When Desire Goes Looking Elsewhere

A new clinical approach for working with infidelity. 

November 11, 2017 8am-4pm   |  New York, NY 

Esther Perel presents "When Desire Goes Looking Elsewhere", a one-day professional training event to help you navigate the challenges and clinical choice points in your work with couples and infidelity. See the learning objectives by scrolling to the bottom of the page. 

We will be arranging CEUs and serving lunch. The event will take place from 8am-4pm. We are excited to present a unique event where Sessions members and other clinicians can learn, network, and share their experiences.

This event is brought to you by Sessions, Esther's online educational salon for clinicians, coaches, and educators. 

Ticket prices are $225 for the full-day event (8am - 4pm), and $175 for the livestream. 

Sessions Live

A Yearly Clinical Training Event

Beyond the talks we will feature time to meet one another and build new relationships!



© Copyright 2017 Esther Perel 

We will be holding this event at the High-Line Room at the Standard Hotel, located in NYC's historic Meatpacking District. We hope you will also join us for a social hour the night before, at a location TBD:


with Esther Perel

Meet & Greet, Nametags, Coffee

Morning Session

Question and Answer Session with Esther

Lunch will be served

8:00-8:45 AM

9:00-11:00 AM

11:00-12:00 PM

12:00-1:00 PM

Afternoon Session

1:00-3:00 PM

Afternoon Discussion 

3:15-4:00 PM

The Standard High-Line Room

848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014


During three sessions across this full day event, you will learn [how to]:

• Structure the therapeutic process flexibly to help couples deal with the crisis of infidelity in order to decide if, and how, the couple can re-envision their relationship in the aftermath of an affair. 

• Master the three phases for post-affair recovery: 1-Crisis, 2-Insight, and 3-Vision

• Create a safe and non-judgmental therapeutic environment to work with secrets, confidentiality, transparency, and truth-telling. Clarify difference between investigative and detective questions. 

• Manage the crisis of an affair from a dual perspective that integrates the meanings and motives as well as the impact of the affair. 

• Examine the Existential, clinical, and ethical aspects involved, and how our assumptions, moral values and personal experiences influence our therapeutic work. 

• Learn the multicultural meanings of affairs, monogamy, and fidelity and how they are integrated into all forms of relationships in the course of the life cycle.


Morning Section

I: Introduction
II: The Fear and Fascination with Affairs
III: Socio-historical views of marriage, sex, intimacy and monogamy.
IV:  Infidelity and Monogamy: Then and Now.
V:  Towards a more comprehensive definition of fidelity

Case illustrations, film clips, clinical video vignettes.

VI: The therapeutic Culture of Infidelity.
VII: Rethinking infidelity.
VIII: The Role of the Therapist in working with infidelity
VIII: Affairs in Therapy.
IX:  Probing the meanings and motivations behind affairs
X:  Clinical and ethical questions
Discussion, role play and Q & A

Afternoon Section

XI: The politics of secrets and revelation.
XII: Internet love
XIII: Porn: From private fantasy to marital infidelity
XIV: Phases of Infidelity Recovery.
XV: Truth vs. accountability
XVI: Possibilities and limits of forgiveness and acceptance.
XVII: Can we trust “Trust”?
Case presentation

XVIII: From Crisis to opportunity
XIX: Sex after infidelity, erotic recovery
XX: Cultural differences


Sexual infidelity is generally regarded as a grave symptom of a troubled relationship. Consequently, the revelation of an affair often triggers a crisis that threatens the entire foundation of trust and connection in a couple. 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.

This presentation locates infidelity within the broader social context of modern marriage, the digital culture, sexuality, and monogamy. Affairs are an act of betrayal and they are also an expression of longing and loss. Hence, this model presents how to work from a dual perspective: hurt and betrayal for one, exploration and self-discovery for the other.
We will address the unique pain points of romantic betrayal, and the meanings and motives that underlie illicit love and desire. In addition, will discuss truth and accountability, detective and investigative questions, loyalty and faithfulness.

A three stage model for emotional and erotic recovery is laid out to help couples rebuild trust and intimacy, or to part with dignity. With an eye on existential, clinical and ethical concerns, the focus will be on how our own assumptions, values, and personal experiences can influence our therapeutic work and elude the needs of the couple.

The approach aims to be inclusive, multicultural and nonjudgmental and the presentation combines didactic material, case studies, and clinical vignettes

Event registration is closed, thank you so much for your support!

Event registration is closed, thank you so much for your support!

Event registration is closed, thank you so much for your support!

Event registration is closed, thank you so much for your support!