Behavioural couples therapy (BCT) can help people in a relationship with different 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 have been living together for at least 6 months. It 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.