• Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy

About this course

The Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy serves as a grounding to apply for a clinical professional training.

We are currently accepting applications for our next intake starting January 2024.

Get in touch with us

Send us an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to know more about this course or have any questions. Our team is happy to help.


Key information

Location: 10 New Street, London EC2M 4TP (near Liverpool Street Station)

Course dates: Foundation Certificate runs three times per year:

  • 22 January 2024 - 17 June 2024 - Monday evenings (applications are now closed)
  • *New* 18 January 2024 - 28 March 2024: Thursday daytime, plus 2 Saturday workshops (all day) - dates TBC (applications are now closed)
  • 18 April 2024 - 27 June 2024: Thursday daytime, plus 2 Saturday workshops (all day) 11 May, 8 June (Applications are not open yet)

See 'Course Dates and Times' tab for further info

Teaching and supervision is provided by senior staff. All our training courses and supervisions are delivered by highly experienced staff at Tavistock Relationships.

Meet our team

Open evenings: 

View our Open Evenings page for details of our next open evening event

Course fees for 2024 (April course): £2750 + £50 non-refundable application fee

How to apply

Applications for April 2024 course will be open shortly (early December).

There is an application fee of £50 (non-refundable) when submitting your application. 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview.

  • Overview

    Tavistock Relationships' Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy course is the next step towards a career in psychotherapy and couple counselling.

    In this certificate level course students develop counselling skills and gain a deeper understanding of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic theories and concepts with a particular focus on the couple relationship.

    The course is specifically designed to provide participants with the opportunity of learning more about couple work, the special character of the marital/couple fit and the theory underpinning this approach. In addition, the training can improve personal and professional relationships through developing greater self-awareness and an enhanced understanding of the dynamics inherent in any family or social group.

    By the end of the course, students will have formed a sufficiently substantive understanding of working therapeutically with couples; and an understanding of the psychoanalytic theory that underpins this practice to enable them to decide whether this is an area they wish to build a new career in. From here students can apply for a place on one of our clinical training programmes.

  • Content

    Couple psychotherapy theories are introduced with special emphasis on the psychodynamic approach. Separate seminars are devoted to the exploration of life stages and linked to the developmental stages of relationships.

    There are seminars on changing trends in family and intimate relationships, the impact of children on couples, divorce, serial marriages, step-families and bereavement. Issues related to gender, sexuality and ethnicity are considered throughout the course. Finally, you will also have a chance to develop your clinical skills by both observing and participating in role plays. 

    This course will include:

    • Theory seminars, including weekly reading of theoretical papers
    • Self-reflective groups
    • Experiential learning workshops
    • Role plays
    • Written work in the form of a diary
    • Support throughout the course from a personal tutor
    • Optional essay (for non-graduates who wish to apply for the clinical training)
  • Entry requirements

    Our Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy course is designed for people who have some basic understanding of psychotherapy, who are ready for a foundation level entry course, have little or no clinical experience, and are from a wide range of professional backgrounds.

    In order to undertake this course, you will have a demonstrable interest in psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalytic psychotherapy and in couple counselling. We therefore would usually expect two or more of the following:

    • Relevant work experience – this being work in emotional and mental health and wellbeing
    • Relevant voluntary work experience
    • Have undergone or are currently undergoing own personal psychotherapy
    • An experience of group therapy
    • Have attended basic level counselling course(s) – e.g., access level counselling training at an FE college or other institution, and/or 1 day CPD trainings, and/or any other relevant short courses.

    Applicants to all of our courses, including the Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy, would usually also have a good first degree or equivalent professional qualification.

    In terms of personal qualities, we are looking for applicants with the following:

    • Self-awareness, maturity and stability
    • Ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience
    • Capacity to cope with both the emotional and intellectual demands of the course
    • Appropriate level of interest and motivation for learning about couples and about counselling
    • Non-judgemental, empathic, and capacity to be a good listener.

    We are mindful of the emotional demands involved in training to become a therapist and always seek to provide a supportive learning environment. It is also important that applicants are sufficiently emotionally and mentally robust to undertake our trainings. Personal readiness is a significant requirement that will be explored as part of the application assessment process.

  • Testimonials

    "It was excellent and I actively encourage people to come on this course. I feel the combination of journal, tutorials, seminars and group therapy along with reading lists meant that so many aspects of our behaviour were considered as we worked through the themes of this course structure. It’ a wonderful experience and I miss it already!"

    "My first experience of something like this and I was very pleasantly surprised. Felt connected to the group and the trainers. Felt engaged all the time and involved. The leaders really got the most out of the platform... Very valuable introductory experience. Tons of food for thought regarding what I do in my future, and reflections to take into my personal life."

    "I’ve really loved the time I’ve spent doing this and feel a real sense of accomplishment."

  • Course head

    Lorna Robinson

    Lorna RobinsonLorna Robinson is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist and individual psychodynamic psychotherapist. Formerly a literary journalist, she trained as a psychotherapist at Tavistock Relationships and has been on the faculty staff since 2018. She has responsibility for programming TR's public events, including workshops, lectures, interviews and conferences, which she also chairs.

    She works in the clinical service as a therapist and supervisor, and as a tutor and seminar leader on the psychodynamic training and a tutor on the psychoanalytic training. She is on the editorial board of the journal Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, where she is also the book reviews editor.

  • Course dates and times

    January Courses

    Monday Evenings:

    Dates: 22 January 2024 - 17 June 2024 - Monday evenings. (No teaching in half-term and Easter break = 12 Feb, 25 Mar, 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 6 May (bank holiday), 27 May)

    • Skills/Theory Workshop – 6:00pm to 7:30pm at New Street
    • Self-Reflective Group - 8pm to 9:15pm at New Street
    • Tutorials – 2 per student online


    *New* Thursday Daytime: 10 weeks x 2.75 hours + 2 x 6 hr Saturday workshops 

    Dates: 18 January 2024 - 28 March 2024 - Thursday daytime. (No teaching in half term = 15 Feb). 2 x Saturday workshops (all day): dates TBC

    • Skills/Theory Workshop – 11:00am to 12:30pm at New Street 
    • Self-Reflective Group – 1:30am to 2:45pm at New Street 
    • Tutorials – 1 per student online


    April Course

    Thursday Daytime: 10 weeks x 2.75 hours + 2 x 6 hr Saturday workshops 

    Dates: 18 April 2024 - 27 June 2024 - Thursday daytime. (No teaching in half term = 30 May). 2 x Saturday Workshops (all day): 11 May, 8 June 2024 

    • Skills/Theory Workshop – 11:00am to 12:30pm at New Street
    • Self-Reflective Group – 1:30pm to 2:45pm at New Street 
    • Tutorials – 1 per student online


Enquire about this course

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Seminar Leaders

Sonia Dalal and Rohina Ilyas

Sonia Dalal (left), an Individual and Couple Psychodynamic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, is the Clinical Lead for Intake and Allocations in our Clinical Services. She holds a postgraduate qualification in professional career development and career counselling and has extensive experience as a Social Worker specialising in Children and Families.

Rohina Ilyas (right) is a couple and individual psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist. In addition to the psychodynamic and foundation training, Rohina teaches the Pre-Clinical Course. She is an experienced organisational consultant and has worked within the business, public and third sectors. She has an MA in Psychoanalytic Approaches to Consultation from the Tavistock and Portman.

Read about our Clinical Training Team

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