider some of the pitfalls that are common in this type of relationships, how other people have dealt with these difficulties, and how those various strategies worked out. These sessions last from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the client’s needs and the number of clients involved.
These ongoing coaching sessions are designed to help clients identify relationship patterns, improve communication skills, and devise strategies for managing challenges. Using extensive research and knowledge from 20 years of interviewing and observing polys and kinksters, Dr. Eli can help clients contemplate a wider perspective and consider a range of alternatives. While therapists witness and support clients as they seek out and treat the roots of personal issues, Dr. Sheff’s coaching style can provide guidance when clients want it. In addition to research based information, Dr. Eli can provide advice and opinions if clients are interested in that kind of direction.
If Dr. Eli is speaking with one person, the telephone is best and the first session usually takes 1.5 hours. When there are two or more clients involved, the initial session takes 2 hours and Skype or Gchat is better than telephone. After the initial session many clients prefer to drop down to 1 hour sessions, though some choose to continue with longer sessions.
Dr. Eli bills in 15 minute increments, and occasionally clients end up with 15 minutes left over from a 2 hour session. Those minutes can roll over to another session if clients wish.
*Needs-based sliding scale
While clients often discuss their emotions during these consultations and there is plenty of room for expressing feelings, these are not therapeutic sessions and Dr. Sheff is not a therapist. For clients who wish to seek ongoing therapy, Dr. Sheff is happy to provide clients with referrals for therapists.
Hear what Dr. Eli’s clients have to say
Dr. Sheff has been an invaluable resource for me as a relationship coach. She has provided valuable insight and information regarding different relationship and communication structures, and reflection, guidance, and perspective, thus helping me gain much needed clarity.
She has helped me access ideas for activities, systems and methods I can employ daily to find my own truth and sense of self. She is motivating and uplifting, and extremely easy to connect and share with, especially given her compassion, warmth, and incredible sense of humor.
Her support has been invaluable throughout my journey and I give her the highest recommendation for helping people through challenges they may be experiencing.”
Thanks so much for the chatting with us today. We took so much away from the conversation & feel much more confident about talking with the kids.
It’s nice to know we have someone to turn to if & when we have questions or need some advice in the future. Up until today we’ve been a little bit of blind wanderers. So thank you! We can tell you are educated yet real… it was a refreshing combo. If we run into custody issues I will keep you posted. We never imagined ourselves in this lifestyle, but here we are.
Thanks for all you do!”
~ J., T. & A.
We were in various forms of a polyamorous relationship for over a decade before we decided to formally divorce. “Divorce” felt like a misnomer for our intentions and experience, so we searched for different models and found Eli’s research. It helped us greatly to think through our experience!
We called her up for a consultation and had a great talk that has laid the groundwork for a productive process of dividing up our assets while still maintaining our sense of intimacy and closeness.
We highly recommend talking with her if you find yourself in a similar space!”
~ P. & G.