Esther Perel: Licensed marriage and family therapist

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Sex, Love and Intimacy episode 28: Esther Perel: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic

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Esther Perel is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has spent half her life treating patients and the other half coaching, consulting and training for organizations and lay and professional audiences. An acknowledged authority on cultural identity, cross cultural relations and ethnic and religious intermarriage, she has led private and public interventions around the world. For nearly a quarter of a century, her expertise in wartime, post-war and refugee families has been sought after by victims of conflict as well as by therapists and crisis counselors in training.

Ms. Perel has a private psychotherapy practice in New York, with multilingual clients. She is fluent in eight languages. Her clinical teaching and interests center on culture and sexuality with a focus on couples.

A frequently referenced author, Ms. Perel’s book, Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic was published last fall. Her 2002 essay, “Erotic Intelligence: Reconciling Sensuality and Domesticity,” was featured on the front cover of the Utne Reader and was included in the anthology, Best Erotic Writings 2004. She has written numerous articles and chapters about intermarriage, the families of Holocaust survivors, cross-cultural couples and cultural and religious identity.

Ms. Perel’s innovative strategies and models for leadership have won her an international clientele of non-profit organizations, foundations, schools, community groups and corporations, including: New York University Medical Center; Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Psycho-social Center for Refugees at the University of Oslo, Norway; The Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute; The Wexner Foundation; The 92nd street Y, The Skirball Center and United Jewish Communities.

A frequent keynoter, she regularly addresses the therapeutic and lay community at conferences, cross-cultural forums and workshops. In New York Ms. Perel hosts the Downtown Salon, a capacity crowd forum on zeitgeist issues that grew out of the Ideas Cafe she launched at the Skirball Center in 2003.

Born and raised in Belgium, Ms. Perel holds degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Lesley College. She was trained and supervised in family therapy by Dr. Salvador Minuchin and serves on the faculties of the Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School, the International Trauma Studies Program, Mailman School of Public Health. at Columbia University. She is a member of the American Family therapy Academy and of the Society for sex Therapy and Research.

A popular media commentator, Ms. Perel has been interviewed in leading publications such as The Washington Post, Tikkun, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Observer, Vogue, Self,, Health Parent and Working Woman, and has appeared on television programs including the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, CBC News, Good Day New York , CNN This Morning, Women Aloud and CBS This Morning. She has also been a guest on popular radio shows such as The Brian Lehrer Show, Jim Richards, and the Dan Gresham Show.