Working with couples

Course overview

Therapeutic work with couples is an important mode of intervention which is relevant in child, adolescent and adult clinical settings. Our extensive experience in this area shows that, for many people, a process of individual change can be undermined by the pressures exerted within the couple relationship.

Many clinicians feel unable to offer such work because of a lack of training in this area and consequently important opportunities for couple intervention may be lost within mainstream mental health services.

The course aims to help you:

  • Develop an understanding of unconscious couple interaction
  • Recognise underlying couple difficulties in your clinical work
  • Develop your potential for working with couples

The sessions include a mix of lecture/discussions, clinical presentations, and experiential exercises.

Participants will be helped to understand:-

  • The presentation of individual problems within a couple relationship.
  • How a couple relationship can be understood in psychodynamic terms.
  • How a couple transference evokes a couple counter-transference
  • The difference between interventions that address the internal worlds of individuals and those that address the shared unconscious world of couples.

This course is for mental health professionals interested either in working with couples or keeping the couple in mind in individual and family work.

Christopher Vincent is a couple psychotherapist in private practice. Originally qualifying as a social worker in 1971, he trained with the British Association of Psychotherapists as an individual psychotherapist and as a couple psychotherapist at Tavistock Relationships where he was a senior staff member from 1977 to 2002. He then worked for four years as a Consultant Psychotherapist in an NHS mental health trust before working exclusively in private practice.

From 2009 to 2017 he was a research student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Southampton University where he completed a study into the impacts of Huntington’s Disease on couple relationships.

He coordinates a special interest group focusing on illness and couple functioning. He is a member of the editorial board of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis and has recently guest edited its September 2021 issue. His research and writing have focused on how the major challenges of divorce and illness impact couple and family life.

" Very interesting course and perceptive tutor, it made me want to look into other courses at the Tavi"

"Enjoyed learning psychodynamic perspective and considering working therapeutically with couples"

"A very helpful introduction to applying psychodynamic theory to the couple’s relationship"

These courses will be delivered using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.
You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link ( to check your set up before booking.
You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the course start date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at to discuss how we can best help you.

The course has now closed for bookings - please complete this form to be added to the waiting list.

The course has now closed for bookings - please complete this form to be added to the waiting list.

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course. Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. 

Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying).

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
Admission status:
Course lead:
Leezah Hertzmann

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