• therapist looking over to couple in therapy session

    Understanding Couple Relationships: An Introductory Course

About this course

Understanding Couple Relationships: An Introductory Course explores the central theoretical concepts of psychodynamic couple therapy. It is designed for people who want to understand more about the world of couple relationships, as well as those considering a career change.

Key information

Course dates and times

Monday evenings: 7pm - 8.30pm

Monday 15 April 2024 - 8 July 2024 

Location: Online via Zoom

Course fees: £1,250 *

* 20% discount for NHS and public sector staff are available.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information. 

  • Overview

    This 11-week online evening course exploring the central theoretical concepts of psychodynamic couple therapy is designed for people who want to understand more about the world of couple relationships as well as those considering a career change.

    We offer participants the time and space to reflect together upon the nature of working with couples and the couple relationship. We welcome students from many countries and backgrounds and no previous experience is required.

    TR is a world centre of excellence for couple and individual psychotherapy training and the teaching staff for this course are active therapists experienced in working within the TR setting.

    Please be aware this course does not result in a clinical qualification allowing you to undertake any form of practise in the field of Couple Psychotherapy and Counselling.

  • Who is it for and entry requirements

    Is this course for you?

    If you considering retraining to become a couple therapist or if you would like to explore the workings of the couple relationship, this course is where you begin your journey. No previous experience is necessary and we welcome applications from UK and international students. We respect all life experiences and provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

    We aim to provide a higher education learning experience reflecting the therapeutic frame used at Tavistock Relationships. To ensure both this and an optimised online learning environment, full participation of students is requested with a requirement to attend the scheduled seminars for their full duration. A minimum of 80% attendance is needed to receive a certificate at the end of the course.

  • Course structure and content

    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.

    We will cover the following topics during the 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
  • Course dates and times

    Monday evenings - 7pm - 8.30pm

    Online via Zoom

    Sessions take place over 11 weeks.  Please note no seminars on the May bank holidays.

    Sessions will take place on:

    • 15 April
    • 22 April
    • 29 April
    • 13 May
    • 20 May
    • 3 June
    • 10 June
    • 17 June
    • 24 June
    • 1 July
    • 8 July


  • 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.

Book your place

To secure your place on this popular course, we highly recommend booking early.

Bookings will close on 10th April 2024. 

Book now

Open evening:

Learn more about this training program by attending our free online open evening on Friday, March 1st, 2024, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. It's a great opportunity to gather more information and ask any questions you may have.

Register now or find out more by visiting our open evenings web page.


Course leaders

Ellen Burridge and Shannon Ashton

Ellen Burridge (left) 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.

Shannon Ashton (right) is an Individual and Couple Psychodynamic Counsellor and Psychotherapist. She trained here at Tavistock Relationships where she now works as a visiting clinician, assessor, and co-trainer on the Introductory Course. She has a particular interest in understanding the influence our emotional experiences have upon the quality of our closest relationships, and the impact this can have on both our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Read about our Clinical Training Team

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