elderly couple enjoying their retirement

Training and supervision in a brief intervention for working with couples 50+ approaching the transition to retirement

We have found that just 4 sessions can significantly improve a couple’s ability to cope with changes in their life*


This training in a brief couple intervention is specifically designed to promote resilience in couples during the transition to retirement. The underlying innovative model aims to provide couples with the resources and thinking space to face the changes emerging from a future life together. 

What does Couple 50+ focus on?

This brief couple intervention offers:

  • A safe space to begin to think about the transition to retirement
  • An opportunity to begin to address the issues emerging from facing this transition
  • Support in helping couples to draw on strengths and resources in working towards a future life together.

The overall aim of the sessions is to register a process of change for the couple with the therapist helping them identify a recent or expected life change in the context of a retirement, which may be identified differently by both partners and hold the dual states of loss and development during this transition. 

  • The four sessions aim to focus on the following four areas:
  1. Noticing change with the couple: Identifying current changes for the couple as they approach the transition to retirement.
  2. Past changes: how have previous transitions and stressful events been experienced by the couple?
  3. Future changes: looking forward, what changes do the couple expect to experience?
  4. Evaluating changes across the model: The end of the intervention, with encouragement and confirmation of what has been achieved, building on resources and looking ahead into the future.

Trainees will also receive key references and a Clinical Handbook for the model, a set of DVDs and structured questions attached to each of the DVDs to be used for homework in sessions 1 to 3, in order to help the couple open up about their concerns.

How does Couple 50+ help clients?

  • Existing evidence from the programme suggests that couples’ confidence in their ability to cope with changes in their life and deal with potentially challenging times ahead significantly improves following this 4-session intervention.

What does the commissioned training offer?

Tavistock Relationships can offer a one-day bespoke, commissioned training for clinical or corporate agencies.  This training is designed for whole services or teams with a view to understanding and working with the couple relationship at a point of prevention, through the transition into retirement.

The Couple 50+ MOT training programme offers:

Part 1:

  • WORKSHOP: One-day training on a brief intervention to help practitioners to work in a brief intervention informed by and evidenced in psychoanalytic theory and behavioural approaches.


Part 2:

  • SUPERVISION: Remote supervision to support your training cases with a senior Tavistock Relationships supervisor
  • Development of skills for this intervention and knowledge of the theoretical basis

Who can commission the training?

Counsellors and therapists who have access to couples aged 50+ and are interested in developing their skills and knowledge in this highly topical area.

If you would like to commission this training or would like to discuss the offer, including fees, then please contact Dr Damian McCann, Head of Projects (020 7380 6092).

We recently ran a national conference on the topic of retirement and later life with leading experts and professionals in this area. You can read more about it here.

About The Couple 50+ Service

For couples aged 50 or over approaching retirement, the service helps by offering support with the changes and challenges that this transition brings.

It helps with any issues facing both partners and the relationship and guides them by drawing on the strengths and resources they already have that helps support both parties' future together.

This service provides a location where couples set time aside to consider the transition involved in this very important life stage.

Read more.

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