Introduction to couple work

This introductory workshop has run successfully for a number of years. Another date is planned for late 2015 or early 2016. If you are interested in this workshop, please email Sarah Briggs for an application form:

This workshop is endorsed by the BACP for 11 hours of CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

This course has also been endorsed by COSRT for 12 hours of CPD.

working with couples counselling sessionThis course is designed for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who are already established in their practice working with individuals, who would now like to learn more about the dynamics and skills involved in working therapeutically with couple clients.

The format is a weekend CPD workshop facilitated by Cabby Laffy.

gay couple therapy trainingThis weekend workshop offers an introduction to working with couples for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists wishing to explore this fascinating area of work. Through teaching and experiential work, including role-plays and skills practice you will gain some insights and tools to work with couples. This is a CPD workshop where the learning is absorbed by attendance and participation on the course. There is no assessment other than attendance and participation. 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. We also recommend that any couple work you undertake is supervised by a professional who has appropriate skills and training to supervise couple therapy.

Programme contents

The workshop will provide:

An introduction to working with same and other sex 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 in couples work

A presentation of different models of couple work

Teaching methods

The programme will include:

  • Didactic teaching by the facilitator, to introduce the theory and material being taught.
  • Discussion in the full group of the material being presented by the facilitator, including opportunities to ask questions and check understanding.
  • Experiential exercises to embed understanding of the material.
  • Work in small groups (dyads, triads) as skills practice using the taught material.

 Learning outcomes

The participants will learn how to:

  • Structure therapeutic work with couples consisting of heterosexual partners, same-sex partners, or trans-cultural partners.
  • Tackle common presenting problems, such as differing sexual desire and managing conflict in relationships.
  • Consider the therapeutic meaning of clients’ presenting issues.
  • Formulate realistic goals for what may be achievable in couples work.
  • Conceptualise different models of couple work.


Participants will also be encouraged to engage in regular supervision with a professional who has appropriate training to supervise couple therapy and to undertake continuous professional development.

The trainer: Cabby Laffy

Cabby new photoCabby Laffy has been a facilitator of trainings and workshops since 1991. She also works as a psychotherapist and supervisor with individuals and couples, and has been a clinical supervisor for complementary health practitioners working in the community. She is a UKCP and NCP registered psychotherapist, a psychosexual therapist, and a member of COSRT and PCSR. She has recently published LoveSex through Karnac Books – her book about psychosexual health.

Cabby employs a Homeodynamic Model for Psychosexual Health, which offers an integrative understanding of human relationships and sexuality, encompassing the physical, emotional, spiritual, and our social and cultural environment. This approach includes research from neuroscience, complementary and alternative health therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy, and draws from eastern sexual healing practices as well western approaches to psychosexual therapy.

Cabby runs a diploma course in integrative psychosexual therapy at The Centre for Psychosexual Health – She is an experienced practitioner in her client work and training roles, with a speciality in psychosexual therapy.


Feedback from the 2012 & 2013 workshops

Comments made after the recent workshop in March 2013, made by participants on the course:

“I found the workshop via the Internet. I probably put couples therapy training into the search engine, but can’t quite remember. I thought it was excellent. Our group worked very well together and was of a high standard of professionalism. Cabby was really good at facilitating and engaging us. I learned lots, not just about working with couples, but it has also enhanced my understanding of the relational dynamics in my own practice with individuals. The handouts were clear and helpful : I have already followed up certain aspects and bought some of the suggested books.”

“Relaxed, non judgemental & inclusive. Material was concise and relevant. Reassuring and therefore empowering.”

“I enjoyed Cabby’s style she is very knowledgeable. I would have found it more useful to have had a more detailed discussion regarding specific interventions when working with couples. The networking was good and the role plays.”

These comments were made by participants in the July 2012 workshop facilitated by Cabby Laffy:

“I learnt a lot, had a great time and feel it was very worthwhile. Cabby was a great facilitator/lecturer, I am going away feeling empowered and excited about couple working, something that I have wanted to do for a few years. I would recommend this workshop to anyone interested in the subject.”

“This workshop has given me a useful insight in to working with couples, (what to expect, useful interventions and ways to cope when things get difficult). This will enabled me to start working with couples, an area that I have wanted to work in but until now was unsure of what extra skills I might need to move from 1-2-1 work.”

“I found the workshop in Therapy Today; the whole workshop was useful with the most useful bit being to focus on the relationship and associated skills practice. I have put much of it in place already and will build up this acquired knowledge through supervision and  CPD. Course leader was very good and facilitated learning.”

“Some very practical stuff about length of sessions, homework, permission to be more directive and some psycho-sexual stuff.”

“The mix of theory and practice – very affirming. Good central London venue.”

 Venue information

The workshop will be held at one of our central London training venues in W1, usually either a conference room at The Marylebone Hotel, or the training room at 58 South Molton Street, or the group training room at 13 John Prince’s Street. All these venues are easily accessible from Oxford Circus or Bond Street tubes, or the buses along Oxford Street, W1.

Catering is not included in the course fee. But there are many coffee shops and cafes nearby offering refreshments and lunches.

Course dates and times for 2014

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd March 2014. Each day will start at 10am and finish at 5pm.

Course fees

The fee for the 2-day workshop is £240 + VAT. This includes all training materials and CPD certificate.

How to apply

Please email Sarah Briggs, Director of The Grove Practice, to express your interest and receive an application form. Or you can call her on 07973 368512 for an informal discussion about the course. Once you return the application form along with your payment, your place on the workshop will be confirmed.

Complaints procedure

The Grove fully intends to deliver the training as specified in the publicity materials and course handbook, to a high standard. If you have any concerns or preferences, please raise these with the tutor in the first instance, so that your comments may be explored and addressed.

However, if this initial step does not resolve any complaint, a written submission must be made to Sarah Briggs, Managing Director of The Grove Practice, 4 Wimpole Street, London W1G 9SH.

The Directors of The Grove will investigate the complaint, involving any relevant input from the Core Tutor and/or any tutor(s) involved. A meeting may be held between the Directors (Sarah Briggs and Ben McKie) and the complainant.  The Directors will make best endeavours to resolve the issue to the complainant’s satisfaction.  However, the Directors’ decision will be final.

That said, if any tutor raises a concern regarding the contribution or academic standard of any participant, this will be addressed during the lifetime of the course in an endeavour to support the student in completing the course satisfactorily.

Cancellation policy

The Grove fully intends to deliver the programme as advertised.  However, in the event of unforeseen events or factors outside the organisers’ control, such as but not limited to venue circumstances, tutor illness or change in availability, The Grove reserves the right to alter the venue, dates, content, tutors or format of the course, while using best endeavours to maintain the intended style and material as far as possible.  If such circumstances arise, where the programme is not delivered as advertised, the participant may choose whether to attend the revised programme or to receive a refund.

Once the application form and payment have been received by The Grove Practice, the participant’s place will be confirmed as a booking.

In order to fulfil our obligations to the tutor(s) and venue, as well as to the other participants who have signed up to the programme, no refund will be given within two months of the start of the programme.

However, if you wish to cancel your booking more than two months before the start of the programme, please email Sarah Briggs, Managing Director, via to request a refund. Refunds are granted at the discretion of The Grove Practice, taking into consideration the circumstances applicable to the student’s request for a refund.


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