No other aspect in the lives of couples, today as well as yesterday, generates more fascination, gossip and fear as infidelity. In our society, sexual infidelity is mostly seen as a symptom of a relationship gone awry. The revelation of an affair can trigger a crisis that shakes the very foundation of trust and connection in the couple. The purpose of this workshop is to present a multi-cultural, non-judgmental perspective to probe the meanings of affairs, rethink fidelity, and address the complexities of marriage, sex, intimacy, and monogamy. We will look at the value and the price of honesty and truth telling, and explore the circuitous ways affairs aim to stabilize a marriage and prevent the dissolution of the family. In particular, we will focus on the ways couples can rebuild a sense of trust and intimacy, and how they can turn the crisis into an opportunity. With an eye on the existential, clinical and ethical aspects involved, we will examine how our assumptions, moral values and personal experience influence our therapeutic work. Combining didactic material, case studies and video vignettes, we will lay out a nuanced therapeutic approach for working with extra-marital relations . . . past, present, fantasized or real.
*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*
Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, is the best-selling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, translated into 25 languages. Fluent in nine of them, the Belgian native is a practicing psychotherapist, celebrated speaker and organizational consultant to Fortune 500 companies. The New York Times, in a cover story, named her the most important game changer on sexuality and relationships since Dr. Ruth. Her critically acclaimed viral TED Talks have collectively reached over 10 million viewers.