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VIDEO: Esther Perel on Speaking About Sex

Getting Comfortable in Couples Therapy

Esther Perel

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.

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Something's Missing from Family Therapy

Twenty-Five Years Later, a Poignant Message from the Late Betty Carter Still Resonates

Betty Carter

By Betty Carter - In order to understand the particularity of almost any couple's personal experience, we need to adjust our lens to include not only their private domestic encounters, but the much larger political and social struggle about the politics of relationships beyond the walls of home.

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The Gay Man in the Straight Marriage

Exploring the Uncharted Territory of a "Mixed-Orientation Marriage"

Jeff Levy

By Jeff Levy - Gay men married to women frequently describe their experiences in therapy as confusing and polarizing, facing a strong bias toward full disclosure and divorce. My work with gay and bisexual men over the past 10 years has taught me to see psychotherapy as a place to hold dynamic tensions without easy, premature resolutions.

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Helping Couples Cross the Argument Impasse

A Four-Step Process

B. Janet Hibbs

By B. Janet Hibbs - In their first therapy session, Bob tells his wife, Sandy, to stop emailing her former college boyfriend. She refuses, feeling mistrusted and controlled, and their exchange heats up. Many couples like these are at an impasse, caught up in a struggle to prove who's right. Here's how to help them get past these kinds of unwinnable arguments and resolve their differences.

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So Your Client Is Having an Affair...

Should You Be a Secret-Keeper or is Honesty the Best Policy?

Michele Scheinkman

By Michele Scheinkman - Underlying the perceived magnitude of an affair is an idealized view of marriage as the "shelter" in our lives, with a primary function of providing emotional security and attunement. I've found it perplexing that, although we live in an ostensibly liberal and sexually permissive society, therapists typically have one-track minds regarding how to approach infidelity.

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The Two Essential Ingredients for a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship

John Gottman's Latest Research from the "Love Lab"

John Gottman

By John Gottman - What the latest research from my lab is telling us is that trust and commitment are both the key ingredients for being in love with your partner for a lifetime, and for having your marriage be a safe haven. These are the ingredients for not just loving your partner, but being in love with your partner.

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The Meaning Behind Money

Getting to the Root of Couples' Arguments about Finances

Sally Palaian

By Sally Palaian - These days, couples often come into therapy with problems related to their finances. Here's how to distinguish between money difficulties caused by the economy and those that are more psychological in nature.

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Celebrating Singles!

Researcher Bella DePaulo on Keeping Our "Matrimania" in Check

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Think of a prototypical healthy adult. Are they married or single? While many studies promote the mental and physical benefits of marriage, long-time singles advocate Bella DePaulo says the reported findings are biased, and we therapists need to better understand the single population as more than people waiting to find the right partner.

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Esther Perel's Secret to Weathering an Affair

Two Ways Couples Who Bounced Back Made It Happen

Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - 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. What were the useful shock absorbers that sustained the couple? Did they think that therapy had helped? I identified three basic patterns in the way couples reorganize themselves after an infidelity.

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June Quandary: My Client is Moving Overseas to Marry a Man She's Never Met!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take on This Tricky Clinical Scenario

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Diane has just announced she intends to move overseas to marry a man she recently met online. This raises an alarm for her therapist, but he's unsure about how to proceed. Here's how five clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

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