Introduction to Couples Counselling

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 an integrative 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 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, as ultimately I believe that all the work we do is relational;
Dates have now been set for the summer training in London. These are: 12/13 October and 9/10 November 2019 from 10am to 5pm each day.

The price is £470 for the four day course.

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. Please send an email to if you would like to book a place, or use the Paypal button below:


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, I will be joined by my partner Simon Adamson who is also a couples counsellor. The two of us 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 the second day. You can read more about our work together at  A CPD certificate of 24 hours will be provided on completion of the course.

It is planned to run this four day course at once or twice per year.

Minimum qualifications required to enrol: this 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. Once paid this balance is also non-refundable.

Here is the course content:

Introduction to Couples Counselling: first weekend


• Differences between Individual Counselling 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 and developmental tasks;
• Working with hostile couples; understanding and de-escalating conflict; bonding exercises;
• Working with avoidant couples; face 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



♦  “Exceeded expectations manyfold. Thoughtful, informed, up-to-date content from classic and relevant models, with the opportunity to practise techniques. Delivered in a great way. The opportunity to practise the techniques made the learning real. Very impressed.”                                                                             Dean, Robin Corner Counselling

            ♦ “Absolutely fantastic course, jam-packed with information and resources. Will definitely be recommending to fellow counsellors.”

                                                                Katie, Private Practitioner

                ♦ “An excellent overview to couples counselling offering you a strong base to start practising with growing confidence”

                                                                Isabel, Letchworth Centre

                ♦  I found the course very enlightening and full of information. Highly recommended course. You will get all the information you need to                       move forward in couples counselling. Debbie is an inspirational teacher and I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to                             work with couples.

                                                               Counsellor attending London course

            ♦  I would certainly recommend this course to anyone who is thinking of starting out on couples counselling. Be ready to discover how much there is to take on board. Debbie is a fantastic tutor. 

                                                              Counsellor attending London course.


‘Fabulously informative workshop on the how to and why of setting up as a couples counsellor. I recommend it highly. Excellent, with brilliant handouts’ (Tara, therapist, London)

‘Excellent attention to detail. The course draws attention to the most important considerations and provides a comprehensive toolkit for anyone starting out as a couples counsellor’ (Phil Martin, therapist, Bournemouth).

‘An extremely clear and informative course. Very well organised. Delivered with clarity and warmth. Very useful.’ (Kate Renner, Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living, Herts)

‘Debbie and Simon are great trainers. the four dates were informative, insightful and fun. I loved the range of teaching methods and have already recommended the course to two colleagues. Fantastic handouts also. Lovely and safe group.’ (Phil Puttock, counsellor, Brighton)

‘I found most helpful the depth of experience of both leaders….the supervision of role-plays was done well and helpfully. Everyone was given permission to join in or sit it out or passively participate. I found that sensitive’ (B, therapist)


Other Courses

Working with Domestic Violence

  • Types of domestic violence;
  • When a counsellor can safely work with domestic violence in a couple relationship;
  • Risk assessments and ethics;
  • Co-dependency and anger management.

“Outstanding. Debbie provided an exciting, stimulating well researched and excellently resourced session in an enjoyable accessible manner. The experiential exercise was thoughtfully guided and I left wanting more thinking this is one of the best courses I have attended.”  Sherry, London