I have a Post Qualification Certificate in Behavioural Couples therapy provided by Professor Don Baucom, Dr Michael Worrell and Professor Sarah Corrie at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust’s Post Graduate Programmes in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy.


Behavioural Couples Therapy (BCT) is an evidence-based psychological treatment that has acquired a significant amount of empirical support for the benefits it provides, both in terms of reducing couple distress and in improving specific psychological disorders, such as depression.


BCT is distinct from, but complements, individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) using a range of methods to enhance relationship well-being as well as reduce individual psychological distress.


What you can expect from therapy:


  • Assessing and conceptualising couple functioning

  • Identifying cognitive and behavioural factors in couple distress

  • Developing couple-based interventions

  • Strategies to regulate emotional experience and expression

  • Enhancing couple communication skills

  • Addressing the physical relationship


Don Baucom is a leading expert on Behavioural Couples Therapy, who has been actively involved in developing theoretical, research and clinical approaches to couple-based interventions from a CBT perspective since 1976.


What does Behavioural Couple Therapy for depression involve?  


Everyone’s therapy will be a bit different but typically I will aim to help you and your partner open up the issues that seem to be troubling you both. Together, you will decide on new ways to relate to each other, gaining a greater understanding along the way of your own and your partner’s feelings. Talking openly with your partner about problems for the first time can feel difficult and you may be worried about what others think about you. I will try to get a good a picture of what you and your partner are finding difficult in your relationship and how this is affecting you both. You may both be offered a session on your own at the beginning of therapy as some things can be hard to talk about with your partner at first. I may suggest ways for your partner and you to improve your communication and this may occasionally involve some “homework”. Mostly, however, I will be interested in helping the two of you have a conversation finding your own ways to understand and resolve the problems you are having.  


Length and frequency of therapy:


There may be some variation in the number of sessions of therapy you are offered. However, it is worth bearing in mind that if you are having some relationship problems and you are depressed, it is recommended that you have up to 20 sessions of couple therapy over a period of six months. It is likely that you will be seen once a week for about 50-60 minutes. In some cases sessions may be offered on a less frequent basis, for example fortnightly rather than weekly. There will be a clear agreement between you and I on these arrangements.


To find our more, and to get more information about this specific therapy and what you can expect from your therapist visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/clinical-psychology/CORE/competence_frameworks.htm and read the guide for service users