In this workshop, we will look at fantasy as an ingenious way our creative mind overcomes all sorts of relational and intra psychic conflicts around desire and intimacy. Therapists can help clients develop a view of fantasy as a narrative that creates a safe space to experience the pleasure that can invigorate their loving relation-ships. They will decipher the meaning of sexual fantasies, approaching them more as dreams or complex symbolic structures than as literal narratives of secret intentions. In recognizing the depth, complexity and healing qualities of the erotic imagination, we explore sexual fantasy as a staging ground for action and escape that turns the tables on those responsible for earlier experiences of demoralization, defeat, and even trauma. As therapists, we need a clearer distinction between issues of privacy and secrecy in the arena of sexuality, as well as a range of clinically valuable ideas about when and how to bring fantasy into a relationship and — just as importantly — when and how not to.
*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.