Couples Therapy in London & Online

Couples therapy and counselling, also known as marriage counselling, is a good way for romantic partners to learn how to better understand each other and have a less stressful and more fulfilling relationship. It’s true that there are no relationships without struggles. People misunderstand each other or change over time, and this inevitably leads to challenges and interpersonal struggles. 

Attending therapy together with your partner can help you improve your relationship on many levels: from intimacy, empathy, and understanding, to more concrete things such as organisation, planning, and marriage logistics. It will also help you solve issues such as lack of trust, marriage frustration, and other problems that a couple can encounter. 

At Therapy Central, we have couples’ therapists who can help you communicate more efficiently and come up with effective solutions to your couples issues. 

If a problem is affecting you both significantly, it might be a good moment to seek a couples counsellor and address your relationship struggles. 

Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation and start your couples therapy in London & Online.

Relationship Counselling in London

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy refers to a variety of approaches to address relationship issues that focus on the couple dyad. 

1) CBT couples therapy, one of the approaches used at Therapy Central, is all about helping you and your partner improve the skills that are key to a healthy relationship. This includes problem-solving and communication, which are essential to reducing the stress, frustration, and anger that can arise in any relationship [1]. By understanding and modifying unhelpful attitudes and cognitions, CBT couples therapy can help you and your partner develop a more positive and fulfilling relationship.

Example: if you and your partner struggle with communication, your therapist might teach you active listening techniques to help you understand each other better. This could be as simple as taking turns speaking and really focusing on what the other person is saying, without interrupting or getting defensive. With the right skills and a little practice, you can start to see real improvement in your relationship. 

2) Psychodynamic couples therapy is another approach used at Therapy Central that focuses on the unconscious dynamics in your relationship [2]. By gaining insight into unconscious thoughts and emotions, you and your partner can gain a deeper understanding of the issues you’re facing. This can lead to a shift in perspective and new ways of thinking about problems that may have become unproductive over time. 

Example: let’s say you and your partner are having trouble with trust in your relationship. During a psychodynamic couples therapy session, your therapist might help you explore the unconscious fears and insecurities that are contributing to this issue, including potential underlying addiction issues. By bringing these unconscious thoughts and emotions to the surface, you can gain a deeper understanding of each other and start to work towards a solution. 

Overall, psychodynamic couples therapy can be a powerful tool for improving your relationship and resolving the underlying issues that may be affecting it.

3) Systemic Therapy is an approach that focuses on the relationship as a whole, considering the larger context and the interplay of various systems (such as family, work, community) on the couple’s dynamic. This approach aims to identify and change unhelpful patterns in the couple’s relationship, leading to an improvement in communication and overall relationship satisfaction. 

Example: let’s say you and your partner are having trouble with in-laws interfering in your relationship. During a Systemic Therapy session, your therapist might help you explore the role of family dynamics on your relationship and identify ways to establish healthy boundaries and improve communication with your in-laws. By working on the relationship as a system, Systemic Therapy can help you find long-term solutions to the issues you’re facing.

At Therapy Central, we offer a personalised approach to couples therapy, integrating various therapeutic perspectives for a tailored treatment plan. Our therapists combine Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Systemic Therapy, among others, for the best outcome for each couple.

What is the Difference between Couples Therapy and Relationship Counselling?

Couples therapy and relationship therapy may sound similar, but they differ in who is involved in the therapy sessions. While both aim to improve relationships, couples therapy is meant for partners to attend therapy together, while relationship therapy can be pursued individually.

When to attend therapy as a couple: Couples Therapy

Imagine you and your partner are experiencing some difficulties in your relationship, such as communication breakdowns and increasing arguments. Couples therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for the two of you to work through these issues together, improving your relationship skills and understanding of each other. 

When to attend therapy as an individual: Relationship Counselling

On the other hand, if an individual is dealing with personal issues affecting their relationship, such as trust issues or past traumas, they may benefit from individual relationship therapy before or alongside couples therapy.

How Does Couples Therapy Work?

In couples therapy, the focus is on addressing the issues experienced by the couple as a team. This approach aims to foster a shared perspective from which to tackle problems and improve the relationship. Unlike individual counselling or therapy, couples therapy requires the active participation and commitment of both partners, as they work together towards common goals.

During couples therapy sessions, a trained therapist will facilitate communication, help partners better understand each other’s perspectives, and guide the development of more effective coping strategies. Whether it’s working through a specific problem like communication difficulties, or exploring underlying issues affecting the relationship, couples therapy can be an effective tool for improving intimacy, empathy, and understanding between partners.

It’s important to note that couples therapy requires effort and openness from both partners. The “teamwork” approach involves taking a step back from individual perspectives and working towards a common understanding. If you’re ready to make the investment in your relationship and take an active role in addressing challenges together, couples therapy may be the right choice for you.

If this sounds familiar, you should get help as soon as possible. Chronic insomnia is particularly difficult to treat because mental health difficulties typically cause it. If you’re affected by anxiety, feeling alert might prevent you from getting sleep, increasing the stress even more. In the end, you might become trapped in a so-called vicious cycle of insomnia. When you can’t fall asleep, you might worry about waking up tired, which produces anxiety that your mind might begin to associate with sleep.

Does Couples Therapy Work?

Yes, couples therapy is highly effective in improving the well-being of partners and the overall quality of the relationship. Studies have shown that just 12 weekly sessions of couples therapy can lead to improvement in 75% or more of participants [4]

Couples therapy provides a safe space for partners to explore and address relationship challenges and develop effective strategies to improve communication, increase intimacy, and resolve conflicts. By working with a therapist, couples can gain new insights into their relationship, gain a better understanding of one another, and build a stronger, healthier relationship, even in the face of difficult situations.

What Issues Can Couples Therapy Help With?

Couples therapy can help with a range of relationship issues, including:

  • Anger management: For example, helping a couple to better understand and manage their anger triggers to improve their overall conflict resolution skills. 
  • Communication issues: Such as, providing a safe space for couples to communicate their feelings, thoughts and opinions in a non-judgmental environment, to help improve their overall communication skills. 
  • Sexual issues: For instance, addressing the sexual concerns that may arise in a relationship, such as low libido, sexual dysfunction, and intimacy problems. 
  • Lack of commitment: Such as, working with a couple to understand their individual perspectives on commitment, and helping them to find common ground to increase their commitment to one another. 
  • Overcommitment: Such as, helping a couple to balance their time and responsibilities between work, family, and their relationship to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Adapting to a partner’s chronic illness: Such as, helping a couple to navigate the challenges that arise when one partner has a chronic illness, to maintain a healthy and supportive relationship. 
  • Financial stress: Such as, assisting a couple to understand their individual perspectives on money and how it affects their relationship, and helping them to create a shared financial plan to reduce stress and anxiety. 
  • Child rearing: Such as, providing support to couples as they navigate the challenges and responsibilities of raising children, to maintain a strong and loving relationship.
  • Excessive co-dependency: Such as, helping a couple to identify and understand the dynamics of co-dependency in their relationship, and to develop more healthy and independent behaviours.

Does Couples Therapy Work for Cheating?

Yes! Infidelity is a common issue addressed in couples therapy. A therapist can help couples understand the underlying factors that may have led to the cheating and facilitate discussions without degenerating into unproductive accusations, name-calling, etc.

In couples therapy, cheating is seen as an event that has happened to the couple, rather than to one of the partners. Both partners’ viewpoints are taken into consideration, and with the couple’s determination and commitment to work through this difficulty, the therapist helps to come up with a new, common perspective to tackle the issue such as cheating and find ways, if possible, for the couple to survive, or even thrive, in spite of the issues encountered along the way.

Example: a common issue in the aftermath of infidelity is when the hurt partner perceives the affair as a direct attack on them and the relationship, whereas the other partner might see it as a one-time mistake. In couples therapy, the therapist can help the couple shift from this individualised view of infidelity to a shared view by exploring the factors that led to the affair, such as emotional distance, intimacy issues, or individual problems, and reframing the issue as something that has happened to the couple as a unit. This can help both partners take responsibility for their individual actions and feelings, as well as identify and address any underlying relationship problems. By doing so, they have the opportunity to work towards healing, rebuilding trust, and improving their relationship.

Does Online Couples Therapy Work?

Yes, it does work and it’s an efficient way to treat couples issues. A pilot study has recently shown that couples can benefit from attending online therapy, improving their relationship in all important aspects [5].

Yes, it does work. Online couples therapy offers the same benefits as in-person therapy, but with the added convenience of being able to attend sessions from the comfort of your own home. Research showed that couples who attended online therapy reported improvement in all areas of their relationship, including communication, conflict resolution, and overall satisfaction [5]

The effectiveness of online therapy for couples demonstrates that therapy can be accessible and convenient for individuals who may face barriers to attending in-person sessions, such as transportation, scheduling difficulties and more.

When is the Right Time to Start Couples Therapy?

If you’re finding yourself feeling unhappy in your relationship or noticing warning signs that your marriage may be headed for trouble, it’s important to act quickly. Don’t let small problems turn into big ones by ignoring them. Seeking help now can give you the tools and support you need to improve your relationship and build a stronger, happier future together.

What Are the Advantages of Couples Therapy?

  • Fostering a Shared Perspective  

Too often we see our marriage issues from a black-and-white perspective. Couples therapy prioritises the joint perspective of both partners and leverages their combined efforts to tackle relationship problems, instead of approaching issues from a rigid, black-and-white viewpoint.

  • Stopping the vicious circles of negative attributions

Couples therapy aims to address how our behaviours in a relationship are influenced by multiple factors. For example, infidelity can be a response to a lack of emotional intimacy, not an indicator of someone’s intention to be harmful or of their “treacherous” character. The goal of couples therapy is to break the cycle of negative attributions and examine the underlying reasons behind behaviours.

  • Facilitating communication

Quite often the cause of marriage issues is faulty communication between partners. With the help of a couples therapist, partners can more easily consider the issues from the other’s perspective, which is key to the success of couples counselling. 

  • Learning new, more efficient ways of communicating

Often, it’s not what we say, but how we say it that brings about numerous relationship problems. Couples therapy relies heavily on concepts such as active listening and  empathic, assertive communication, which is essentially learning how to say “no” politely – being respectful and mindful of the partner’s needs – and also how to communicate effectively when one is frustrated and angry, etc.

  • Working as a team to solve the couple’s psychological struggles

Couples therapy works to improve the well-being of the couple as a whole, not as a sum of two individual “well-beings”. Indeed, within a couple, your well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of your partner. It works the same way with responsibility. Rarely it’s only one’s partner’s fault, and, inversely, rarely there are entirely innocent parties when it comes to couples issues. 

Couples therapy isn’t about blaming or pinning responsibility onto one-another, it’s about committing to work together for the benefit of the relationship.

How Long Does Couples Therapy Last?

10 to 12 sessions of couples therapy can lead to significant improvements in most couples. [6]

Some couples may only need a few sessions to resolve minor conflicts, while others may need ongoing therapy to address more complex or deeply ingrained issues. Ultimately, the amount of (and frequency) of therapy should be discussed and agreed upon by both partners and their therapist, taking into account the couple’s goals, progress, and individual schedules.

Is Couples Therapy the Right Choice?

10 to 12 sessions of couples therapy can lead to significant improvements in most couples. [6]

Some couples may only need a few sessions to resolve minor conflicts, while others may need ongoing therapy to address more complex or deeply ingrained issues. Ultimately, the amount of (and frequency) of therapy should be discussed and agreed upon by both partners and their therapist, taking into account the couple’s goals, progress, and individual schedules.

Common Questions About Couples Therapy

What to Expect From Couples Therapy?

Counselling for couples is about helping you to learn how to solve your issues in the present, and thus help prevent them from showing up in the future. You shouldn’t expect a miraculous disappearance of all couples’ difficulties as soon as you start therapy. As we’ve seen, improvement takes time (around 10 sessions) and for it to last you need to continuously apply what you learned while in therapy. While it may seem daunting, taking the first step and booking an initial appointment, may be the start of a journey towards a healthier and happier relationship.

What Happens in Couples Therapy?

After an initial consultation you’ll be able to experience:

  • Collective discussions of issues
  • Discussions of individual issues faced by each partner, including significant past events that have a bearing on present difficulties
  • Skills training (e.g., communication and assertiveness training)
  • Facilitation of communication between partners (psychotherapist acting as a mediator)
  • Collective exercises (e.g., partners are asked to arrange their values in a “couples hierarchy”)
  • Homework (e.g. practising assertive communication; taking time every few days to talk about issues in a specific way; engaging in acts of kindness and compassion towards the partner every now and then, planning dates, etc.)

These are just some of the things that happen in couples therapy. Each therapy is unique and tailored to the needs of clients.

How to Prepare for Your First Therapy Session?

No special preparation necessary, however the following could help you start on the right foot:

  1. Prepare to be honest and open: Being open and transparent about your feelings and experiences can help your therapist get a better understanding of your relationship and identify areas that need improvement.
  2. Identify your goals: Before your session, take some time to think about what you hope to get out of therapy. Having a clear understanding of your goals (and the couple’s) will help you and your therapist work towards resolving your relationship issues.
  3. Come with an open mind: It’s important to approach therapy with an open mind, be willing to listen to your partner’s perspective, and be ready to make changes in yourself to improve your relationship.

How Often Should You Go to Couples Therapy?

Usually, people attend sessions on a weekly basis, although the frequency of sessions can be increased or decreased according to the needs of clients. It may also depend on your availability, the availability of your counsellor or therapist, as well as the intensity of your difficulties. It’s always better to discuss frequency and duration of therapy openly with your partner and therapist.

Can Couples Therapy Save Your Relationship?

If both partners are dedicated to staying in a relationship, and if recommendations given by the therapists are followed, then yes couples therapy can save a marriage or serious intimate relationship. 

However, the success of couples therapy is greatly influenced by the willingness of both partners to work together towards improving their relationship. The therapist can provide guidance and support, but ultimately, it’s up to the couple to implement the changes and make the effort to strengthen their bond. 

While couples therapy may not guarantee a successful outcome, it can certainly provide a platform for couples to address their issues and make positive changes in their relationship.

Is Couples Therapy Worth It?

If your aim is to improve the quality of your marriage, your well-being, and well-being of your partner, then yes couples therapy is definitely worth it.

Our Therapists Specialised in Couples Problems

All of our therapists are qualified psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors registered with several professional bodies. These include the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the British Psychological Society (BPS), as well as BACP, UKCP and BABCP.

Get professional help and Couples Therapy in London or Online today. Contact us for a free 15 min consultation with an expert therapist to see if our help would fit your needs.

Dr. Raffaello Antonino

Clinical Director, Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Sheetal Dandgey

Clinical Director, Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Anna Hovris

Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Alana Whitlock

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Yasmeen Jaina

Counselling Psychologist

Dr Gail Freedman

Counselling Psychologist

Ben Dustin

Psychotherapist

Dr Sidra Chaudhry

Counselling Psychologist

Maryam Keshavarz

Psychotherapist

Dr Joanne Warren

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Nicholas Sarantakis

Counselling Psychologist

Anita Sommers

Psychotherapist

Dr Didem Altay

Counselling Psychologist

Imogen Hg-Johnson

Psychotherapist

Anna Orlowska

Counselling Psychologist

Joanne Videtzky

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Lara Lopes de Jesus

Counselling Psychologist

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Testimonials

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The Therapist l had was absolutely brilliant with me. He had patience with me and bit by bit l gained a little of confidence to try and get out and go on the buses.

He deserves an award and if l could l would in the beginning l thought how is this person going to get me back on public transport but he did he gave me the confidence l lost and now have back.

I will never forget him and what he has done for me. I wish him nothing but the best in his life.

(Patricia)

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My therapist was excellent. I highly recommend her and I am truly thankful for my sessions, I left feeling confident and positive.

The mental tools, systems and approaches I have been able to develop with her and use in my life have been hugely beneficial.

Thank you to all at Therapy Central.

(John)

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The Therapist really gave me the space to talk and express my feelings and fears in a very comforting environment.

She was there not only to listen, but challenge my thinking, guide me during the uncertainty I was experiencing and give me useful and practical tips to improve my mental health and wellbeing. Highly recommended!

(George)

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Working with the therapist has been a life-changing experience. Each session has been invaluable, helping me gain a good understanding of CBT methodology enabling me to incorporate ways to combat stress and anxiety in my daily life.

The Therapist shows that she really cares and has the ability to make you feel calm whilst discussing any personal issue. 

(Richard)

Fees & Insurances

Therapy, Counselling and CBT sessions are 50 minutes long and are usually held at regular weekly time slots.

Free
15 Minute Initial
Phone Consultation

£80 - £125
Psychological Therapy/
Counselling (Self-funded)

£115 - £150
Couples Therapy/
Family Therapy

Covered by
Your Private Healthcare Insurance Provider

Our therapists are registered with several insurance providers, such as AXAPPP, Simplyhealth, Bupa, Aviva, Cigna (UK/US), and WPA. If you wish to use your personal or employee private healthcare insurance to cover your sessions, please highlight this in your contact form below.

Couples Therapy in London & Online

If you’re looking to improve your marriage/long-term intimate relationship, couples counselling will be the right choice for you. Being in a healthy intimate relationship with a partner is one of the most important aspects contributing to our mental health and general well-being. 

Approaching your marriage struggles from the viewpoint of couples therapy is a responsible move towards improving your lives and from there improving the lives of other people around you (i.e. your children, family members, etc.).

Our therapists, here at Therapy Central, will make sure to adapt the couples therapy approach to your couple’s specific needs to address the special circumstances and context of your struggles. 

Get professional couples therapy in London today and online. 

Contact us for a free 15 min consultation with one of our associates to see if our help would fit your needs. You can also get in touch via email at info@therapy-central.com or call us at (+44) 020 348 82797.

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    FAQ

    What happens after I make an enquiry?

    After receiving your enquiry we’ll contact you to organise a FREE phone consultation. You will be able to tell us more about your specific circumstances and needs and ask any questions you have. Then, if you want to proceed with therapy or counselling, we’ll match you with the therapist(s) with the best expertise to help you with your challenges and send you a list of their available appointment slots. If you’re satisfied with one of these, we can then go ahead and book your first appointment. You can also request to work with a specific practitioner and, depending on availability we’ll try accomodate this.

    What happens at my first appointment with the therapist?

    Your first session will likely be different than future appointments. You and your therapist will get to know each other and will begin to build a working alliance. It will be a chance to have the confidential space to express your circumstances, feelings and thoughts and being listened to with depth, attention, empathy and without judgement . Your therapist will likely ask you more about your reasons for seeking therapy, and any symptoms you’re experiencing. You may also be asked questions about your past and the history of your issues, as well as how they currently impact your life in the present. Finally, your first session may be a powerful place to discuss what you would like to achieve with therapy and agree on the length, methods and approaches of treatment.

    Is online therapy effective?

    If you choose online over in-person therapy rest assured that this has been proven to be just as effective as regular face to face therapy, and in some cases even more effective. In addition, choosing online therapy brings additional benefits, for example avoiding longer waiting times, greater flexibility with appointments and you won’t need to travel to our practice. You can enjoy online therapy from the comfort of your home.

    How long the Therapy/counselling sessions last?

    Therapy/counselling sessions last 50 minutes and are held at regular weekly time slots. On occasions we are able to allow some flexibility. This can be discussed with your therapist.

    Do you offer reduced rates/concessions?

    We offer low-cost rates to people with a low income, unemployed or students. Please let us know in your enquiry if you would like a concession rate and how you qualify for this. Depending on the availability of our therapists, we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

    Do you have a cancellation policy?

    We have a 48 hours no-fee cancellation policy. However you will be charged for sessions missed without giving the full notice.

    Our Practice in Central London

    Our comfortable and confidential therapy rooms are conveniently located 3 min walk from Oxford Circus station, in Central London (see map below). Change starts with Talking!

    References:

    [1] Bodenmann, G., Kessler, M., Kuhn, R., Hocker, L., & Randall, A. K. (2020). Cognitive-behavioral and emotion-focused couple therapy: Similarities and differences. Clinical Psychology in Europe, 2(3), 1-12.

    [2] Scharff, D. E., & Scharff, J. S. (2018). An overview of psychodynamic couple therapy. Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy, 3-24.

    [3] Paivio, S. C., & Greenberg, L. S. (1995). Resolving” unfinished business”: efficacy of experiential therapy using empty-chair dialogue. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63(3), 419.

    [4] Byrne, M., Carr, A. & Clark, M. The Efficacy of Behavioral Couples Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couple Distress. Contemp Fam Ther 26, 361–387 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-004-0642-9

    [5] Doss, B. D., Knopp, K., Roddy, M. K., Rothman, K., Hatch, S. G., & Rhoades, G. K. (2020). Online programs improve relationship functioning for distressed low-income couples: Results from a nationwide randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88(4), 283.

    [6] Baucom, D. H. (1982). A comparison of behavioral contracting and problem-solving/communications training in behavioral marital therapy. Behavior Therapy, 13(2), 162-174.

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