Social anthropologists are calling the massive wave of COVID-related quarantining one of the largest social experiments of the modern day. And few people are working as intimately with those in lockdown as therapists. So, what patterns are they seeing, and what can we learn from them?
When it comes to love in the age of coronavirus, couples therapist and bestselling author Esther Perel says she's noticing several trends—new dynamics in many types of relationships, including single individuals dating online, newlyweds, aspiring parents, and partners on the brink of divorce.
Here, she shares their stories and explains what they signal about doing our best work with couples.
Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, is the author of The State of the Affairs and host of the podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work? She leads online clinical trainings at Sessions with Esther Perel.
As Perel notes, we don't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to doing therapy with couples in quarantine. But the virus's impact on romantic relationships just goes to show that we can't do counseling in a vacuum—it's more important now than ever, she says, to take into account the social, political, and economic forces at work outside the consulting room.
"We can still keep the clinical focus that’s our primary tool," Perel writes in this Networker article, "whether it’s attachment theory or neuroscience or however else we’ve been trained, as long as we view it within a wider perspective."
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