Certificate in Couple / Relationship Therapy

This 8-day certificate course, facilitated by Cabby Laffy and her daughter Shana Laffy, is designed for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists who would like to become qualified and skilled in working therapeutically with couples and other relationships.

Course overview:

This course is designed for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists who would like to qualify and become more skilled in working therapeutically with couples or other adult relationships. For therapists who don’t yet work with couples or relationships, this is a great way to start doing so – because this course provides a solid foundation where the existing scope of practice in working with adult clients as individuals. This training is also really useful for practitioners who are already working with couples and relationships – as a way to gain certification by cementing their skills and add new perspectives from theory and group discussion and experiential practice to experiment with new material. Either way, it provides a certification and 50-60 CPD hours giving you confidence in this area of practice.

The format is an 8-day certificate training over 2-day monthly blocks either on a Friday and Saturday or other intakes are on Saturday and Sunday. Some intakes are facilitated by Cabby Laffy and her daughter Shana Laffy. Other intakes are led by Elliot Davis and Sarah Briggs. Our trainers have extensive training and experience in working with intimate partner relationships, or supervising this scope of work.

This is a foundation training for practitioners to become more confident and capable in working with couples or other forms of intimate relationship (or adult family members). Through teaching and experiential work, including role-plays and skills practice you will gain some insights and tools to work with the dynamics of relationships, as well as common issues arising in couple therapy – such as desire, conflict, potential separation, lack of relationship vision, communication blocks, endings.

The course will include an introduction to working with sexually diverse couples, other forms of relationship in addition to couples, common presenting problems, such as differing sexual desire and managing conflict in relationships, a consideration of the therapeutic meaning of clients’ presenting issues, what may be achievable and a presentation of different models of working with relationships. The programme covers an introduction to psychosexual issues, with a greater emphasis on relational work.

The course description is intended to be inclusive of GSRD (Gender & Sexual & Relationship Diversity) to encompass intimate relationships other than couples, such as polyamory or open relationships or multi-party sexual encounters. After completing this course, therapists may choose to work with family relationships among adult family members, such as siblings or parent-child dialogues. However, unless the therapist is already qualified in working with children and adolescents or families, this course in our view is insufficient training for working therapeutically with the dynamics of children or families.

About this course

  • Course Duration:8 days
  • Next intake:Autumn 2024
    (Autumn 2024 intake on Zoom, Winter 2024 intake on Zoom, Spring 2025 in-person at NCVO)
  • CPD Value:50 Hours
  • Level:Certificate (Level 5 equivalence)
  • Fee:£1,500 + VAT
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Student comments about this course
Jude's experience on the Couple/Relationship therapy training

The course is designed for two categories of learner (everyone atteding is a qualified therapist):

  1. Those who are new to couple work or have not yet started, to gain additional skills.
  2. Therapists who are already working with intimate partner relationships / couples as an additional certification and distillation of knowledge.

Feedback from prior participants is that the course is a valuable exchange of practical skills and perspectives on ways of working – whether intimate relationship/couple therapy is part of their practice yet or not.

We create study buddy groups which are a smaller set of people with whom you spend time during the course. Prior students tell us that these groups often carry on meeting way beyond the lifetime of the course. Course attendees can also connect with other course members from the full group if they wish, which is useful for referrals, networking, or peer support outside the course time.

Through teaching and experiential work, including role-plays and skills practice you will gain some insights and tools to work with the dynamics of a couple client, as well as common issues arising in couple therapy or working with other forms of intimate relationship.

This Certificate in Couple/Relationship Therapy is awarded by The Grove Practice as evidence of 50 hours of CPD in this field, giving confidence to the therapist about an ethical stance for their scope of practice – with evidence of having undertaken relevant training.

To give reassurance to the clients, the therapist can describe themselves as having taken relevant specialised training in couple/relationship therapy.

As with any topic, there’s always more depth and breadth to study. This CPD course is a foundation or a refresher, rather than a multi-year deeper training.

The course content is intended to slot in alongside each therapist’s existing training background, theoretical model, or modality.  This approach is intended to be complementary in the context of prior learning or theoretical model.

It is an integrative syllabus, based on person-centred values and humanistic psychology, with reference to psychodynamic concepts.

The main model is a homeodynamic one, linking brain / mind / body / emotions, per the LoveSex book written by the course author Cabby Laffy.

We also draw upon couple therapy models such as Gottman, Imago, Bader-Pearson, as well as attachment theory and developmental psychology.

A full reading list will be provided as well as materials for each month’s module during the course.

This is an overview of the course content.

  • Introduction to working with relationships: Expectations, for therapists and for couples. Awareness of counter transference
  • Beginnings: Assessments. Contracts. History taking.
  • The Dynamics of working in Triads: Triads, Drama Triangle. Psychosocial development.
  • Philosophies and beliefs: Theories about working with relationships. Stages in relationship and life issues.
  • Working with Difference: Sexual diversity. Shame. Transference.
  • Desire, differentiation and conflict: Sexual desire and its connection with differentiation. Managing conflict in the therapy room.
  • Communication: Teaching and modelling Communication skills. Winner’s Triangle and Assertiveness.
  • Endings: Importance of Endings. Review of what you have learnt.

This course has a bio-psycho-social underpinning – whereby the body’s physiology and the client’s psychological process are considered within the sociological context. The training has a sex-positive philosophy, in which sex has a valid place within therapeutic work.

Written materials are provided throughout the course, containing theory as context for the learning. Each set of materials is intended as preparatory reading before each weekend of the course. The materials are accompanied by practice-based tips for working therapeutically with this client group. Although a reading list is provided, there is no formal requirement for further reading – although additional reading is recommended to enhance your professional development subsequent to the course.

There are two options for taking this course. The first is by attendance only, where learning is absorbed by participation during the course days. For this option, there is no assessment other than attendance and participation. This route leads to the Certificate in Couple/Relationship Therapy awarded by The Grove.

The other option leads to the COSRT Level 5 accredited certification. This involves undertaking a written assignment of up to 2,500 words, with two quizzes on course content, along with watching a safeguarding video. The Certificate is awarded by The Grove, with an additional narrative and logo indicating that the assessments for the COSRT Level 5 certification have been achieved. Students can choose this option at any time during the course days.

A fee of £150 to cover administration and assignment marking is payable for the optional COSRT Level 5  certification.

An upgrade to COSRT Level 5 certification is possible for those who completed a prior intake, or who wish to take the written assignments after their course has completed, by payment of the additional fee of £150.

But please note that the COSRT Level 5 certification is available only for people who have taken the full 8-day training with The Grove. This is because the assignments rely on material taught specifically on The Grove’s course and the COSRT course accreditation is awarded to The Grove on that basis.

We also recommend that any practitioner who provides couple/relationship therapy seeks supervision from a suitably qualified professional, to support this important area of work.

The award of the Certificate in Couple/Relationship Therapy will be issued upon completion of the course, provided that a minimum 80% attendance has been met and the course fee has been paid in full. If these criteria are not met, a CPD attendance letter will be provided – or the student can submit a written reflective piece covering the content that has been missed, which will be marked before the full Certificate award is issued.

A digital certificate is provided as a matter of routine. Paper certificates despatched by Royal Mail are available upon request. Replacement certificates are available on request.

The 8-day Certificate course is taught over 4 x 2-day blocks on the following Friday and Saturday dates in Spring 2024:

1 & 2 March
5 & 6 April
3 & 4 May
7 & 8 June

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm.

This intake is currently underway, and is now closed for applications. If you are interested in taking this course in-person, please see the Spring 2025 intake for available dates.

This intake is now at full capacity, with waiting list places available only. To secure your place on the next available Zoom intake, please apply for Winter 2024.

The course will be held entirely online on Zoom, being taught by Cabby Laffy and Shana Laffy.

The 8-day Certificate course is taught over 4 x 2-day blocks on the following Friday and Saturday dates in Autumn 2024:

6 & 7 September
11 & 12 October
8 & 9 November
6 & 7 December

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm.

We are accepting applications for this intake which will be held entirely online on Zoom, being taught by Elliot Davis and Sarah Briggs.

Please note this intake will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The 8-day Certificate course is taught over 4 x 2-day blocks on the following Saturday and Sunday dates in Winter 2024 going into early 2025:

9 & 10 November 2024
7 & 8 December 2024
18 & 19 January 2025
15 & 16 February 2025

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm.

We are now accepting applications for this intake in 2025, which will be held entirely in person at the training venue NCVO in London, being taught by Cabby Laffy and Shana Laffy.

The 8-day Certificate course is taught over 4 x 2-day blocks on the following Friday and Saturday dates in Spring 2025:

14 & 15 March
11 & 12 April
9 & 10 May
6 & 7 June

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm.

We are now accepting applications for this intake in 2025, which will be held entirely online on Zoom, being taught by Cabby Laffy and Shana Laffy.

The 8-day Certificate course is taught over 4 x 2-day blocks on the following Friday and Saturday dates in Autumn 2025:

5 & 6 September
3 & 4 October
7 & 8 November
5 & 6 December

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm.

Certification by The Grove including verification of 50 CPD hours:
£1,500 + VAT = £1,800 payable in full or by instalments.
Everyone who completes the course satisfactorily will receive this certification.

COSRT Level 5 certification:
There is an additional fee of £125 + VAT = £150 to cover marking and administration of the assignments required for the COSRT Level 5 award. This is an optional extra. An updated certificate will be issued when satisfactory marking of the assignments has been completed, as detailed in the course handbook.

After paying the deposit of £480 including VAT, the remainder of the fee can be paid by instalments as indicated on the invoice usually reaching the full total by 6 weeks before the final weekend of the training.

The course fee includes all training materials and the CPD certificate.

Some reduced-fee places may be awarded depending on student circumstances, subject to availability. The course fee can also be invoiced fully or partially to an employer or funding organisation. Please contact us for details.

This information is applicable for courses attended in person.

Tea and coffee and water are served during each day of the course.

A light sandwich lunch is served each day. This includes fillings with meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options. Please let us know if you have particular dietary requirements such as gluten-free.

Alternatively, there are many cafes and restaurants near the venue  such as at Kings Cross station or in York Way, where different lunch options can be purchased if preferred.

Please note that only food and drink served by the venue may be consumed on the premises.

Couple/Relationship therapy training

Coincidentally, I took on my first couple during the course and found what I had learnt was invaluable, particularly around contracting and the initial session.

Andrew

2020 Couple/Relationship course student

Prefer to study in person?

Enrol for the Spring 2024 intake

Venue details: NCVO in London N1

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Meet the trainers

Please check the details for each intake, showing which of our talented team of tutors will be teaching.

Cabby Laffy

UKCP registered and NCP accredited Psychotherapist

Cabby Laffy has been a facilitator of training and workshops since 1991.

Shana Laffy – C/R

Qualified Integrative Creative Arts Therapist

Shana Laffy is a qualified integrative creative arts therapist.

Elliot Davis

Director

Elliot Davis is a UKCP-registered psychotherapist working with couples and relationships.

Sarah Briggs

Sarah Briggs

Director and core tutor

Polly McAfee

Graduate of the Diploma in Integrative Psychosexual Therapy

Polly McAfee is is a graduate of the Diploma in Integrative Psychosexual Therapy.

Application criteria

Applicants are expected to be qualified and experienced professionals in a mental health or helping profession, who are established in their practice. This will be covered in the application form. All applicants are expected to:

  • be qualified and experienced in their field
  • be full members of their professional body (such as but not limited to BACP, UKCP, COSRT, BPS, AHPP, NCP, NCS, ACC)
  • hold professional liability insurance
  • have supervision arrangements in place for their client work as well as access to support for any clinical or organisation practice they undertake during the course

Professional standards

The Grove Practice is accredited by NCIP (National Council for Integrative Psychotherapists) as a CPD training centre. As such, all The Grove’s courses are awarded NCIP accreditation for CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

This accreditation provides reassurance regarding high standards of teaching and course content.

 

Participants who successfully complete this course can use this training certificate as evidence of CPD hours required for ongoing membership of COSRT.

The Grove’s Certificate in Couple/Relationship Therapy has been awarded Thematic Training Accreditation by COSRT at Level 5. This accreditation is a mark of endorsement by a leading professional body in the UK, mapping in equivalence to the RQF levels regulated by OfQual – although The Grove’s courses are not Ofqual-regulated. Please note that the course is accredited (not the learner). This course on its own does not infer membership or accreditation by COSRT. Please refer to COSRT’s criteria for membership and practitioner accreditation. This course in itself is unlikely to fulfil COSRT’s requirements for full membership as a sexual and relationship therapist. Each participant’s background and qualifications may differ. So the recommendation by The Grove is to check the COSRT membership requirements to see how you stand.

This course is taught at Level 5 equivalence. This is a post-qualification training which requires theoretical evaluation, self-reflection, and interpretation of how to apply the models in mental health settings such as clinical practice or multi-disciplinary teams in organisations. The Grove is setting its own courses at a training level in line with industry-wide language for evaluating the academic level of the course.

The Grove’s courses have been successfully recognised as CPD for members of the following membership bodies: BACP, UKCP, COSRT, NCP, NCPS, AHPP, ACC, BPS, among others. Organisations such as universities, schools and colleges, several NHS trusts, Relate, MIND, and Place2B have also supported some of their therapists in taking training with The Grove. This is a mark of unofficial validation of our courses as worthy of being listed on the CPD logs by members these organisations and therapists.

We are proud of the multi-disciplinary nature of our courses, where learners from a variety of mental health backgrounds and other related fields are welcome, subject to fulfilling our application criteria.

About this course

  • Course Duration:8 days
  • Next intake:Autumn 2024
    (Autumn 2024 intake on Zoom, Winter 2024 intake on Zoom, Spring 2025 in-person at NCVO)
  • CPD Value:50 Hours
  • Level:Certificate (Level 5 equivalence)
  • Fee:£1,500 + VAT
Apply
Do you have a question? Get in touch with a member of the team who will be happy to help

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