Start your journey to a happier, healthier relationship with Couple Therapy for Depression
Depression can impact every part of our lives – especially our closest relationships. If a troubled relationship could be contributing to you or your partner's low mood, we are here to help.
Couple Therapy for Depression (CTfD) is an evidence-based, effective therapy for depression, designed to help you and your partner understand your emotions and feel closer in your relationship.
From communication breakdown or an absence of teamwork to a lack of affection or intimacy, our qualified therapists will support you with your relationship goals. Together we can help you overcome your difficulties and create a successful foundation for your future.
Learn to manage feelings of low mood
Resolve challenges in your relationship
Improve communication with your partner
Gain a better understanding of each other’s feelings
Become closer and stronger as a couple
How Couple Therapy for Depression could help you
Managing depression when in a relationship can be hard for anyone. When one or both of you find it hard to cope, it can chip away at your foundation, and cause conflicts that maintain your low mood. Couple Therapy for Depression is designed to help you rebuild together.
People living in troubled relationships are at least twice as likely to experience depression
How can your relationship be affected by depression?
If you or your partner have felt depressed for a while, this may be having a strain on your relationship. While everyone’s situation is unique, you may struggle with:
- Poor communication and frequent arguments
- Being stuck in a cycle of complaining
- Working as a team or collaborating
- A lack of trust or increased jealousy
- A lack of intimacy or interest in sex
- Feeling more distant from each other
Overcome the challenges harming your relationship
Couple Therapy for Depression helps you come to terms with what is causing your low mood and develop techniques to manage these day to day. You also regain and learn new skills that support the future of your relationship:
- Build better communication and teamwork
- Gain a greater awareness of each other’s needs
- Be more understanding of yours and your partner’s differences
- Avoid getting stuck in negative, repeating patterns
- Feel better prepared for life changes, such as having children or bereavements
- Gain a more stable family life
- Improve your sexual intimacy and chemistry
How effective is Couple Therapy for Depression?
As a NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) approved and evidence-based therapy, our couple counselling for depression is a highly effective treatment for relationship problems related to mild or moderate depression.
of people who complete this therapy recover from their depression and anxiety
of severe depressive episodes can be prevented if a couple’s relationship improves
We found our Couple Therapist very friendly, professional and helpful in helping us to communicate and bringing us closer together, putting the spark back into our marriage. We found new ways to talk, express, trust and be there to lift each other when the need arises. The initial process was difficult, but worth the time and effort. Like any therapy, it can be upsetting, but also rewarding. We cannot thank our therapist enough for her help in rebuilding our relationship which is now stronger than ever. Would highly recommend Couple Therapy to anyone who is struggling in a relationship. It definitely worked for us.
How does Couple Therapy for Depression work?
Our service is available to any couple where:
- One or both partners struggle with mild to moderate depression
- The depression is maintained by problems in their relationship
- Both partners live together
- Both are committed to doing this together
Your therapist will tailor your treatment plan to support your recovery and relationship goals.
Telephone assessments for both you and your partner
Once you reach out to us, we will be in touch to arrange confidential telephone assessments with both you and your partner. This helps us understand your thoughts and feelings ahead of the first session with your therapist so we can better guide your treatment.
It is essential for you and your partner to complete this assessment before we can start therapy, so please ensure you are both prepared to do these within a similar time frame.
Establishing your challenges and goals
Your first few sessions with your Couples Therapist for Depression will be a holistic assessment of your experiences and the challenges in your relationship. This will include one-on-one sessions with each partner to understand your struggles and what you hope to gain from therapy.
From here, your therapist will reflect everything discussed to you and your partner, establish goals and outline your individualised depression treatment. These initial sessions will help you both feel comfortable with your therapist and familiarise yourself with our collaborative approach.
Intervention sessions promoting acceptance
The following sessions will prioritise acceptance of yours and your partner’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Attending sessions together, will allow you to gain a greater understanding of each other’s circumstances and differences, with the goal of becoming more aware and accepting of your needs in your relationship.
Whether you often argue over money, sex or parenting, or don’t feel like you can confide in each other – we will understand your concerns to then make positive changes.
Intervention sessions focused on change
After this, greater attention will be placed on making positive, meaningful changes to your wellbeing and your relationship. Depending on your situation, this could include exercises for improving communication, teamwork, problem-solving or intimacy, all designed around your unique goals and challenges.
This will also include exercises we ask you to complete between sessions, to establish positive patterns and behaviours for the future of your relationship.
The final sessions of your course will be aimed at ‘relapse prevention’. Here your therapist will work with you and your partner to reinforce the lessons, skills and techniques learned across the previous sessions to help prevent you falling back into your old habits.
This is to help ensure that you maintain the healthy changes to support your mood and your relationship in the long term.
Am I depressed?
Everyone’s experience of depression is different, and you may be unsure if it is affecting you, your partner, or both. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression to help you understand if it is impacting you and your relationship.
Our evidence-based therapy is designed for couples suffering with mild to moderate depression. If you or your partner are at a very low point and need immediate help, visit our crisis page or contact your GP for an emergency appointment.
Access Couple Therapy for Depression in Essex
Therapy For You’s free Couple Therapy for Depression service is accessible in our North East and South East Essex catchment areas. If you are registered with a GP in the Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point and Rochford regions, we are ready to help you.
Couple Therapy for Depression in North East Essex
Here are the areas and postcodes covered by our mental health services, available for anyone aged 16 or over.
- West Mersea
Couple Therapy for Depression in South East Essex
Here are the areas and postcodes covered by our mental health services, available for anyone aged 18 or over.
- Canvey Island
- Castle Point
Have any questions about Couple Therapy for Depression?
We understand that starting Couple Therapy for Depression can feel like a significant step, and that you may want to know everything you can before beginning. Here we have provided some answers to our most frequently asked questions.
What is Couple Therapy for Depression (CTfD)?
Couple Therapy for Depression (CTfD) is an integrative, NICE-approved, evidence-based talking therapy, which helps individuals with mild to moderate depression address the emotional challenges causing a strain on their relationship.
This therapeutic approach for couples has proven to be highly effective in improving the wellbeing of individuals and the stability of relationships
How can I support my partner with depression?
If your partner is struggling with low mood or depressed, please encourage them to reach out to our service. Even if it is not having a negative impact on your relationship, our individual therapy sessions for depression can help them understand, manage and recover from their feelings of low mood.
Other ways you can support a partner with depression include:
- Talking to them to check how they are feeling
- Educating yourself about depression
- Doing things together to encourage healthy habits
- Helping them create a routine to reduce stress levels
- Providing positive reinforcement
- Being an active listener to their needs and concerns
Will all Couple Therapy for Depression sessions be held together?
Almost all sessions will be conducted with both members of the relationship present. The only exceptions are two early sessions that are held one at a time to help your therapist better understand each person’s background, thoughts and perspectives.
From here, it is vital that you and your partner attend all sessions. Without both of you present, you will not be able to work on the difficulties affecting your relationship, or gain a better understanding of each other’s feelings. You will also be given tasks and exercises to work on together between sessions that focus on achieving your individual and shared goals.
Both you and your partner must be fully committed to therapy for it to have a successful outcome.
Who is Couple Therapy for Depression for?
To be eligible for Couple Therapy for Depression, you should meet the following criteria:
- You or your partner must be struggling with mild to moderate depression, which is being maintained by problems in your relationship
- You and your partner must be living together
- You and your partner must have been together for over 6 months to demonstrate your commitment to continuing your relationship
- There must be no violence between you and your partner
- You and your partner must be committed to working together through therapy, which may feel quite different to individual therapy
- You must be registered with a GP in either our North East or South East Essex catchment areas
Couple Therapy for Depression is inclusive of any couple within our community, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation (LGBTQIA+).
Why do we need to live together to start Couple Therapy for Depression?
Couples must live together in order to practise the exercises we set between sessions, which often require both to participate and require a time commitment which would be difficult if only seeing your partner a couple of times per week.
Practising these exercises is crucial for the therapy to be effective, so we always recommend couples to be cohabitating for this intervention.
Is Couple Therapy for Depression confidential?
As an NHS service we adhere to strict practices which assure your safety and confidentiality. However you’ll understand that we must sometimes share information as required with other NHS professionals (such as your GP) to support your care and treatment, or to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
In the event of needing to seek help from others on your behalf, we will always talk to you about this first.
What should we expect from my therapist?
You can expect your therapist to be attentive to your needs as a couple, tailoring your sessions around your unique concerns and goals.
In addition, your therapist will:
- Ensure sessions take place at a regular time, in a setting that is completely confidential
- Never take sides on any point of contention and manage conflict where required
- Indicate issues you may not be aware of that may be making your relationship less satisfying
- Help you understand how depression affects you both, and how it is impacting your relationship
- Make links between yours and your partner’s childhood experiences and your expectations from your relationship
- Guide you to build on the strengths that you already share as a couple
What will we be expected to do between therapy sessions?
Between sessions, your therapist will ask you to practise exercises, techniques and skills based on your discussions and intended goals. In many ways, this is where the real therapy happens, as you will learn and become accustomed to behaviours that will support your recovery from depression and improve the quality of your relationship.
When should we consider Couple Therapy for Depression?
Everyone experiences depression differently. It may be hard to recognise if your wellbeing is suffering or your relationship has taken a turn for the worse.
We would encourage you to scroll back up to our section “Am I depressed?” to see whether you or your partner have any of these notable symptoms, and objectively consider if your relationship has been struggling compared to how it once was.
Why do we need individual telephone assessments?
Your telephone assessments are an important first step that allow us to evaluate your current emotional wellbeing. It will also provide your therapist formulate your relationship difficulties from your perspectives, which will be discussed at your first session.
This can also determine if there is another mental health concern that we would recommend individual treatment for before proceeding to Couple Therapy for Depression.
With this in mind, if you are interested in Couple Therapy for Depression, we would encourage you to discuss timings with your partner to ensure you can both complete assessments at a similar time. If there is a gap of over 10 working days between the first assessment and your partner getting in touch with the service, we would offer the partner that has contacted the service individual therapy.
How long does Couple Therapy for Depression last?
There is no defined answer to this. Everyone’s experience in therapy is unique.
We typically expect courses to last up to 20 sessions. However, your therapist will review your progress every 4 sessions to assess your requirements.
Sessions will be carried out weekly at a regular time, and last between 50 and 60 minutes.
What type of therapy is used in Couple Therapy for Depression?
Couple Therapy for Depression is a distinct therapeutic model, separate from other forms of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatments (CBT) or Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
As an evidence-based mental health treatment, it is backed by scientific research as an effective way to treat depression, and is subject to best therapy practices.
Do we need a diagnosis/referral from our GP, or be taking medication, to start Couple Therapy for Depression?
No. Whilst it is possible for you to receive a referral from your GP, the majority of our service users self-refer for Couple Therapy for Depression.
You also do not need to be receiving antidepressants or other medication.
Do we both need to be experiencing depression?
No. Only one partner needs to be struggling with mild or moderate depression to access this treatment. However, this depression must be impacting your relationship in order for this treatment to be effective.
Can Couple Therapy for Depression be conducted remotely?
What if my partner or I are living with severe depression?
If you or your partner are at a very low point and need immediate help, visit our crisis page or contact your GP for an emergency appointment.
What separates Couple Therapy for Depression from more general couple counselling?
Couple Therapy for Depression differs from other types of couple counselling as it requires one or both people in the relationship to be struggling with mild to moderate depression.
If depression is not a factor in your relationship difficulties, we would recommend contacting a service such as Relate.
Start your journey to feeling better with Couple Therapy for Depression
Do you want to overcome your low mood and feel closer in your relationship?
Reach us using the form below and we will be in touch soon to arrange your initial telephone assessment.
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