Desire or drive in a relationship is an important motivational state which is linked with physical and emotional intimacy. Losing desire may lead to guilt and fear of damaging the couple bond. Desire and arousal are closely connected on a sexual level for both women and men although there are gender differences in processing arousal sensations. Absence of desire and sexual withdrawal has numerous meanings however and can be associated with organic difficulties, couple tensions, or underlying anxiety and depression. These aspects of desire issues will be explored, with suggestions of how an integrated treatment approach can be used to help troubled relationships.
Janice Hiller is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who trained at the Institute of Psychiatry and initially worked in adult mental health, before setting up and heading an NHS Relationship and Psychosexual Service at Goodmayes Hospital in North East London. She left the NHS in 2012 to take up the post of Senior Academic Tutor in Psychosexual studies at Tavistock Relationships, and is now Visiting Academic Tutor at TR. Since specialising in couple therapy and sexology Janice has presented at conferences in the UK and abroad, run many seminars and training courses, and was honorary lecturer and tutor for the Doctoral degree course at UCL. Her journal and book publications cover a range of topics including psychosexual development, coital pain, arousal and desire difficulties, neurobiology, gender differences in sexual motivation and ethical issues. Janice was joint editor and contributor to Hiller, Wood and Bolton (2006)” Sex Mind and Emotion” and co-wrote a chapter “Psychodynamic aspects of Psychosexual Therapy” (2013) for the syllabus of clinical sexology published by the European Society of Sexual Medicine. She has a private practice in North London and is especially interested in biopsychosocial factors in sexual and gender development, and the role of neuroscience in understanding sexual behaviour.