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Information for Commissioners about Couple Therapy for Depression

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A fully-approved training provider

Training courses can be commissioned for delivery in your area, or places can be purchased on Open Courses on a spot-purchase basis.

It is sometimes easier to combine with another area to generate sufficient numbers to make a course worthwhile.

Tavistock Relationships is a fully-approved training provider for Couple Therapy for Depression practitioner and supervisor training. Tavistock Relationships has also written the manual for the modality, published by Oxford University Press in June 2014.

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Practitioner Training

Find out about the delivery of this course and how to apply.
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Supervisor Training

Find out about the delivery of this course and how to apply.
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CPD Training

Find out about the delivery of this course and how to apply.

The final version of the report on Depression in Adults produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2009) identified the potential role of couple relationships in triggering, maintaining and resolving depression. It defines couple therapy as a "time-limited, psychological intervention derived from a model of interactional processes in relationships where:

  • the intervention aims to help participants understand the effects of their interactions on each other as factors in the development and/or maintenance of symptoms/problems
  • the aim is to change the nature of the interactions so that they may develop more supportive and less conflictual relationships" (pp 207-208), a search uncovered six studies indicating the efficacy of couple therapy as a treatment for depression.

On the basis of this evidence the report recommended couple therapy (based on a behavioural model) for patients in established relationships where the relationship played a role in developing, maintaining or resolving the depressive disorder.

Details of the curriculum

Fees are £3,500 per practitioner, which at present are mostly met by NHSE across the country. If you are interested in further discussing the training or how to commission CTFD for your service please contactKate Thompson at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download curriculum details

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The training

CTFD Practitioner comprises a 5 day intensive training, plus approximately 9 months of remote fortnightly group supervision.

It is appropriate for counsellors and therapists who have an interest in extending their practice to work with couples where one or both are diagnosed with depression. It is helpful, but not a requirement, to have experience in working with more than one patient in the room.

We also offer Supervisor Level trainings. This consists of a 1 day training, followed by around 9 months of supervision. Applicants to this training must have completed the Practitioner training.

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