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  • Terry and Michell

What is Conjoint Couples Counselling

Relationships, while very often fulfilling and beautiful, can also bring their fair share of challenges and conflicts, and very often, the problems that couples face have little to do with not loving and caring about the other person in the relationship. Rather, it's that many couples simply don’t know how to communicate what they want and need from their partner. Admitting to a stranger that your marriage or relationship is failing can be daunting, but it can lead to a new lease of freedom and understanding.


What is conjoint counselling, and how it differ from traditional couples therapy


Conjoint counselling, is a powerful tool that can help diffuse tension and conflict, paving the way towards more positive and productive communication, for mending troubled relationships. However, if, ultimately, couples choose to separate, time can be spent making sure that emotions are calmed so that you can both come to terms with your new and changed circumstances. The end of a relationship shouldn’t be considered a failure but rather the end of one story and the beginning of another.


Conjoint couple counselling differs somewhat from traditional couples therapy as both spouses are treated at the same time by two counsellors (opposed to one), usually of different genders, working simultaneously with the couple. This method of working is typically considered more intensive than traditional therapy because both partners are invited to co-create the process of change. Conjoint counselling often centres on increasing effective communication and strengthening attachment bonds Unlike individual therapy, couple’s counselling involves the therapist entering the couple’s way of life more directly. They bring their habits and routines with each other directly into the session. The counsellor is involved in analysing and offering feedback about the couple’s interaction and makes suggestions about ways to improve it.

When to look for couples therapy?


Being able to recognise signs of unhealthy relationship patterns is key to knowing when to go to couples therapy. The earlier you address relationship problems, the easier it is to prevent them from escalating into more significant issues that may ultimately lead to the demise of your relationship. Curious if you and your partner should consider Conjoint couples counselling? Here are some common relationship issues and the warning signs that may indicate a need for couple’s therapy;


  •   Trust issues

  •   Infidelity

  •   Loss of physical intimacy

  •   Financial conflicts

  •   Lack of effective communication

  •   Parenting challenges


Both partners have more chances of feeling understood, and neither feels outnumbered or ‘ganged up on’.


Advantages of using Conjoint couples counselling


There are many advantages of this way of working, the most obvious being:


  •   Both partners have more chances of feeling understood, and neither feels outnumbered or ‘ganged up on’.

  • The presence of two therapists in the room can be helpful for addressing gender-related differences and anxieties with great sensitivity.  

  • Partners can benefit from the richness of having access to the experiences of two different counsellors.

The Authors



Michelle Augustin Whittaker and Terry Jackson are qualified counsellors, graduates of The Grove Couples/Relationships and Registered members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). They have studied intensively together and worked closely for many years, supporting each other and their clients in creating change. Michelle and Terry use this approach with couples in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships, using similar approaches and tools. They are passionate about supporting couples overcoming their differences and are ready to go the extra mile with you as long as you are determined to fight for your relationship.



Please contact Michelle and Terry to learn more about their work.

Useful Resources:


Getting the Love You Want A Guide for Couple by Harville Hendrix and Helen Lakelly Hunt

Love, Sex & Relationships – An Integrative Model for Sexual Education; by Cabby Laffy and Polly McAfee


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