Couples counselling training is really important if you want to work effectively with couples.
Working with couples is not the same as working with individuals because there are two people in the room, not one!
You cannot apply a modality that is focused on an individual to a couple and be effective.
With a couple you are working with the relationship.
In Imago Relationship Therapy we call this the Space Between.
Your job is to provide safety in the therapy room. Without this both members of the couple will not be able to connect and are likely to default back to their survival behaviours effectively killing any progress in the work you are doing with them.
You need to be confident and in charge as a couples counsellor. This gives the couple reassurance that you know what you are doing and takes the pressure off them. They can see that you will manage the session.
You need a good understanding of how primary partnerships are formed and how they may be different to other relationships individuals have.
You will use this model in your work with the couple.
Training in couples counselling at The Affinity Centre with me will teach you the following skills:
How to create safety in the therapy room.
How to bring a couple into connection once the safety has been established.
What to do if one member of the couple is very reactive.
How to work with affairs.
What homework to give couples to improve their relationships.
How to focus on the positive aspects of the relationship to help the couple heal and grow together.
I offer two options for couples counselling training.
The Introduction To Couples Counselling is a two day course that will teach you the basics of what you need to think about when working with couples.
The first day concentrates on how you bring safety into the therapy room for both you and your couple.
The second day focuses on getting your couple into connection.
The course takes concepts from Imago Relationship Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and explains how you could use them to work with couples.
Given that I am an Imago Relationship Therapist, there is a bias towards that modality in the teaching.
The Clinical Training In Imago Relationship Therapy is a twelve day training that leads to qualification as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist once all criteria have been met after the teaching component is completed.
This is the course that will teach you both the theory and practice of working with couples in sufficient depth to enable you to be confident and competent with your relationship work in the therapy room.
The theory aspect of the training will give you a deep understanding of how couples interact and why they get stuck.
The practice element will give you an opportunity to develop your skills as a couples therapist with regular feedback so you can see what you did well and how you can improve.
From an ethical perspective, if you say that you work with couples then you need to have solid couples counselling training to honour the couple that sit before you.
Couples do not come into therapy lightly. They need to know that they are in good hands and that they can to trust you. They are bringing one of the most important things they have to you; their relationship.
Make sure you take this responsibility seriously by having a clear model of couples counselling to work with.
Make sure the session is structured, positive and supportive. This will give the couple hope and make them feel safe.
You will get to this high level of practice by first having high quality couples counselling training. Then, follow this up with regular supervision for your couples work with a supervisor that works with couples.