It's been awhile, eh. I'll try to give you an idea of how I use these terms...
All of us have learned many things in our lives. Enviornmental conditioning leaves us with many values: attitudes about ourselves, fears (about being hit in the face or beaten up for example, or demeaned by authority figures, etc), about conflict (especially ideas about how power or force involved in physical confrontations are necessary, etc). Basic ideas about "winning and losing" that lessen our ability to make creative decisions in times of stress can make it very difficult to see a broad range of possibilities that are available to us in our daily problem solving.
My usage of the terms "desensitizing and then re-sensitizing" has to do with the re-education of these "buttons" that get pushed by others or events and cause us to have a less than optimum ability to make intuitive, creative decisions based on clear information at hand.
For example, in the theraputic treatment of phobia, a period of desensitization is necessary and then re-sensitization so that the same stimuli do not evoke the fear response or negative, distressful effects on our system that they used to
The idea of the dojo as a protected, controlled, environment that is still dilemma rich and gives us the chance to go through this period of changing the way we resolve dangerous situations and conflict through the disciplined training involved in budo seemed to me to be similar to the basic behavior modification that is involved in this type of education.
I see much of the uke -- tori relationship as being an agreement to help each other learn to solve problems that are normally problematic for us. We put our hands in each other's face in what would normally be a very rude and confrontational manner and we grab each other in ways that are stressful to most people. We upset each other's balance and throw each other down. Over time, this desensitizes and then re-sensitizes our fears and gives us new problem solving skills.
I hope this makes sense, I came back from a seminar trip late last night and am still kind of tired.
Thanks for taking part.