The State of Affairs: A New Clinical Approach to Infidelity

Friday, October 26, 2018

9:00 am to 4:30 pm

New York Times bestselling author and internationally acclaimed couples and sex therapist Esther Perel returns with a new workshop.  Drawing on the research conducted for her most recent book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, Esther delves into the complexities of modern relationships through the lens of infidelity.  Where possible, she seeks to transforms the crisis of sexual infidelity into an opportunity, from despair to repair for couples to undergo profound personal healing as individuals and as partners.

Sexual infidelity is generally regarded as a grave symptom of a troubled relationship.  Conventional practices mandate that therapists should insist upon full disclosure, never keep secrets, and view all infidelity as a highly traumatic event.  When it comes to affairs, however, there is no one size that fits all.

In this workshop you will learn how to locate infidelity within the broader social context of modern marriage, digital culture, sexuality, and monogamy.  Affairs are an act of betrayal and they are also an expression of longing and loss.  Esther will present how to work from this dual perspective.

She will explore the unique pain points of romantic betrayal and the meanings and motives that underlie illicit loves and desires.  In addition, she will discuss the spectrum between:  truth and accountability, detective and investigative questions, loyalty, and faithfulness.  You will learn a three-stage model for emotional and erotic recovery to help couples rebuild trust and intimacy, or to part with dignity.

Combining didactic material, case studies, and video vignettes, Esther will present a nuanced therapeutic approach for working with extramarital relations, past and present, fantasized or real, disclosed or shrouded in secrecy.  The approach aims to be inclusive, multicultural, and nonjudgmental.

You Will Learn:

  • To assess a 3-part definition of infidelity: secrecy, emotional involvement and sexual alchemy
  • 3 specific interventions to help couples work through the crisis, the meaning-making and the vision.
  • How to create a safe therapeutic environment to work with the cost and benefits of secrets and to manage confidentiality, transparency, and truth-telling

Credit: TedTalk with Esther Perel

Re-thinking infidelity… a talk for anyone who has ever loved

Event Detail

October 26, 2018 9:00 am
October 26, 2018 4:30 pm