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Post Qualification Certificate in Behavioural Couples Therapy

Post Qualification Certificate in Behavioural Couples Therapy


Post Qualification Certificate in Behavioural Couples Therapy

Next Intake: March 2022

Train in Cognitive Behavioural Couples Therapy and add this evidence based intervention to your clinical skills! Applications are invited for our Post Qualification Certificate in Behavioural Couples therapy, which is a recent addition to our continuing professional development programme. This Course will be ideal for experienced CBT practitioners who are seeking to develop their skills in working with couples to reduce couple distress and improve outcomes where one partner has a psychological problem. Behavioural Couples Therapy (BCT) is an evidence-based psychological treatment that has acquired a significant amount of empirical support for the benefits it provides, both in terms of reducing couple distress and in improving specific psychological disorders, such as depression. BCT is distinct from, but complements, individual CBT using a range of methods to enhance relationship well-being as well as reduce individual psychological distress. The Programme comprises a five-day intensive training followed by on-going monthly small group supervision for 12 months.

​The programme is currently being delivered online over 5 Fridays . Applicants need to be able to attend all 5 days of this workshop in order to complete the programme. The 5 day workshop consists of lectures, demonstration of key interventions and experiential practice. Following the 5 day workshop trainees attend small group clinical supervision on a fortnightly basis. The supervision component consists of 20 sessions. Supervision sessions are held online.

The aim of the Programme is to equip candidates with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to provide effective Behavioural Couples Therapy. The formal teaching sessions include didactic, experiential and small group work. The supervision then enables candidates to consolidate their competences and consider how to adapt practice to the needs of their service setting.

Competencies covered include:

  • Assessing and conceptualising couple functioning
  • Identifying cognitive and behavioural factors in couple distress
  • Developing couple-based interventions
  • Strategies to regulate emotional experience and expression
  • Enhancing couple communication skills
  • Addressing the physical relationship

The training comprises three core elements:

  1. Attendance at, and satisfactory completion of, the initial five day BCT training workshop;
  2. Participation in, and satisfactory completion of, one year of monthly supervised BCT experience to cover three completed interventions with a minimum of three couples, each of which receives a minimum of nine sessions;
  3. Self-directed learning.

On successful completion of the Course, participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principles and methods of BCT as relevant to the understanding of both couple distress and psychopathology (this includes but is not restricted to depression);
  2. Understand how the primary principles and methods of CBT can be extended to incorporate a focus on couple functioning;
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of how psychopathology manifests within, and impacts on, couple functioning within a CBT framework;
  4. Demonstrate a working knowledge of, and competence in, applying BCT interventions that are central to working effectively with relationship distress, depression, and other forms of psychopathology;
  5. Assess the suitability of couple therapy for alleviating psychopathology;
  6. Develop, manage, and maintain the therapeutic process with couples;
  7. Conceptualise, manage, and maintain the therapeutic alliance in the context of high levels of couple distress and conflict, and work effectively with disruptions to the therapeutic process as they arise;
  8. Demonstrate the capacity to work with differences between partners, and between couples’ and therapists’ perspectives on relationship functioning, taking multicultural factors into account.

The formal training is provided by Professor Don Baucom, Dr Michael Worrell and Dr Melanie Fischer. Professor Don Baucom, from the University of North Carolina, is a leading world expert on Behavioural Couples Therapy, who has been actively involved in developing theoretical, research and clinical approaches to couple-based interventions from a CBT perspective since 1976.

Assessment is continuous throughout the programme and includes formal feedback on competence in both experiential practice and through formal evaluations of therapy recordings using a competence scale developed specifically to assess clinical competence in BCT. Trainees need to treat a minimum of 3 couples during the course of the 12 month programme. Trainees complete 3 case reports on their work with 3 different couples and also submit a clinical portfolio at the end of the programme.

Participants undertaking the Course will be experienced CBT therapists. Additional selection criteria are that:

  1. Participants are BABCP accredited therapists at the time of application;
  2. Participants are committed to adhering to BABCP’s Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics;
  3. Participants are able and willing to take time to complete the requirements of the training in full;
  4. Participants have secured the support of their manager to complete the five day training and subsequent supervision components
  5. Participants have the capacity to access couples (training cases) through their place of work.

It is not necessary for participants to have had prior experience of working with couples prior to enrolling on this course.


Fees for the December 2021 intake are TBC


To apply for this programme please complete the application form that can be downloaded here

Please post the completed form including copies of degrees or certificates to:

Admissions Tutor, Psychology Department, 7A Woodfield Road, London W9 2NW

Please contact Dr Michael Worrell at for further information