Couples Therapy for Depression (CTfD)

This is an evidence-based treatment for you if you are a couple where one or both is experiencing depression, and it is affecting your relationship. 

Typically, CTfD consists of up to 20 sessions and both members of the couple need to attend.

Treatment approach

This type of treatment aims to reduce damaging interactions between you, build emotional openness and closeness, improve communication and behaviour, change unhelpful thoughts and perceptions, and help you cope with the everyday stresses that arise in your relationship.

It uses your relationship to support recovery from depression for one or both of you.

How does it work?

Your therapist will initially have a session with you as a couple to look at where you are now.  They will then meet with you each individually for a session to look more in depth at your individual viewpoint of the difficulties.  Following this the therapist will share a formulation.  The formulation is an explanation of how you both do things that are helpful in your relationship, and it will also highlight difficulties and why they are there.  You will then work together with your therapist to explore and connect to find ways through your difficulties.

Your therapist is there to work with both of you. This is not about assigning blame or assuming someone is the problem. Instead, we look to work on the relationship and how you relate with each other.

We may be able to work with you if:

  • You or your partner has mild to moderate depression
  • You are in a committed relationship
  • You have been together for at least 6 months
  •  Both of you would like to work on this

We won’t be able to work with you if:

  • There is domestic violence in your relationship
  • Either of you has drug or alcohol issues
  • There are secrets between you and your partner e.g. affairs/money issues
  • Either of you are in individual therapy with other services
  • Either of you has severe depression
  • The main problems you face are sexual issues

What happens at an assessment?

During an assessment, we spend time to try and connect you with the right therapy, at the right time. If CTfD is right for you we will give you an idea of how long it will be before you can start the therapy. If not we may suggest a different therapy, or signpost you to a different service.