You are here

Couple Counselling

Couple Counselling
A Practical Guide

April 2010 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Couple Counselling outlines the essential principles and practices of couple counselling. Demystifying this form of therapy, the author provides a step-by-step guide from the first meeting through to subsequent sessions. The book includes a wealth of supporting features including case examples, student exercises, points for reflection and memory-jog pages to use in practice. As well as chapters illustrating counselling for problems frequently experienced by couples, such as sexual difficulties, infidelity, violence and abuse, key content includes:

  • cultural differences in couples work
  • varieties of committed relationships
  • responses to specific difficulties
  • ethical issues that arise as a result of working with two people
  • gender differences in relation to the counsellor's own sexuality and/or gender 
  • the value of training courses and supervision
  • persons' narratives as a basis for change

This book comprises a sound basis for one-to-one practitioners wishing to expand their expertise and practice of therapy into working with couples, and for students training in this mode of counselling.

Individual Counselling and Couple Counselling
Narrative Therapy
Culturally Formed Attitudes towards Couple Relationships
Counselling Couples of a Different Sexuality, Age or Cultural Background from the Counsellor
The First Joint Session Framework
Subsequent Joint Sessions
Subsequent Individual Sessions
Advanced Practices
Tensions That Escalate to Crisis Point
Problems with Friends and Family Members
Sexual Difficulties
Violence and Abuse

'This book is well overdue and fills a gap in the market for accessible, pragmatic and sophisticated writing about therapy with couples. This book is inclusive, user-friendly and manages to make links with other approaches where others see divisions' -
Mark HaywardInstitute of Narrative Therapy

'I strongly recommend this book to any individual counsellor who wants to work effectively with couples, and also to any couple counsellor who wants to enrich their practice' -
Barry Bowen, Systemic Psychotherapist

An excellent book for students training to work with couples. Lots of case examples as well as learning exercises that include roles plays and discussions. I will definitely be incorporating some of these into my class sessions as well as recommending this book to students.

Ms Rosie Byrom
Health , Riverside College Halton
February 1, 2016

a basic solid guide to begin looking at couple therapy

Mr Gerry O'Riordan
faculty of counselling, Chichester University
September 2, 2015

A good textbook for working with couples. A practical guide to working with couples with good examples.

Mrs Jade Mullen
Counselling and Psychotherapy, PCI College
February 11, 2015

This publication is outstanding! It helpfully guides the practitioner through the transistion from indivudal counselling to working with couples together with discussing the strucutre of the first session and beyond.
I highly recommend this publication for anyone interested in developing from individual to couples counselling.

Mr Richard Carroll
School of Health , Guildford College
July 18, 2014

This is a great resource for those involved in couple counselling, not only from a counselling professional perspective, but also for those involved in counselling couples in different settings.

Mrs Connie Mcluckie
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care (Sighth, Edinburgh Napier University
November 13, 2013

I will recommend this to any of my Diploma students who have an interest in working with couples. I have also found it useful for my own practice.

Ms Anne Martin
Counselling Department, Guildford College of Further and Higher Education
May 13, 2013

Couple counselling is not taught as a stand alone course, but part of. Therefore this book, gave an overall view of couple counselling that was easy to understand and shared some very useful insight and tips.

Ms Annetta Bowden
Please select your department, Please select your institution
April 10, 2012

This is a good basic handbook and practical guide, setting out the process of narrative therapy with couples clearly and with many case illustrations. Academically, however, it is rather too basic for level 7 students

Mrs Valerie Sanders
Counselor Education , University of Greenwich
July 17, 2011

Useful but as there is not much provision for couple work in the NHS we focus much more on CBT using your Westbrook et al text

Sarah Osborne
Please select your department, Please select your institution
March 31, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.