First part: Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November 2024

Second part: Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December 2024

Times: 10am to 5pm

CPD: 24 hours

Venue: Quaker Meeting House, 2 Lawn Terrace, Blackheath, London SE3 9LL
Please note:
Both weekends (4-days) are required to learn the basics of couples counselling.
Cost: £530 for the full 4-day introductory course. Early Bird price of £500 if booked before 16th August 2024.

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 is payable one month before the course start date.


All four days are needed to learn the basics of couples counselling. Debbie will facilitating this training jointly with her partner Simon Adamson who is also a couples counsellor. And  hopefully this will add an interesting extra dimension to the work.  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 two days

• 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 two days

• 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 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.

To book a place, please email us at


  • Debbie and Simon’s introduction to couples therapy training is one of the most enjoyable and inspiring CPD trainings I’ve attended. They shared their passion for the work with huge generosity and patience. The training was robust, with every aspect carefully considered to ease and encourage our learning, from extensive handouts to fresh fruit during the breaks. It felt like a really safe place to practice new skills and ask questions freely. There was a great combination of theory and experiential practice and although the days were jam-packed they seemed to fly by.     
  • I feel I now have a good understanding of the basics involved in becoming a couples therapist including many of the ethical dilemmas such as working individually with clients alongside couples work, of confidentiality vs transparency as well as the practical issues of drawing up contracts and the wording of client questionnaires. They kindly provided us with a great set of ready-made documents to facilitate our entrée into the world of couples therapy.         
  • What I love too is the ongoing support through their facebook group and the option to be included in their couples therapist directory. If you are thinking of finding out more about couples training I can’t think of a better place to start.

CheryAnn, therapist attending 2021 training