Couples Under Quarantine


Couples Under Quarantine

From Virtual Symposium 2020

By Esther Perel

May/June 2020


At a time like this, what is “business as usual” for a therapist? What’s the connection between the issues that seemed important to clients just a month ago and what feels important to them now? Do we completely change course because we have to first talk about the pandemic and how it’s affecting them? Is it okay if we don’t talk about that? Can we still find other things important? Or does ordinary therapy feel futile because we’re dealing with such massive uncertainty in a world in which everything seems turned upside down?

What’s different for therapists is that, like never before, we’re experiencing a parallel process with our clients. We’re all in the same boat. What’s happening in our own personal relationships is mirroring more than ever what our clients are dealing with. I know that I’ve been more revealing than I usually am because I find it impossible to work collaboratively at this moment without sharing something about me and how I’m holding up. I’m especially aware of how many of my clients need to continue to feel that I’m confident, competent, and taken care of. Whatever they may say, they want to be reassured that they can fall apart because I won’t.

At the same time, I’ve been very conscious of not burning out by giving everything to all my anxious clients. I don’t want to have nothing left by…

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Topic: Couples



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1 Comment

Monday, May 11, 2020 10:55:54 PM | posted by Esther
Unfortunately, some couples have only managed to make a go of it by keeping at a distance, physically and psychologically, and when in lockdown with each other, the differences (or dislike) are no longer manageable. The veil has been removed.