Couples therapy for depression

What is couples therapy for depression?

Couples therapy for depression is an evidence-based therapy for people with mild to moderate depression where the depression is having an impact on the relationship, or the relationship is having an impact on the depression.

Relationships have an effect on our overall wellbeing. Creating fulfilling relationships that enrich the quality of our lives can be challenging and going through relationship difficulties can be extremely painful and can lead to a sense of feeling hopeless or alone. Particularly if our partner would be the person we would usually talk to and work things through with.

People experiencing relationship difficulties can also struggle with depression. This may be due to a number of reasons. It could be due to stress and pressures such as money, work, children, or ill health. There could be life changes taking place for example, having a baby, moving house, or losing your job.

What you can expect

Couples therapy for depression is carried out over 16 to 20 weekly sessions. The first few sessions include assessment both as a couple and as individuals. This is to start to build a picture of what you are experiencing as a couple, how depression affects your relationship and to start to identify the patterns that occur within your relationship.

This assessment process will enable us to identify how couples therapy for depression may be able to help you work towards your goals for your relationship and for reducing your depression.

Following your assessment sessions, your therapist will meet with you for a formulation session to talk about these areas and to determine if couples therapy for depression would be the most helpful therapy for you at this time.

It may be that couples therapy for depression is not for you at this point, in which case we will discuss other therapy options that may be more suitable. If this is the case, couples therapy may still be beneficial to you in the future.

How can couples therapy help?

Couples therapy for depression can help you to:

  • better understand yourself and your partner
  • help to identify and address unhelpful patterns within the relationship
  • reduce the symptoms of depression
  • deepen the connection between you and your partner

What we work with

Couples therapy is for people in a committed relationship, where one or both partners have mild to moderate depression. You and your partner must both be willing to work on your relationship.

What we do not work with

  • Drugs or alcohol issues.
  • Porn or gambling addictions.
  • Current domestic abuse.
  • If you are currently in individual therapy with another service.
  • Severe depression or high risk of self-harm or suicide. We would advise individual therapy if this were the case.

Does it work?

Couples therapy for depression has great outcomes and can be highly effective at both treating depression and increasing satisfaction within relationships.

It is challenging work. We expect you to be willing to put the time and effort into working on your relationship.

You can expect us to bring knowledge and tools on relationships and depression and to work with you as a couple as you make changes within your relationship.

My partner would like me to do couples therapy but I’m not sure

People can be reluctant to engage in couples therapy for a number of reasons.

Difficulties could have been going on for a long time or there is a sense that there has been too much hurt and pain and it can seem like the relationship is past the point of no return. Couples can sometimes be surprised how couples therapy can help to facilitate changes, even to long-term situations and/or patterns they are experiencing.

For some, there may be a fear that they will be blamed for all the problems, or they blame themselves for the issues within the relationship. Couples therapy for depression is not about assigning blame. In fact, the opposite, through the process there will be time to learn communication tools to help to increase empathy and understanding between each other.

“My friend went to couples therapy and their therapist kept taking their partner’s side.”

Couples therapy for depression is about working on the relationship and the pattern between the couple. It is not about focusing on one person. It is about the 2 of you together working as a team on changing the dynamic within the relationship.

How do I register for couples therapy for depression?

  • Call 01208 871 905.
  • Complete a self-referral form and tell the therapist at your assessment appointment that you are interested in couples therapy for depression.

If your partner has already registered their interest with us, please also state your partner’s name and date on birth when you fill out the form or call in, so that we can connect you both on our system.

Download the couples therapy for depression information leaflet (PDF, 484 KB)