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About Couple Therapy for Depression

Image of NHS building in Queen's Square in London

An NHS commissioned training

Tavistock Relationships were commissioned by the NHS to develop this couple-based treatment for depression.

Following the recommendations of the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for just such a behaviourally-based couple therapy treatment, RCT studies of efficacy as well as ‘best practice’ in behavioural, cognitive, emotionally-focused, systemic, and psychodynamic couple therapies were examined to see what worked, and then integrated into a coherent therapy model.

How does it work?

Sticking closely to the competencies identified for the treatment of depression and relationship distress in couples, Couple Therapy for Depression:

  • reduces damaging interactions between couples
  • builds emotional openness and closeness,
  • improves communication and behaviour
  • changes unhelpful cognitions and perceptions
  • helps the couple cope with the ordinary and not-so ordinary stresses that arise in the course of everyday relating.

Success stories

I would recommend marriage counselling to any couple. Our treatment was incredibly helpful for our marriage now, and preparing us for the future together. Thank you.

“It’s a privilege to work in a field where it feels like you can make a difference to an important aspect of people’s lives.”

Kate Thompson - Project Lead for Couple Therapy for Depression

Who is this training for and why is it so useful?

Graph of recovery rates by therapy type showing CTfD as the most effective

The highest recovery rate amongst NHS Talking Therapies modalities

Couple therapy for Depression recovery rates for both depression and anxiety are higher than all other modes of therapy in NHS Talking Therapies services including CBT and counselling. Psychological Therapies: Annual report on the use of NHS Talking Therapies services (Published 18th October 2016) indicates that couple therapy for depression recovery rate stands at 61.8% for anxiety and 58.8% for depression (i.e. significantly higher than CBT and counselling – which are the standard offer in most NHS Talking Therapies services).