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Esther Perel MasterClass Review: Relational Intelligence

In this honest review of the Relational Intelligence MasterClass, we take a closer look at Esther Perel’s ways of developing a set of skills that can help you navigate your relationships and create more meaningful connections.

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Esther Perel Teaches Relational Intelligence: Our Verdict (2023)


4.5 / 5

Esther Perel’s MasterClass provides essential principles and tools for relational intelligence. As an experienced therapist and in-demand public thinker, Esther Perel aims to help people understand interconnections and practice new ways of being in relationships. Since everyone lives in networks of relationships, her course can benefit a wide range of learners.


  • Suitable for everyone
  • Amazing instructor
  • Engaging lessons


  • Not much new information

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Before taking this class, I knew about Esther Perel, but I wasn’t very familiar with her approach and methods.

However, the topic of her class (and work in general) – how to navigate your relationships and have more satisfying connections – really intrigued me.

It’s true – modern relationships are complex, and understanding how they really work can be literally life-changing. So, learning more about it from a renowned psychotherapist seemed like a great idea.

But did Esther Perel’s MasterClass meet my expectations, and will I be able to use her advice in my personal and professional life?

I’ll tell you all about that in my review.

Table of Contents

What is the Esther Perel MasterClass?

Esther Perel teaches Relational Intelligence” is an online course offered by MasterClass, a subscription-based platform known for offering video-based classes taught by renowned experts.

Esther Perel is a psychotherapist, author, and speaker widely known for her work on human relationships. According to Esther, all relationships are systems, and it’s crucial to understand interconnections so you can cultivate relational intelligence.

In this course, she introduces building blocks for relational intelligence and emphasizes the role of trust, self-awareness, empathy, and vibrancy in relationships. She presents the topics through 1-on-1 lessons, exercises, and clips from her sessions.

There are 12 lessons with a duration of 3 hours and 6 minutes in total. Even though it’s not one of the longer ones, the course covers a lot of ground, which means it’s concise and well-structured.

Who is Esther Perel?

Esther Perel is a Belgian-American psychotherapist, author, podcaster, and public speaker.

She was born and raised in Antwerp, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. She then moved to Israel to attend the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she earned a B.A. in educational psychology and French literature. She also earned a master’s degree in expressive art therapy in Massachusetts.

Perel has been practicing psychotherapy for over 35 years, working with couples, co-workers, and families from all over the world. Her best-selling books have been translated into nearly 30 languages. All in all, Esther Perel is one of the most renowned experts when it comes to human relationships.

She also has a podcast, Where Should We Begin, where she talks with couples and tackles various topics, from break-ups and open relationships to workplace conflicts and fractures in the family.

What is the target audience for Esther Perel’s MasterClass?

At the beginning of the course, Esther Perel says her class is for everyone.

The thing is, everyone lives in networks of relationships. We are social beings, and we need to communicate in order to, well, survive and live our lives. But in many situations, we don’t think about how we communicate with others.

Esther Perel’s class aims to do exactly that: to help people become aware of their communication and relations. Esther teaches how to develop empathy, establish boundaries, and have difficult conversations, which is something anyone can benefit from.

Whether you want to improve communication with your partner or become a better co-worker, these skills will help you out. According to Esther, we bring our personal lives into work relationships and vice versa.

The forces that shape relationships are the same regardless of context.

That being said, Esther Perel’s claim that this course is for everyone is not too far from the truth. You just have to be willing to delve deeper into the connections you have with others and yourself.

What does Esther Perel’s MasterClass cover?

Esther Perel’s MasterClass covers essential topics related to relational intelligence.

The course begins with lessons focused on getting to know yourself, as this is a foundation for building meaningful connections with others. Esther here talks about empathy, self-awareness, and establishing boundaries.

Furthermore, she talks about power dynamics and different roles in relationships and introduces useful tools for effective communication. 

In other words, Esther aims to provide learners with new frames for understanding the patterns that they get into.

Here is an overview of all the lessons so you can get a better idea of what to expect:

  • Lesson 1 is an introductory lesson where Esther briefly introduces herself and her work.
  • Lessons 2-4 cover self-awareness, empathy, and boundaries. Esther gives useful tips and exercises that can help you understand yourself and people around you a little better.
  • Lessons 5-6 explain power dynamics, including power structure and interpersonal power dynamics. Esther also talks about the importance of identifying roles in each relationship.
  • Lessons 7-8 are based on communication. Esther explains how to have difficult conversations and deal with conflict in a good way.
  • Lessons 9-10 dig deeper into ways you can improve your communication.
  • Lessons 11-12 are focused on building trust and cultivating intimacy. In the final lesson, Esther redefines eroticism so it applies to all relationships and shows how curiosity and vibrancy can add quality to all areas of your life.

My favorite lessons from Esther Perel’s MasterClass

I generally really enjoyed Esther Perel’s MasterClass. I think it’s insightful, well-structured, and incredibly useful.

It’s actually a shame that people around the world don’t learn this at school or university. It seems like a logical thing to do, but we’re simply not equipped with such knowledge and skills – not unless we decide to acquire it ourselves.

That said, it’s hard to pick one lesson I like the most, so here are a few of my personal favorites:

How to have difficult conversations

Esther Perel discussing the idea that you can shape, but not control, the response
Esther Perel explaining that you can’t control the response, but you can shape it

This is one of those lessons I believe everyone should be familiar with before they step into adulthood.

Esther provides tools and techniques for navigating difficult conversations more effectively. She talks about generational and cultural context, vulnerability, and the significance of physical contact during these conversations.

The key takeaway is that difficult conversations will always be difficult, but there are ways you can make them more effective.

Understanding and resolving conflict

Highlighting the insight that in many cases, people are actually arguing about something different
In most cases, people are actually fighting about something else

Another must-watch for anyone who wants to change their relations by changing themselves first.

This lesson digs deeper into the idea of conflict. Esther introduces the three most common conflict dynamics and provides tips on how to improve your communication in these situations.

She also claims that there are 3 themes underlying each conflict (especially fights between partners), including:

  • Power and priorities
  • Care and closeness
  • Respect and recognition

Building trust

Esther suggests taking micro risks to cultivate trust

Trust means something different to each and every person. Esther explains her view of trust with a quote by Rachel Botsman: “Trust is a confident engagement with the unknown.”

Esther also encourages taking risks to a certain degree depending on the experience of violation of trust that a person has had.

It’s a thought-provoking lesson that offers fresh perspectives on familiar concepts. 

How much does Esther Perel’s MasterClass cost?

Since MasterClass is a subscription-based learning platform, it’s not possible to purchase courses individually. So, if you want to take Esther Perel’s MasterClass, you have to become a subscriber

Annual plans are typically available at $120 a year (or $10 per month) for the Individual plan, providing access to MasterClass courses on one device, $180 a year for the Duo plan (two devices), and $240 a year for the Family plan (six devices).

A MasterClass subscription gives you unlimited access to a catalog of 180+ classes, so if you want to take multiple classes throughout the year, the subscription is definitely worth it.

Also, the platform offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your learning experience, you can request a full refund.

What I liked about Esther Perel’s MasterClass

In essence, Esther Perel’s MasterClass is incredibly useful. In my opinion, if everyone took this class, workplaces would have a whole different atmosphere.

Esther’s advice is applicable to personal matters as well, especially in romantic relationships. Her tips on how to resolve conflict and build trust can really improve communication between two people.

Her idea of adding erotic energy (as in curious, vibrant energy) to all areas of life is also interesting and relevant.

All things considered, I think Esther’s MasterClass has a lot to offer, and the main reasons why I would recommend it to anyone include:

It’s suitable for everyone

As Esther Perel suggests in the introductory lesson, this class is for everyone.

Unfortunately, relational intelligence is usually not something you learn at University. Nonetheless, navigating relationships is something you encounter on a daily basis – at home, at the workplace, and with friends.

That being said, Esther’s MasterClass can be beneficial to a wide range of learners, and her advice regarding communication, trust, and resolving conflict is applicable to all areas of life.

Amazing instructor

In short, Esther Perel is one of the best MasterClass instructors I’ve encountered so far. She is clearly an experienced and skillful teacher; she knows how to make you feel involved and focused.

She is also very open, honest, and friendly, and she communicates her ideas in a clear, understandable way.

Finally, she is an expert in the field. As a practicing relationship therapist with more than 30 years of experience, she is a perfect instructor for this course. 

Engaging lessons

Esther Perel’s lessons are very easy to follow. On the other hand, they contain a ton of useful tips and information. But thanks to Esther’s teaching skills and good structure of the course, I didn’t feel overwhelmed at any point.

Exercises and assignments are a nice addition as they encourage you to reflect and think about a certain topic more deeply.

Drawbacks of Esther Perel’s MasterClass

Although I’m glad I took this course, there is one thing that might be a drawback for some people…

There is not much new information

After finishing Esther’s class, I visited her website and YouTube channel. I quickly found out that her videos are all over the Internet.

Many of her YouTube clips and podcast episodes include topics that are covered in her MasterClass, just in a slightly different way. Of course, MasterClass offers better structure and top-notch production quality, but in terms of content and Esther’s tips, you can find plenty of similar content in other places.

Therefore, if you’re already familiar with Esther Perel’s work – or even better if you’ve watched her videos, interviews, and talks – you are probably familiar with the opinions and tips she provides in the course.

This is not a reason not to take her course, as MasterClass provides a different experience, but it’s also something to consider. If you already have a MasterClass subscription, you should definitely take a look. 

Review conclusion: Is Esther Perel’s MasterClass worth it?

Overall, I enjoyed Esther Perel’s class a lot. Her lessons are insightful, interesting, and fun to watch.

Esther is an amazing teacher – eloquent, engaging, and friendly – and I, as a learner, felt included the whole time. She conveys knowledge in a very clear way, mostly through explanations, stories, examples, and exercises.

Also, the whole course is well-structured and easy to follow, covering essential tools and principles for relational intelligence. However, there’s a lot of content she has already shared online, but that doesn’t make the course less worthwhile. It all depends on your previous knowledge and expectations.

So, did Esther Perel’s MasterClass meet my expectations? Absolutely yes. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their communication and start building more meaningful connections.