How can we therapists help heal what Esther Perel calls the “Love/Lust split” we see so often?
As therapists, we’ve seen over and over that while couples, as I say, tend to do in the bedroom what they do in every other room, sex cannot be faked. All too often, fears, resentments, and grudges – all spill out into our most intimate domain and block it from being the source of excitement, fun, and closeness it was meant to be.
As I say in the upcoming course, The Power Of Intimacy, Sex is one of a couple’s most powerful renewable resources. But to stay alive, it must be renewed.
Personally, I find Esther Perel to be literally the most imaginative and inspiring voice on sexuality alive today. Her work on keeping passion and mystery alive in long-term relationships is thrilling. Her Ted Talk: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship has drawn over 8 million views. Esther teaches us therapists how to fearlessly invite partners to articulate and unblock their deepest fantasies, desires, and erotic dreams.
I look at sex in it’s relationship to power: In general, people don’t want to have sex with people they’re mad at. What happens when one partner wants more sex, or a different type of sex, than the other? What happens when one (read, the man) uses sex to get close while the other (read the woman) needs closeness to have sex?
How can we therapists help heal what Esther calls the “Love/Lust split” we see so often? And what of those many couples who simply lose each other, surrendering their erotic connection to kids, bills, friends, family? In the class I say,
“For passion to spark, the couple needs to move from side-by-side energy to nose-to-nose energy. The partners most rouse themselves from life’s daily tasks and turn to face each other, be fully present to each other.”
Some couples are fine once they are sexual but have a heck of a time getting through such a transition. This course will teach you how to help with that–how to help the couples we work with push beyond their reticence or resentments to open up fully to their own sexual needs and desires with their intimate partners, how to, as Esther puts it: Be selfish in the presence of their partners.
Sex is an arena most fraught for many of us. As couples and as couples therapists – and an arena that, successfully managed, can be a well-spring of vitality and renewal, healing deep wounds, forgiving transgressions, opening our bodies and hearts to each other–despite the inevitable clash of our imperfections.
Harness the raw, brilliant energy of eroticism in our therapies.
Soon we’ll be announcing the opening of our course: The Power of Intimacy.
You won’t want the miss this exciting dialogue crammed with new ways of thinking, new approaches, and specific, practical tools on sex and power!
Stay tuned for details. More to come.