Four day Introduction to Couples Counselling

Dates: May 16/17 and June 20/21 2020 from 10am to 5pm each day

Price: £490 or Early Bird £465 until February 16th 2020

Venue: Greenwich, London SE10

CPD: 24 hours

It’s likely that, as a counsellor or therapist, you probably found couples counselling wasn’t covered in much detail in your initial training. And if it’s something you’re now interested in, you’ll probably find most courses are one or two years long.

But it is possible to learn the fundamentals of couples counselling in a short course. This Introduction to Couples Counselling is a four day course and will provide you with the key principles and techniques you can start putting into practice to help your clients. The course is integrative and involves a mixture of theory, group work, role plays and videos.

You’ll be able to benefit from this training whichever situation you’re in:

  • if you’re thinking of moving into this field, it will help you better understand what you need to bear in mind, and give you a basic grounding in how to handle the distinctive challenges of couples therapy;
  • if you’re already working in this field, it can help you better understand and deal with issues and challenges you may already be encountering;
  • even if you don’t work with couples, this course will inform your individual work. Many trainees attending this course have found a lot of resources to help with their individual clients presenting with relationship issues.

To book a place, there is a non-refundable deposit of £100 payable now. The balance of £370 is payable one month before the course start date.

The London venue is: The Deborah Ubee Trust, 20 Egerton Drive, Greenwich SE10 8JS. This venue is very close to Greenwich DLR station, which also has direct links to London Bridge and Cannon Street.


Both weekends (4 days) are needed to learn the basics of couples counselling.  On the third day, Debbie will be joined by her partner Simon Adamson who is also a couples counsellor. The two of them will jointly facilitate this day; and hopefully this will add an interesting extra dimension to the work. Simon may also assist with supervision of role plays on other days. You can read more about their work together at A CPD certificate of 24 hours will be provided on completion of the course.

The course is integrative in nature and the ethical issues of couples counselling are also covered in detail to enable you to be a very capable practitioner. This course weaves threads of:

  • Psychodynamic – understanding how the unconscious attraction process works, and recognising childhood wounds of your partner;
  • Systemic – looking at the particular dynamic of disconnection in the relationship; how each partner moves in the ‘dance’;
  • Gestalt – working with intra psychic conflict in each partner;
  • Humanistic – working with dialogue and empathy between the couple;
  • Attachment – understanding attachment wounds of each partner and how this impacts their current relationship;
  • Behavioural – working out self-change goals for each partner and holding a future vision of what the relationship may be.

Here is a summary of the content of each day:

Introduction to Couples Counselling: first weekend


•  Differences between Individual and Couples Counselling;
• The Role of the Therapist in Couples Counselling? Content versus process;
• Different Models of Couples Counselling;
• Essential Communication skills to teach your couples;
• The basics of Non-Confrontational Communication; Therapist as ‘translator’;
• Couples Dialogue; facilitating your couples expressing difference and frustration

• Ethical dilemmas in couples counselling (seeing individuals separately concurrently with couple counselling; screening for domestic violence; addictions; confidentiality and keeping secrets; contact outside sessions)
• Transference in the Couples Relationship; Mechanisms of Attraction and Partner Selection; Uncovering your Unconscious Relationship Attraction Pattern;
• Attachment vs. Differentiation; Working with Conflict & Emotions;
• Attachment Patterns & Mechanisms of Disconnection;
• Working with the Couple’s Defeating Pattern or Dance of Disconnection

Introduction to Couples Counselling: second weekend

DAY THREE (jointly taught with Simon Adamson)
• Ethical dilemmas in couples counselling;
• Stages of relationship from romance to power struggle to co-creation;
• Working with the Stages;
• Working with hostile couples; understanding and de-escalating conflict; bonding exercises;
• Working with avoidant couples; facing the elephant in the room

• Ethical dilemmas in couples counselling;
• Homework and exercises for couples clients;
• How to conduct your first couples session; theory and format; determining client intentions, motivation and how to proceed;
• How to conduct your first couples session; role plays;
• Making a Treatment Plan for the journey ahead;
• Questions; Summary and End

This course will run at least once or twice per year.

There will be maximum of 15/16 people per course to ensure optimum benefit of the course.

Minimum qualifications required to enrol for the course: the course is most suited to qualified counsellors or psychotherapists. If you are a trainee, then completion of a minimum ten week certificate course is required to enrol. If you are outside of these criteria, please contact me to discuss, as in exceptional cases, enrolment may be possible.

Cancellation terms: A £100 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a place. The balance is payable one month before the course start date, and once paid is also non-refundable.  In the event of cancellation with less than one month’s notice, a full refund will be offered if someone from the waiting list takes your place, otherwise the balance payment is also non-refundable.

  • I can honestly say that this is by far the best couples counselling training I have ever attended. I would not hesitate to recommend this training to anyone, excellent all round.

DN (therapist attending 2019 London training)

  • The Introduction Course provided an excellent foundational level insight into the world of couples therapy. I am completing the course feeling well equipped to begin couples therapy. The handouts and level of information and different theoretical approaches is exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you both.

Deone Payne-James, Integrative Counsellor (attended Introduction Course London 2019)

  • Clear concise delivery, I feel confident to start with clients. I have trained on a couples workshop previously but didn’t feel confident to start working, so delayed and continued to look for further training. Really impressed by the content shared, every question answered and great safeguarding implementation.

Therapist attending Introduction Course London 2019

  • I am so thankful that I chose to do your course. My supervisor highly recommended it, and I was not disappointed. Not only did it reassure me that I already was familiar with a good number of approaches by the foremost experts in the field of couples counselling, but your comprehensive coverage of the basics was thorough, practical and reassuring. The range of helpful handouts will also be a source of practical guidance both for me and my clients: a wide menu. Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson’s ‘developmental approach’ was new to me, and makes absolute sense. I’ll enjoy exploring it more. It was also a first proper introduction to Marshall Rosenberg, and I now have his step by step guide to nonviolent communication in my grasp and am passing it on to clients. I also liked the fact that you both have a depth of knowledge and experience, which has come both from your passionate exploration over time within the field, as well as your ongoing commitment to increased happiness within your own relationship.

Loraine McDonald, therapist attending Introduction course in London 2019

  • This course was an excellent way of creating the solid groundwork for having a couples practice, whilst giving the tools and confidence to be a better practitioner. It made me re-evaluate all my counselling skills and practice.

Therapist attending Introduction course in London 2019