Sex in the Brain

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Organised by:

Tavistock Relationships

10 May 2024

Time: 14:00 - 16:00

Price: £70.00 (£59.50 Trainee/NHS)

Location: online


Sex in the Brain: A Neuropsychosexual Approach to Love and Intimacy

Karnac Author series

With Janice Hiller

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.

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