At LifeStyles In 360, we understand that our LifeStyles may be impacted by many different factors including our relationships, family and our community. We would like to feature, Esther Perel, celebrity psychotherapist which serves as a ray of light to explore some of the uncertainties and grief of this unprecedented time.

About Esther Perel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Esther Perel (born 1958) is a Belgian psychotherapist of Polish-Jewish descent who has explored the tension between the need for security (love, belonging and closeness) and the need for freedom (erotic desire, adventure and distance) in human relationships.[1]

Perel promoted the concept of Erotic Intelligence in her book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (2006), which has been translated into 24 languages.[2] After publishing the book, she became an international advisor on sex and relationships.[3] She gave a TED talk in February 2013 entitled The secret to desire in a long-term relationship,[4] and another in March 2015 entitled Rethinking infidelity … a talk for anyone who has ever loved.[5]

Perel is the host of the podcast Where Should We Begin?, which is based inside her therapist’s office as she sees anonymous couples in search of insight into topics such as infidelity, sexlessness and grief.

Professional Career

Perel is Jewish, the daughter of two Polish-born Holocaust survivors. She was raised in Antwerp and attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.[6][7] She grew up amongst Holocaust survivors in Antwerp, Belgium and noted two groups around her: “those who didn’t die, and those who came back to life”. Her observation was that “those who didn’t die were people who lived tethered to the ground, afraid, untrusting. The world was dangerous, and pleasure was not an option. You cannot play, take risks, or be creative when you don’t have a minimum of safety, because you need a level of unself-consciousness to be able to experience excitement and pleasure. Those who came back to life were those who understood eroticism as an antidote to death.”[8]

Perel subsequently trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy before finding a professional home in family systems theory. She initially worked as a cross-cultural psychotherapist with couples and families. For 13 years she was a clinical instructor at the New York University School of Medicine.[9]Perel in Boston in 2017

Perel has worked as an actress and has run a clothing boutique in Antwerp.[7]

Personal Life

Perel is married to Jack Saul, Assistant Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, with whom she has two sons.[10]


Perel is the host of two podcasts: Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work?

  • Where Should We Begin? brings the listeners inside Perel’s therapist’s office as she sees anonymous couples in search of insight on everything from infidelity to sexlessness to grief. The unique format combines live recordings of the therapy session, with Perel’s reflections on what she heard, and what techniques she tried.[11][12] The New York Times writes: “it feels more like an unraveling mystery story than a relationship advice show.”[13] The couples include both heterosexual and same-sex couples. The first episode aired on Audible in May 2017, and became publicly available on iTunes on October 9, 2017.[14] Three seasons have been released as of December 2019. Where Should We Begin? received a 2018 Gracie Award.[15]
  • How’s Work? is Perel’s second podcast. It follows a format similar to the couples therapy session in Where Should We Begin? — but this time the couple seeking Perel’s advice are cofounders or colleagues, navigating the challenges that play out in work relationships[16][17]. HuffPost describes each episode as a “one-time therapy session between Perel and various co-founders, members of family businesses and partners with a thriving operation but deteriorating relations on the job.”[18] As described in one review: “The podcast aims to shine light on the things that form us as individuals and how those things relate to life in the workplace. Because, honestly, a lot of people hold their careers and workplace relationships as dearly and tightly as they do their romantic relationships.”[19] How’s Work? is created by Gimlet Media, and available exclusively on Spotify[20]. The show first aired in November 2019[21]


Perel appeared in the 2017 film, Newness, as herself.


  • Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (2006)
  • The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (2017)



  1. ^ Perel, Esther. “Erotic Intelligence: Reconciling Sensuality and Domesticity” (PDF). The Psychotherapy Networker, May/Jun 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  2. ^ Perel, Esther (2006). Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. Harper. ISBN 978-0060753634.
  3. ^ “Unorthodox advice for rescuing a marriage”The Economist. 12 October 2017.
  4. ^ Perel, Esther. “The secret to desire in a long-term relationship”TEDSalon NY2013. TED. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  5. ^ Perel, Esther. “Rethinking infidelity … a talk for anyone who has ever loved”TED 2015. TED. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. Jump up to:a b [2]
  8. ^ A-Fest by Mindvalley (2017-11-26), In Search Of Erotic Intelligence | Esther Perel, retrieved 2018-06-24
  9. ^ Quito, Anne. “Esther Perel is America’s first clear-eyed public intellectual on love” Quartz Media, Inc. Retrieved 18 April2020.
  10. ^ Dominus, Susan. “The Sexual Healer: The Couples Therapy Expert Esther Perel Takes On Sex and Sexuality”Fashion & Style. New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  11. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (Oct 29, 2017). “The Week in Radio Podcasts: Where Should We Begin”The Guardian (UK). Retrieved Dec 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Schwartz, Alexandra (May 31, 2017). “Esther Perel Lets Us Listen in On Couple’s Secrets”The New Yorker. Retrieved Dec 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Hess, Amanda (Aug 1, 2017). “The Art of the Taboo Podcast Interview”The New York Times. Retrieved Dec 31, 2018.
  14. ^ “Where Should We Begin? Podcast – on iTunes”. Retrieved Dec 31,2018.
  15. ^ “2018 Gracie Awards”. Retrieved Dec 31, 2018.
  16. ^ “How’s Work Podcast”
  17. ^ MacLellan, Lila (Oct 30, 2019). “Esther Perel, renowned couples therapist, is starting a podcast about work”Quartz. Retrieved Jan 26,2020.
  18. ^ Torres, Monica (Nov 11, 2019). “For Esther Perel, Work Is Personal ― And The Topic Of Her Brand-New Podcast”HuffPost. Retrieved Jan 26, 2020.
  19. ^ “How’s Work with Esther Perel Podcast Review”Podcast Maniac. December 3, 2019. Retrieved Jan 26, 2020.
  20. ^ “How’s Work? with Esther Perel”Gimlet. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  21. ^ “How’s Work? with Esther Perel – Esther Perel Global Media & Gimlet”Spotify. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  22. ^ “Meet the SuperSoul100: The World’s Biggest Trailblazers in One Room”O Magazine. 1 Aug 2016. Retrieved 5 Jul 2018.


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