Behavioural couples therapy can help people in a relationship with different the emotional difficulties that can arise between partners, especially when one or both people are depressed.

BCT is most helpful for couples who are in a committed relationship and living together for at least 6 months. Both partners who are willing to participate in a couple-based treatment focussed on helping  depressed partner or each partner if both are depressed or both partners must have depression or anxiety. If a partner or both partners have LTC that is causing depression or anxiety, or whether any issues of infidelity has led to depression or anxiety. Couples who are able to engage in regular weekly sessions and be in a position to engage in structured/changed focus therapy, and couples who experience issues with infertility

BCT is a form of behaviour therapy that aims to address elements of the couple’s relationship that are known to have a direct effect on the incidence of depression. A key component of this therapy is to focus on improving communication difficulties within the relationship.  BCT will aim to specifically improve the overall quality of the relationship to help manage low mood as poor relationship quality has proven to be a precipitating factor in depression.

BCT can be offered over 8-12 sessions, according to the needs of both individuals involved. These sessions follow a model which focusses on the relational aspects of depression: relieving stress and improving communication, managing feelings and changing behaviour, solving problems and promoting acceptance and revising perceptions.


Longer-term therapies to consider (not available at Ealing IAPT Service)

  • Schema Therapy – available privately
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – (emotion regulation, distress tolerance skills). Available within secondary care or available privately
  • Mentalisation-based Therapy – impulsive behaviours, self-harm
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – available within secondary care or, available privately (BPS, BACP), low cost options
  • Longer-term counselling – low cost options
  • Secondary care psychology