Logo for IAMFT showing the outline of the state of Illinois and saying Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapists

Photo showing attendees viewing posters at the annual IAMFT conference

Desire Discrepancy Workshop

September 26
October 24
November 21

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

LINK TO REGISTER: https://checkout.square.site/buy/SFICSDDWLRIL4AYT2KNFSW7Z

Please join us as Joanne Flannery, Clinical Sexologist and LMFT, and Karen Washington, LMFT host a 3-part series on desire discrepancy. Desire discrepancy occurs when one person in a relationship wants sex more or differently than their partner(s). It is exceedingly common and affects nearly every long-term relationship at one point or another. Desire discrepancy occurs with varying degrees of severity, and is usually accompanied by a grave sense of loss within the relationship. Relationship therapy is an excellent resource for people struggling with desire discrepancy. While we encourage you to sign up for the entire presentation, please feel free to sign up and participate in one, two or all three presentations. See descriptions for each part below.

Initial presentations will be live streamed via Zoom for those who sign up in advance. If you are unable to attend in real time, the sessions will be recorded for those that wish to purchase viewing at a later time.

Part 1: Introduction to desire discrepancy and theoretical foundations of approach
Joanne and Karen will introduce conceptualizing desire discrepancy. This portion of the presentation will include theory from several prominent theorists in the sex therapy field. Joanne and Karen will also cover differential diagnoses.

Part 2: Systemic Assessment
Joanne and Karen will provide in-depth coverage of assessing desire discrepancy and its roots within the relational dynamic from a systemic, biopsychosocial approach. Assessment will be based partially on theory covered in part one.

Part 3: Interventions and treatment
Joanne and Karen will discuss the plethora of systemic interventions and their applications in treating desire discrepancy. Interventions and treatment are informed by theory and assessment.


Joanne Flannery is a Certified Clinical Sexologist and Licensed Couple and Family Therapist. Jo holds a master’s degree in clinical sexology and counseling from Curtin University in Western Australia and earned her Couple and Family therapy degree from Adler University in Chicago. She then spent two years as a member of the Greenhouse, a postgraduate training program at Lifeworks Psychotherapy Center in Skokie. Jo established Bliss Chicago Psychotherapy in 2019 where she specializes in working with sexual desire discrepancy and intimacy.

Karen Washington is an LMFT with a specialty in sex therapy in private practice at Relationship Reality 312 in Chicago. Karen holds a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality. She has worked as an adjunct professor at Adler University in the Couple and Family Therapy department, and assisted in the creation and implementation of a sex therapy certificate program debuting in Fall 2021. Karen is pursuing a doctoral degree in Couple and Family Therapy at Adler University.