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Couples unit



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We help people with

What we do

We see couples who feel that their relationship is in difficulty and wish to seek help.

By ‘couple’ we mean any adult partnerships regardless of sexual orientation or gender, living together or apart. Couples may be married, civil partnered, or living apart.

The types of difficulties couple therapy can help with include the following, though this is not an exhaustive list:

loss and bereavement, separation and divorce, the decision about whether to separate, the impact of affairs, problems with sex, issues around sexuality and gender, physical health problems, illness and death, trauma and the fall out of this on the relationship, fertility and conception, parenting, extended family problems, adoption and kinship care.

For many couples, it’s not just that there are difficulties in the relationship, but that it isn’t possible to find a way to talk about them. We try to help couples understand more about what’s going on between them, so that they can come to recognise patterns they may not have been aware of and which are damaging the relationship.

We try to help clarify how couples might be able to get things to improve and how they can develop your relationship more positively, even where this involves separating.

What to expect

We offer assessment, treatment and individualised treatment based on a psychoanalytic approach. This approach understands mental health as involving the whole person and their environment, as well as exploring the origin of the difficulties in early childhood for both partners in the couple.

When couples are referred, both partners will be seen together by a senior clinician for two or a maximum of three assessment sessions. Sometimes, the assessment process can be helpful on its own, but if it is felt that couple therapy treatment will be helpful, then either short term or longer-term therapy will be considered as potential treatments of choice, according to the couple’s needs. The therapy offered is likely to be another clinician in the team.

We also consider whether the wait for a vacancy is likely to have an adverse effect on the couple and where this is the case, we will discuss with both partners about the best way forwards to access help.

How to access this service

We accept referrals from GPs as well as mental health professionals involved in the patient’s care.

Our team