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Friday, October 26th 2018

The State of Affairs: A New Clinical Approach to Infidelity

Esther Perel, MA, LFMT
presented by Leading Edge Seminars

St Lawrence Centre for the Arts (Jane Mallett Theatre)

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 re-pair 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. However, when it comes to affairs, there is no one size 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

About the Presenter:

Esther Perel MA, LMFT is recognized as one of the world’s most original and insightful thinkers about couples, sexuality and modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages and author of two New York Times bestsellers (Mating in Captivity and more recently The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity), she has run a therapy practice in New York City since 1983 and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered nearly 20 million views and she is the executive producer and host of the critically-acclaimed Audible podcast Where Should We Begin?


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