A new counselling course provided by London-based specialist charity Tavistock Relationships aims to improve help available to Bristol’s troubled couples

In order to help build extra professional knowledge that could assist many more couples in difficulty, Tavistock Relationships, world-renowned leaders in the field for over 60 years, are launching a new course in the Bristol for aspiring couple counsellors and psychotherapists.

Lack of provision of specialist therapy means many in relationships and with families struggle to find the help they need; in the most recent extensive survey by the government it was found that two of the problem hotspots for divorce in the whole UK were in the Bristol area (Bristol Itself and Weston Super-Mare).

Providing training for the first time outside of London, Tavistock Relationships is hoping to address this issue by creating new professionals within this sector. The course is open to anyone who is interested in a professional career in couple work or looking to expand their professional skills.

“This is new training which will boost and ultimately help bridge the current skills gap” – Ally Kessler, Chair of Psychodynamic Training

About the Course

Starting in January at Engineers House in Clifton, the organisation is offering a six-month part-time Introduction to Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy course which includes: working psychodynamically with couples, therapeutic counselling and psychotherapy skills, and understanding particular relationship challenges (eg working with affairs, those in older age or new parents). The training provides a new specialist approach to the established professional arena in Bristol, as couple dynamics often require an in-depth knowledge of how relationships work, in order for intervention to be most effective at critical times of potential partner and family breakdown.

This training will enable students to go on to apply for one of our practitioner trainings, leading to a professional qualification as a Couple and Individual Counsellor and Psychotherapist.

Increasing Specialist Skills

This is new training which will boost and ultimately help bridge the current skills gap,” said Ally Kessler, the Chair of Psychodynamic Training at Severnside, Bristol; who have offered therapeutic services in the City for several years, welcoming the launch of the course.

“Bristol is served well with analytic trainings for individuals and child psychotherapists but there’s no designated course currently available tackling the complexities of couple work,” Kessler observed. “That means getting couples the special help – referring them to a trained couple therapist – can be very hard.”

Liz Salter, one of the Tavistock Relationships tutors on the course, explains this new initiative:

“I’ve been helping couples for 30 years, but primarily working in London. When you step outside of the capital, you realise that the variety and access to some professional knowledge is harder to access. We chose Bristol because as well as being a cosmopolitan city it’s got a better than average skill base in terms of people who might be able to go on to become couple therapists. It also has couples and families that need help.’

About Tavistock Relationships

Established in 1948 Tavistock Relationships (formerly TCCR) is an internationally renowned charity delivering and developing advanced practice, training and research in therapeutic and psycho-educational approaches to supporting couples.


Tavistock Relationships is offering a FREE open evening on 12 October 2016 at Engineer’s House for anyone who is interested in attending this Introductory Course which can be booked online.

For those already qualified as a psychotherapist, and wish to explore more in-depth clinical trainings Tavistock Relationships also will be putting on special events early in 2017 to further increase its reach in the city.


For more information on the course, contact the Tavistock Relationships Training Department:
Tel: 020 7380 8288

tavistock relationships