• therapist looking over to couple in therapy session

    Introduction to Couple Counselling and Therapy

About this course

The Introduction to Couple Counselling and Therapy is for people who are new to couple therapy and is an ideal entry point before progressing on to our Foundation Certificate course. 

This weekly online evening course takes place over two terms and will teach you about the central theoretical concepts of couple relationship counselling and therapy.

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: Online via Zoom

Course dates: The course runs over two terms.

Mondays, 7pm - 8.30pm

Autumn Term: Week commencing 2 October 2023 – week commencing 11 December 2023. (No seminar on 23 Oct due to half term)

Spring term: Week commencing 8 January 2024 - week commencing 18 March 2024. (No seminar on 12 Feb due to half term)

Teaching is provided by: Ellen Burridge.

Course fees: £2,000  

How to apply

Deadline for applications: 27th September 2023

Book your place now

Apply online

  • Overview

    Join this new introductory course starting in October 2023 and learn about the central theoretical concepts of couple relationship counselling and therapy. This course is aimed at people who are new to couple therapy and takes place over two terms, each of 10 weeks. Students will attend a weekly online group seminar that will focus on different aspects of couple relationships, such as:

    • Why do we choose the partners we do?
    • How do underlying difficulties and unconscious issues belonging to individual partners play out between the couple?
    • How do difficulties get passed on across the generations in families?
    • How might ageing and other life issues affect the couple relationship?
    • How can we understand lifespan developmental challenges, from having a first baby to parenting an adoptive child?

    All these, and many more fascinating areas of life will be explored in this course.

    TR is the world leading centre of excellence for couple and individual psychotherapy training. This CPD introductory course condenses years of knowledge and expertise, to equip students with an understanding of couple relationships underpinned by psychodynamic thinking.

  • Who is it for and entry requirements

    This introductory CPD course will be of interest to those who want to understand couple relationships and psychodynamic approaches, as well as people who are thinking about a career change and looking to take their first step into professional training in psychotherapy with couples.

    No previous experience is necessary to join this course. We welcome applications from all sections of society, respect all life experiences and seek to provide a supportive learning environment.

  • Course structure and content

    We will cover the following topics during the two-term course:

    • What brings the couple together? Shared unconscious relationship and couple fit
    • Working with couples in therapy: The ‘couple in mind’
    • What binds the couple together? Unconscious phantasy and beliefs
    • It’s not me, it’s you: understanding projective processes in the couple
    • Sex and sexualities
    • Aggression and violence in the couple
    • Couples and parenting
    • Ageing and the couple
    • Depression and other psychological problems
    • Attachment styles within couple relationships
    • Intergenerational aspects in couple relationships

    Participants will have the opportunity to think about what it’s like working with couples in counselling and therapy and to read and discuss fascinating clinical papers written by key people in the field of couple therapy and counselling.

    This course will be run online, in the evening which we hope we will fit around work and other commitments.

  • Why study with TR?

    Tavistock Relationships (TR) has 75 years of expertise and is a world-leading centre of excellence for couple and individual psychotherapy training and practice.

    Our training is seen as the gold-standard because it is founded on deep-rooted methods based in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory, backed by many years of intensive research and practical application. The tools and techniques our therapists learn are designed to effect long-lasting positive change in couples, individual and families.

    We teach at all levels from introduction up to master's level so there is a progression pathway towards professional clinical practice. Unlike many other institutions, if you progress to a clinical practice course at TR, we are able to provide cases in-house rather than you having to find your own clients.


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Course leader

Ellen Burridge

Ellen Burridge is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist and an individual psychodynamic counselling psychotherapist. She trained at Tavistock Relationships and works there as a visiting clinician and tutor to current students. She runs a private practice in South Oxfordshire and also consults for a charity which offers therapy to couples facing the impact of rare genetic (and often life-limiting) conditions within the family.

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