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Certificate in
Couples Work - Online

Are you looking to develop skills and experience in working with couples?

Course commencing 17th October 2024

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Are you a counsellor or psychotherapist who is new to couples work and excited to learn more? Or perhaps you are an existing couples therapist, looking for new ideas and inspiration to add to your practice?

If so, the Certificate in Couples Work, delivered over a four month period of interactive and experiential training, could be just what you’re looking for.

The Certificate in Couples Work course is a collaboration between Physis Scotland and Kelly Scharver and will be delivered on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday daytime using the online platform Zoom, enabling you to join us from wherever you are in the world.

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Who is it for?

The Certificate in Couples Work course is suitable for the beginner taking their first steps into this work and/or for the experienced couple practitioner who may like to incorporate this training into their existing practice.

What you will gain

This dynamic training will enable you to:

  • Learn and apply the developmental model of couples therapy to help couples discover underlying causes of distress and evolve through life challenges. 

  • Build skills in assessing a couples developmental stage, setting autonomous goals, and facilitating positive growth and connection. 

  • Apply neuroscience and differentiation techniques to your clinical and personal life to get healing results.  

  • Provide couples with a different experience of couples therapy so they get unstuck and are motivated to create a new positive dynamic. 

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Pre course requirements

Course participants will be qualified counsellors or psychotherapists in clinical practice, or in training and seeing clients in placement. We invite students in training to discuss their attendance with their clinical supervisor and/or course tutor.

2024-25 Course dates
  • 17th/18th/19th October

  • 14th/15th/16th November

  • 12th/13th/14th December

  • 9th/10th/11th January

All training days takes place from 1pm – 5pm, BST (8am – 12 noon EDT)

Course fees

The course fee for 2024 is £895 (inc. VAT) (4 taught modules over 8 days). £175 deposit plus 3 x £240 if self-funding. If you are being sponsored through your organisation, the fee is £1225 (inc. VAT). £175 deposit plus the remaining balance before the commencement of the course. Please note, that if your sponsoring organisation is a charity, the course fee is £895 (inc. VAT).

How to apply
The next Certificate in Couples Work course will start in October 2024. For an application form and/or further details please contact Jo Crichton, Programme Manager at or call 07927 557217. The application deadline is the 19th September 2024.
Any questions
If you have any further questions about the course please telephone Jo Crichton, Programme Manager, on 07927 557 217 or email
Online, via Zoom. Join us from wherever you are in the world. The technology will allow us to join break out rooms for experiential work and you will be able to communicate with the trainer – both by voice and chat.

Course content

Module One: Developmental Model of Couples Counselling and Getting Off to a Powerful Start  

  • Overview of the Bader-Pearson Developmental Model of Couples Counselling 

  • Learn how to assess a couples developmental stage 

  • Steppingstones to intimacy intervention 

  • Rethinking first sessions - creative ways to guide your couples from the first session 

  • Autonomous goal setting  

  • Paper exercise intervention 

  • Practice and demonstrations 

Module Two: Neuroscience and Differentiation in Couples Work 

  • Learn how to apply neuroscience concepts and strategies to help clients self-regulate 

  • Overview of Self and other differentiation and how to empower couples 

  • Using the Initiator-Inquirer process to support couples developmental capacities  

  • Practice and demonstrations 

Module Three: Working With Hostile and Conflict Avoidant couples  

  • Turn up the heat with Conflict Avoidant Couples 

  • Show strong leadership with hostile couples 

  • Deepen your own self-awareness and stay integrated while being with challenging couples

  • Practice and demonstrations 

Module Four: Putting it All Together  

  • Case examples of couples who have experienced developmental models of couples therapy

  • Consultation on your current couples 

  • Exploration of your own blocks to differentiation and your developmental edge 

  • Practice and demonstrations 


To gain the Certificate, participants on this course will need to:

  • Attend all scheduled training dates in full (if this is not possible, participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance).

  • Be willing to role play being clients to develop learning and implementation of the developmental model.

  • Complete and submit a written reflection of between 500-750 words after each module of key take aways from the training and your experience of practicing one of the interventions.


A Physis Scotland Certificate in Couples Work will be awarded on successful completion of the course.

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I have been singing the praises of Physis Scotland, and this course, since I did it, as I really enjoyed it. So thank you very much for a great experience. You all manage to combine professionalism and efficiency, with warmth and accessibility, in my experience.

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