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This 2 hour workshop will offer an overview of what happens in neural pathways during the development of romantic and sexual relationships. Janice Hiller will describe the brain processes underpinning couple relationships and sexual behaviour, drawing on recent neuroscientific research. Feelings of attachment, desire, and exhilaration at the start of a relationship are common, but pleasure during physical contact, and levels of emotional connectedness, frequently change over time, causing considerable distress. Positive and negative experiences between partners can now be described in terms of hormonal release and brain activation.
In this talk Janice will demonstrate how neuroscience can be integrated with psychotherapy, to provide a “neuropsychosexual” perspective, which, in her view, can enhance our current therapy techniques. Advanced imaging procedures and hormone testing methods offer fascinating insights into what happens in the brain during intimate couple interactions.
Why is sex often much more enjoyable at the start, and why do endings hurt so much? What brain factors underpin sex outside the committed relationship, and what brain changes occur in parents after childbirth? Is sex an essential part of long-term relationships or can partners stay together contentedly without physical intimacy?
Neurobiological research offers some answers to these questions. A neuropsychosexual approach can add valuable insights, and influence clinical work both subtly and directly, when clients are struggling with intimacy.
In this session Janice will offer an overview of what happens in neural pathways during the development of romantic and sexual relationships. Neuroscientific research into love and sex can add insights and depth to help make sense of the intense emotions accompanying initial romantic attraction, through to kissing, touch, arousal, orgasm, commitment, parenting, infidelity, and long-term relationships. Most notably Janice will share the research suggesting that couples who maintain rewarding partnerships have neural responses that show some similarity to the early stages of romantic attraction.
In this session Janice will offer case material to illustrate how she applies neuroscience to deeply inform and support her work with couples and individuals who are struggling with sexual intimacy. The talk will offer ways to help therapists to raise the subject of sex in the consulting room aswell as offer psychoeducation to clients. For those already experienced in working with sexual issues you will deepen knowledge into the underlying neurological complexities involved the work.
An opportunity to ask Janice Hiller questions relating to the presentation and how you might integrate her thinking into your clinical practice.