Why Does Parenthood Deliver Such a Fatal Blow to Intimacy?
By Esther Perel - The transition from two to three is one of the most profound challenges a couple will ever face. Family life flourishes in an atmosphere of comfort and consistency. Yet unpredictability, spontaneity, and risk are precisely where eroticism resides. Eros is a force that doesn't like to be constrained. When it settles into repetition, habit, or rules, it touches its death.
From the 2017 Symposium's Celebration of a Family Therapy Visionary
A maverick and a visionary in the ’60s and ’70s, Salvador Minuchin transformed the very idea of what a therapist was supposed to be. Beyond that, he put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy. In the following video clip from the 2017 Symposium dinner event celebrating Minuchin's work, renowned couples therapist Esther Perel shares her memories of working alongside Minuchin when she was just beginning work as a young therapist.
Three Ways Couples Can Recover from Infidelity
By Esther Perel - People stray for many reasons—tainted love, revenge, unfulfilled longings, and plain old lust. At times, an affair is a quest for intensity, a rebellion against the confines of matrimony. An illicit liaison can be catastrophic, but it can also be liberating, a source of strength, a healing.
How Boomers Shaped Millennial Romance
Couples therapist Esther Perel has been recognized as one of the world’s most original and insightful thinkers about couples, sexuality, and the peculiar paradoxes besetting modern marriage in the Western world. In this clip from her Networker Symposium keynote, she talks about the complicated and contradictory needs that are shaping Millennial marriage and commitment today.
Esther Perel on Why Good Intimacy Doesn't Equal Good Sex
It’s long been the conventional wisdom among couples therapists that if couples fix the emotional issues in their relationship, their sexual lives will improve. However, good intimacy doesn’t guarantee good sex. Couples today are confronting a new frontier in the basic understanding of what marriage is all about. Since most of us grew up in sexual silence, therapists need to ask more probing questions when it comes to doing good couples therapy.
Esther Perel on How to Strengthen this Essential Capacity and Why It’s So Important
Many traditional approaches to couples therapy are built on the assumption that if you help a couple clear up the emotional issues in their relationship, sex will automatically get better. . . . But it doesn’t seem to work that way.
Esther Perel on using language that reflects sexuality as an integrated part of life
In this quick video clip, Esther Perel, shows you how to interweave questions and observations about sexuality throughout a clinical session to expand a client’s understanding of its significance in all aspects of his life.
Esther Perel on Redefining Marriage After an Affair
For several years, I've been contacting couples I've treated to find out more about the long-term impact of the infidelity that brought them to therapy. With those couples who've remained together in the intervening years, I offered a free, follow-up interview to discuss how they regard the infidelity retrospectively, and how they integrated the experience into the ongoing narrative of their relationship. Specificities notwithstanding, I identified three basic patterns in the way couples reorganize themselves after an infidelity---they never really get past the affair, they pull themselves up by the bootstraps and let it go, or they leave it far behind.
Relationship Advice from Sex Therapist Esther Perel
America seems to be a goal-oriented society that prefers explicit meanings, candor, and "plain speech" to ambiguity and allusion. But ironically, some of America's best features, when carried too punctiliously into the bedroom, can result in very boring sex. I often suggest an alternative with my clients: "There's so much direct talk already in the everyday conversations couples have with each other," I tell them. "If you want to create more passion in your relationship, why don't you play a little more with the natural ambiguity of gesture and words, and the rich nuances inherent in communication."
Esther Perel on Maintaining the Romantic Spark After Children
Sex makes babies. So it is ironic that the child, the embodiment of the couple's love, so often threatens the very romance that brought that child into being. Sex, which sets the entire enterprise in motion, is often abandoned once children enter the picture. But the brave and determined couple who maintains an erotic connection is, above all, the couple who values it. When they sense desire in crisis, they become industrious, and make intentional, diligent attempts to resuscitate. They know that it's not children who extinguish the flame of desire: it's adults who fail to keep the spark alive.