Professional Certificate in Couples Counselling

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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.


Who is this course for?  

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.


What are the benefits of doing this course?  

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.


What will you learn? 



On completion of this Certificate, participants will:

  • Be introduced to working with couples
  • Understand how to contract with couples
  • Integrate a working knowledge on the importance of the family of origin
  • Identify the importance of roles and their influence on relating styles
  • Understand the impact of communication in couples
  • Be able to identify the signs of abuse and/or coercive control
  • Have an awareness of the importance of safety when working with anger (overt or covert)
  • Be introduced to sex and sexuality in couples work
  • Comprehend the concepts within the EFT model
  • Best practice guidance on working with couples


On completion of this Certificate, participants will be familiar with the use of:

  • Self-reflection on personal values, communication style and sexual scripts
  • Ways to evaluate their current practice needs with couples best practices guidelines
  • Different ways of connecting with both individuals in the couple and overcoming any defence mechanisms
  • Skills in facilitating better communication in the relationship
  • Working with the relationship as the client rather than either individual
  • Skills in identifying, delicately managing and referring (if necessary) cases that present with abuse and/or coercive control
  • Current research and professional development resources in support of working with couples

Course Details


DURATION: 5 Days    START DATE: 23rd March 2024


TIMETABLE: Saturdays and Sundays 9.30 am to 4.30pm (Days 1-4) and Saturday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (Day 5)


DAY 1: 23rd March 2024

DAY 2: 24th March 2024

DAY 3: 20th April 2024

DAY 4: 21st April 2024

DAY 5: 29th June 2024


AWARD: PCI College Professional Certificate in Couples Counselling


VENUE: Live Online


DAY ONE: Introduction to Couples Counselling

  • Working with couples vs individuals
  • Contracting
  • Introduction to the family of origin
  • Attachment influences – Bowen, Mahler


DAY TWO: Family Dynamics

  • Bowen’s Family Systems Theory
  • Satir’s Family Roles
  • Kappman’s Drama Triangle
  • The Genogram
  • Skills practice


DAY THREE: Relationship Dynamics

  • Gottman’s 4 Horsemen of the Apocolypse
  • Johnston’s Relationship Dance and Negotiating Needs
  • Triggers in relationships – the Amygdala Hijack
  • Introduction to Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) as an approach
  • Identifying Abuse and Coercive Control and knowing what to do when it shows up
  • Skills practice


DAY FOUR: Sexuality

  • Sexuality in couples work
  • Sexual scripts
  • Working with same-sex couples
  • Sexual dysfunctions in couples work
  • Skills practice


DAY FIVE: Integration/Assessment Day

  • Integration session
  • Poster presentations



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

Please note that when carrying out the 15 hours of supervised client work required to complete the course, students on the Professional Certificate in Couples Counselling must ensure that at least 30% of their work with clients is with couples, while the remainder can be with individuals on a one-to-one basis.

Entry Requirements



Qualification in Counselling, Psychotherapy or other helping professionals with therapeutic experience and students currently in professional training (those who have begun seeing clients). Entry is by an application form.



All candidates are required to satisfy the English language requirement. Candidates whose first language is not English and who are presenting qualifications other than the Leaving Certificate may satisfy the requirement through the completion of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or equivalent, on the basis that they obtain a minimum band score of 6, which denotes a very good skill level of English. It should be noted that these are the minimum requirements in English and PCI College may set higher requirements in each case.


IT SKILLS: students require sufficient IT skills to complete the course


Students can expect to be provided with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter. Any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, must be noted on the application.


Students must have access to clients on a daily basis to be able to meet the requirement of 15 hours of counselling using the couples, family members and relationship issues tools learnt during this course.

Course Fees



Full Price: €680

PCI College Graduate & Student Full Price*: €640

PCI College Alumni Member Discount Price: €580 - Join Alumni group on LinkedIn here to avail of discount.

*PCI College Student rate applies to BSc Degree and Postgraduate students only.



Applicants are invited to book online using the book now. Applications must be accompanied by the payment of the full course fee. Applicants are entitled to a refund if they decide to cancel within 14 days of receipt of their booking, and didn't participate on the course. Please note that the name used on your application needs to be the same name that you have on your passport.


Integration day (Day 5) is scheduled for a date that allows sufficient time for students to complete practice hours. If you are unable to attend your integration day due to not having completed your practice hours, you may be subject to a fee for setting the integration day outside of your original class schedule.


Fees are non-refundable in all personal circumstances. The College makes every effort to avoid altering course times, course commencement and conclusion dates. However, should any changes be necessary, you will be notified at the earliest opportunity. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort. A full refund will be given to all applicants in the event that the class does not proceed


For more information, please visit our full Terms & Conditions page.

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