»Progress in mental health requires combining etiological and treatment research. «

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Margraf

Mechanisms of mental disorders across the life span

Sexual health

Given the fact that human sexuality obviously is highly relevant for individuals, couples, social groups and indeed for the survival of our species, it is remarkable how little clinical psychological research is being done in this field. This is especially true for female sexuality that remains considerably less researched than male sexuality. Moreover, most clinical psychological studies of human sexuality have so far been largely atheoretical. Julia Velten and her research group are dedicated to the investigation of the causes of sexual problems. The further development of psychological treatments for sexual dysfunction is the main focus of her work.


MiSELF-Study: Randomized, waitlist-controlled trial of internet-based cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based treatments for low sexual desire in women

Principal Investigator and Team

PD Dr. Julia Velten
Milena Meyers, M.Sc.


German Research Foundation (VE 1083/2-1)


2018 – 2021


Psychological therapies are effective treatments for hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction (HSDD; formerly hypoactive sexual desire disorder), a common sexual dysfunction among women. The MiSELF-Study is a randomized controlled trial, aiming to study the efficacy of cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions delivered via the internet for women with HSDD to a waitlist control group. Outcomes are sexual desire (primary) and sexual distress (secondary). Additional variables (eg, depression, mindfulness, rumination) will be assessed as potential moderators or mediators of treatment success. Methods: A cognitive behavioral and a mindfulness-based self-help intervention for HSDD will be provided online. Overall, 266 women with HSDD will be recruited and assigned either to one of the intervention groups, or to a waitlist control group (2:2:1). Outcome data will be assessed at baseline, at 12 weeks, and at 6 and 12 months after randomization. Intention-to-treat and completer analyses will be conducted. Recruitment has begun in January 2019 and is expected to be completed in August 2021. Results will be published in 2022.