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 Professional Certificate in Couples Counselling 

This certificate course is designed to enable qualified professionals to work with couples.

In this couples counselling course, you will learn to observe, assess, evaluate and formulate therapeutic interventions and support using the couple’s environmental influencers as well as their thoughts, moods, emotions and behaviour. You will be introduced to the many dynamics within the couple relationship and how to work with these. The approaches presented are usable, up-to-date and strongly evidence-based.


The course is for all counsellors and psychotherapists who want to broaden their practice to include work with couples, family members and relationship issues. This certificate course is designed to equip counsellors and psychotherapists with the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate Couples Counselling into their practice in a client- centred, integrative way.


The course will provide an opportunity for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists to develop competence in working with couples and to empower counsellors and psychotherapists who work in a one to one setting to do so informed by relational dynamics. Students will be introduced to the theories underpinning this work, including internal family systems theory, and also to contemporary approaches to working with couples, such as those outlined by Gottman and Johnston. There will also be an introduction to EFT and the concepts within this model.  An experiential approach to working with couples will allow students to practice their skills and deepen their understanding to these approaches on a practical level. The course will also introduce the area of sex and sexuality in the counselling room and within a couples dynamic, in addition to working with anger and control. There will be a focus on integration of learning, where participants are given the opportunity to outline and describe how they have integrated the learning from the four core workshops and applied it to their practice.


This certificate course is designed to equip counsellors and psychotherapists with the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate Couples Counselling into their practice in a client-centred, integrative way. The course presents an opportunity for professionals to broaden their client referral base. The course is designed to complement already existing qualifications by broadening the repertoire of practitioner skills. Experiential aspects of this course will allow participants to integrate theories into practice.

Course Details

Venue: Live and online workshop

Duration: 5 days - 30 Hours Programme, 10.00am - 5.00pm


Next Start Date: 6th of March 2021



Day 1: Introduction to Couples Counselling I 6th of March 2021

Day 2: Skills and Strategies I 7th of March 2021

Day 3: Family Dynamics I 20th of March 2021

Day 4: Sexuality I 21st of March 2021

Day 5: Integration/Assessment Day I 25th April 2021

Additional Course Requirements (Before Integration Day):

  • Record of 15 hours of supervised client work in the area of Couples Counselling.
  • Record of 3 sessions with a supervisor.
  • Poster Presentation

Assessed Award:

Find out more about this course in our short video with Programme Leader Mary O'Loughlin (view to the left of this screen or Click Here) or read her recent Blog Article about the factors involved in counselling couples 'Effective Interventions to Guide Couples'



This is a Continuing Professional Development Course specifically designed for Counsellors & Psychotherapist (including Students) and other helping professionals with therapeutic experience.


If you have any questions about your eligibility, contact us at enquiries@pcicollege.ie or 01-4642268.

This 30-hour programme consists of five one-day workshops, each of 6 hours duration. 


Introduction Day 1 and 2
The initial 2 days of the Professional Certificate includes an overview of the theories underpinning couples counselling including the work of John Gotteman. Therapeutic interventions will be introduced and practised including role plays.
The objective of the 2 Introductory days:

Relevant theories will be revised and revisited.
Participants will be introduced to counselling with couples and become familiar with the similarities and differences between couples counselling and individual counselling.
Working with gay and lesbian couples will also be introduced.
Day 3 - Family dynamics

Family dynamics - will focus on family systems including the work of Murray Bowen and Virginia Satir.  Participants will be introduced to the genogram.
Objectives of Day 3:

Participants will become aware of the importance of family of origin in couples counselling.
Become aware of the importance of being familiar with family values and mottos.
Become familiar with triangulation and mapping within families.
Day 4 - Sexuality

Participants will be made aware of the importance of being comfortable talking about sexuality in couples counselling.  Need to understand own sexual script otherwise the area of sexuality within couples counselling will not get adequate attention.
Objectives of Day 4:
To be able to normalise and validate couples around sexuality.
To be more comfortable talking about sexuality with the couple.
Become aware of primary and secondary sexual dysfunctions.
Integration Day 5

The integration day takes place in a relaxed atmosphere where participants are given the opportunity to outline and describe how they have integrated the learning from the workshops outlined above and applied them to their practice.  Each member of the group will have an opportunity to talk about their experience.
•    Understanding and prioritising main presenting problems
•    Understanding the maintenance of presenting problems
•    Able to outline interventions used
Participants will be expected to submit relevant documentation of 15 hours of supervised clinical work.




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