Adult IAPT Additional Modalities for Depression Supplementary Programme

Couples Therapy for Depression

Kate Thompson, Head of Couple Therapy for Depression Training and Parenting Services and Velia Carruthers, Training Team Manager, Tavistock Relationships

Sunday, 16 October 2022


Using the couple relationship as a resource for recovery from depression: a CPD for qualified practitioners revising the Couple Therapy for Depression model

What is Couple Therapy for Depression?

Based on NICE guidelines, Couple Therapy for Depression is a 16-20 session integrative-behavioural treatment for depression for couples where one or both partners are experiencing relationship distress and depression. It has been developed by identifying best practice in a range of behavioural, systemic, psychodynamic, cognitive and emotionally focussed couple therapies evidenced in RCT effectiveness trials. Couple Therapy for Depression focuses on the relational aspects of depression and on factors that reduce stress and increase support within the couple, using the relationship as a resource for recovery and relapse prevention.

This CPD will refresh the highly effective techniques for working with depression and couples, embedded in an evidence-based and integrated theoretical framework which has produced impressive recovery rates from mild to moderate depression for patients in NHS services nationwide.

About the Training Provider

The course is delivered by Tavistock Relationships, a teaching institution that specialises in couple therapy and has international renown for research and ground breaking advances in the world of couple therapy across a broad spectrum of services, both private and public.

The course is led by Kate Thompson and Velia Carruthers, who will deliver this refresher day for qualified CTfD practitioners working within IAPT, focussing on the relational components of depression and clinical techniques. The model looks for causal or maintaining factors in a couple’s relationship that is triggering depression and then utilises the relationship as one of the primary resources for recovery and relapse prevention.

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


This clinically focused workshop will provide a refresher for experienced and recently trained CTfD therapists and will focus on how to implement the key objectives of the CTfD model. During this day we will give particular attention to key issues that are often difficult for therapists to feel confident in, such as formulation, the therapeutic stance, working with sexual issues and couples in conflict in the room.

Learning Objectives

1. Participants will revise key components of the CTfD model
2. Participants will be able practice delivering formulations with couples, including around affairs
3. Participants will be able to work more confidently with sexual issues with couples
4. Participants will be able to employ techniques for working with couples in conflict in the room, utilising MBT techniques
5. Participants will be able to reflect on their stance and therapeutic frame when working with couples
6. Participants will see evidence of the model’s efficacy from recently analysed data
7. Participants will watch a film of a couple who have recently undergone CTfD treatment about their experience

Training Modalities

Didactic content, group discussion, clinical analysis, Q&A, videos and role-play.

Key References

Couple Therapy for Depression, A clinician guide to integrative practice written by David Hewison, Christopher Clulow and Harriet Drake, Oxford University Press.

About the presenter

Kate Thompson is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist and senior staff member at Tavistock Relationships with over 20 years’ experience of therapy with couples and individuals. Currently heading up Couple Therapy for Depression Training of NHS practitioners, Kate is also clinical lead for TRs’ Parenting services. Kate has developed the model, Behavioural Couple Therapy for Alcohol Misuse, and delivered the government funded pilot training to practitioners. She has also worked in TR’s mentalization-based therapy service for separated parents in conflict; specialist adoption service; supervised TR’s violence project in Harrow and Parents as Partners, a group intervention for couples. Registered with BPC and BACP, Kate writes for a variety of publications; co-edited ‘Engaging Couples: New Directions in Therapeutic Work with Families’, (Routledge, 2018), and a Special Edition of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis on Divorce and Separation, (Phoenix, 2021). She is currently editing a book on parenting and couple dynamics. Her private practice is in South West London.
Velia Carruthers is couple and individual psychodynamic and psychosexual psychotherapist and staff member at Tavistock Relationships. Qualified in psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychosexual psychotherapy with Tavistock Relationships, Velia now works as a clinician and as a training team leader for Couple Therapy for Depression organising, training and supervising IAPT practitioners around the country in Couple Therapy for Depression. She has also trained in Mentalised Based Technique for Couple Therapy, working with high conflict clients and works in private practice in London. Velia is registered with BACP and COSRT and is a member of the Tavistock Relationships' Alumni body.

Who should attend

This one-day refresher workshop is suitable for those who have completed a five-day CTfD practitioner training and are completing or have completed accreditation casework.