Physis Scotland
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Certificate in Couples Work

Certificate in Couples Work

Course commencing 12th April 2024

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

Are you a coach, 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 Physis Scotland Certificate in Couples Work, delivered over 8 days of interactive and experiential training, over a four month period could be just what you’re looking for.

The course will be delivered on a Friday and Saturday daytime using a blended approach of face-to-face and online training.

Expert in Couples Counselling, Jennie Miller, PTSTA sharing a little snapshot of the Certificate in Couples Work

Certificate in Couples Work

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.

The Certificate in Couples Work will:

  • Explore the ways in which couple work is different from individual therapy (a ‘couple’ here meaning any two adults in relationship, including family, friends and work colleagues).
  • Introduce you to The Key to Couples Work, a robust eight-session model for working with couples, devised by Jennie Miller and incorporating Transactional Analysis theory.
  • Explore all key aspects of couple work, including: essential skills; boundaries with couples; how to facilitate connection; understanding what aspects of couples work may be most challenging to you, the practitioner.

Applicants for this course must have completed 200 hours of supervised counselling practice or equivalent in other fields, for example coaching or organisational work. Please note, this can be face-to-face, online or a combination of both.

Whilst this course will draw on aspects of Transactional Analysis theory, no prior knowledge of TA is required to undertake the course.

“Since completing the Certificate in Couples work I have had the pleasure of working with six couples and have just heard from another couple interested this week. The 8 week model works so well and this type of work was not something I expected to enjoy as much as I do.”

Course Content

Module One: Getting to Know You

  • Overview of course and group contracting.
  • Personal view of couple work – exploring motivations, hopes and fears.
  • Beginning the work: first contact from clients and how best to respond; the assessment and the start of boundary work; session one and intake; format of how each session will start; contracting and session two.
  • Looking at Wares Contact Doors.
  • Learning Journal: participants to keep a learning journal of their experience and reflections.
  • Observed skills practice and supervision.

Module Two: Boundaries with a Couple – How to Use Them and Not Lose Them.

  • All things boundaried: when a couple will push the boundary both inside and outside a session; dealing with the non-engager; exploring what might you be fearful of.
  • Ruptures large and small.
  • Looking at the impact on the practitioner when working with a couple. Building the relationship with your couple and some creative techniques.
  • Working through sessions 2-5, this will include introducing the PAC model to your clients and explore mapping their relationship.
  • Observed skills practice and supervision.

Module Three: Are We Nearly There Yet and Endings.

  • Time to review: the work so far, checking the contract; what is working and what might the couple be avoiding? Are the couple engaging with the work outside the sessions? If not how to address this.
  • Working through sessions 5-7, this will include introducing the Drama Triangle and Choy’s Winners Triangle to your couple. Looking toward the ending.
  • Observed skills practice and supervision.
  • The final session with your couple, including how to be creative with endings.
  • Final Practice and supervision

Module Four: The Reality of Working With a Couple – Let’s Do Supervision

  • An opportunity for you to bring your supervision questions and for us to explore as a group different couple dilemmas
  • Supervision on setting up in practice for counsellors at the start of working with a couple, through to supervision on the more experienced practitioner at work
  • Exploring together various supervision techniques including creative ways of using supervision when working with couples and more
  • Deepen your understanding of couples work
  • Broaden your knowledge on couples work dilemmas
  • Support you in understanding what you might need from supervision going forward
  • Observed skills practice and supervision


To gain the Certificate, participants on this course are required to:

  • Complete a minimum of eighteen hours of couples work, either during or after the training, including experience of both online and face-to-face couples work.
  • Record a learning journal and log of hours during the training, whilst gaining the required hours of couple work practice.
  • Be willing to role play being clients to develop learning and implementation of the eight-session model.
  • Submit a 2000 word written Case Study following the practice on the course, to illustrate learning from the course and demonstrate understanding of how the model works in practice. The case study will need to illustrate that the practitioner can reflect on their work and how they have developed during the training.
  • Complete a 10-minute transcript of live couples work with TA diagnosis, including appropriate “front sheet” information, and commentary with a 500 word analysis of the work done, linking it to the model. Please note, TA diagnoses is part of the course curriculum, therefore a prerequisite of TA knowledge is not required.
  • A summary of your learning journal must also be submitted.

Placements with UK Counselling Network CIC

Physis Scotland in partnership with the Award Winning Social Enterprise UK Counselling Network CIC are passionate about delivering accessible, quality counselling and psychotherapy to all. We recognise that accessing quality therapy can be difficult because of lengthy waiting lists and high costs and are delighted to offer our low-cost counselling service to people throughout Scotland on a low income. The service is staffed primarily by existing trainees in Advanced clinical training, all of whom have been endorsed to practice, are in regular supervision and are on our Diploma in Counselling using TA programme. Physis Scotland couples work students can apply to UKCN for a placement with couples.

Practitioners currently working with couples may count a proportion of their hours towards the practice hours requirement of the Certificate course.

2024 Course Dates

  • 12th/13th April 2024 (IN-PERSON)
  • 24th/25th May 2024 (ONLINE)
  • 28th/29th June 2024 (ONLINE)
  • 23rd/14th August 2024 (IN-PERSON)

Course Fee

The course fee for 2024 is £1152 (inc. VAT) (4 taught modules over 8 days). £150 deposit plus 3 x £334 if self-funding. If you are being sponsored through your organisation, the fee is £1548 (inc. VAT). £150 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 £1152 (inc. VAT).

Course Tutor

Jennie Miller PTSTA


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

How to apply for this course

The next Certificate in Couples Work course will start in April 2024. For an application form and/or further details please contact Fiona Cook or Fiona Firman, Directors of Training – or call 07927 557217. The application deadline is the 18th March 2024.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions about the course please telephone Fiona Firman or Fiona Cook, Directors of Training, on 07927 557 217 or email

“The overall atmosphere of Physis Scotland as a training institute was wonderful – supportive throughout.”


“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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