The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone. But it’s creating distinct problems for partners stuck together in quarantine, says couples therapist and bestselling author Esther Perel. Here, she explains the two states she often sees in couples and families, how the pandemic is changing them, and the one thing therapists can do right now that will help these clients the most.

As Perel mentions, our clients are facing an unprecedented existential crisis right now. What they need, she explains, is for therapists to support them, respect and empathize with their struggles, and above all, normalize what they’re going through.

“What do you do as a therapist in a time like this?” Esther writes in her recent Networker article. “In many ways, our work as therapists is the same as always… You make possible the conversation that enables couples to talk and laugh and cry, and helps them feel they really get each other.”


Esther Perel

Longtime contributor and speaker at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. She is the best-selling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (translated into 25 languages) and producer of the online training continuation, Rekindling Desire. Fluent in nine languages, the Belgian native is a practicing psychotherapist, celebrated speaker and organization consultant to Fortune 500 companies. The New York Times, in a cover story, named her the most important game changer on sexuality and relationships since Dr. Ruth. Her critically acclaimed viral TED Talks have collectively reached over 14 million viewers. For more information about her educational programs and resources, please visit