6 TED Talks Guaranteed to Change Your Relationship...with Yourself AND with a Partner

By Amy Freier, LCPC, CST


One of my favorite ways to supplement the work we do in counseling is having individuals and couples utilize exercises, books, articles, podcasts, and, above all, TED Talks, to further explore whatever might be important as a part of the therapeutic work in relationship and sex therapy. There are a few TED Talks, in particular, that I can’t not suggest, because they are just.that.good. Here are the absolute MUST-WATCH Top 6 TED Talks that are guaranteed to change your relationship, whether that be the relationship with yourself or with a partner!

  1. The Truth About Unwanted Arousal, by Emily Nagoski

    “Sex educator Emily Nagoski breaks down one of the most dangerous myths about sex and introduces us to the science behind arousal nonconcordance: when there's a disconnect between physical response and the experience of pleasure and desire. Talking about such intimate, private moments can feel awkward or difficult, yet in this straightforward talk Nagoski urges all of us to share this crucial information with someone -- judges, lawyers, partners, kids. "With every brave conversation we have, we make the world that little bit better," says Nagoski.”—TED Talks

  2. The Keys to a Happier, Healthier Sex Life, by Emily Nagoski

    “How can we unlock the door to our own authentic sexual well-being? Sex educator Emily Nagoski suggests that the key is realizing that we are all normal, whatever our proclivities. In this playful but informative take on sex positivity, she delves into the science of sexuality to demonstrate how we can shed our insecurities and define pleasure on our own terms.”—TED Talks

  3. The Power of Vulnerability, by Brene Brown

    “Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.”—TED Talks

  4. Listening to Shame, by Brene Brown

    “Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.”—TED Talks

  5. The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship, by Esther Perel

    “In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.”—TED Talks

  6. Rethinking Infidelity…a Talk for Anyone Who Has Ever Loved, by Esther Perel

    “Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat, and unpacks why affairs are so traumatic: because they threaten our emotional security. In infidelity, she sees something unexpected — an expression of longing and loss. A must-watch for anyone who has ever cheated or been cheated on, or who simply wants a new framework for understanding relationships.”—TED Talks

There are SO many incredible TED Talks out there, so we encourage you to seek out the ones that interest you. What are the ones we missed? Tell us your favorites in the comments, and we’ll be sure to add them to our must-watch list!