309 From Pain to Pleasure

Erotic Recovery in Trauma Healing

Eroticism isn’t sex; it’s the landscape on which we play out our deepest thoughts, dreams, impulses, and even painful memories. It’s an elixir of curiosity and vibrancy that makes us feel alive. But when we experience deep wounding or traumatic stress, that erotic self often goes into hiding—we shut down and with it goes our sense of self-worth and ability to experience desire, responsiveness, and openness. The re-emergence of eroticism is often seen as an outcome that happens at the end of trauma treatment. But what if accessing eros is a catalyst that actually stimulates recovery from trauma? In this workshop, you’ll discover 

  • The effects of trauma in intimacy and sexuality  
  • How to include erotic recovery as part of trauma treatment and why it’s important in healing from traumatic stress of all kinds, including sexual, personal, societal, and intergenerational 
  • How to refocus trauma treatment from simply finding meaning in past experiences to reconnecting with new experiences   
  • Specific ways to incorporate erotic recovery in trauma treatment that encourages clients’ ability to reconnect authentically with themselves and others 

Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, is the bestselling author of The State of Affairs and Mating in Captivity. She hosts the podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work? and leads the online clinical training platform Sessions with Esther Perel. Her TED talks have more than 30 million views.

Holly Richmond, PhD, is one of North America’s leading sex therapists, and author of Reclaiming Pleasure: A Sex-Positive Guide for Moving Past Sexual Trauma and Living a Passionate Life.


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November 16, 2021
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