Relate North East are delighted that we are working with local IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) across the region to allow us to offer this new service, which is provided free of charge by the NHS.

What is it?

Couple Therapy for Depression is a type of talking therapy that can help people with their relationships and the emotional difficulties that sometimes arise when there are problems between partners. 
There are many different types of couple therapy but what is described here is a particular type of couple therapy that has been developed to help people suffering from depression.  There
are also other types of talking therapies that can help those suffering from anxiety and depression.

People who are depressed often find their relationships suffer and sometimes problems with our relationships can lead to one or other partner becoming depressed or anxious.

Couple therapy for depression aims to help couples understand the ways in which difficulties in their relationship can contribute to depression in one (or sometimes both) partners.  Often couples find it hard to talk openly and honestly with each other.  Meeting with a couple therapist can open the way to better communication, and this seems to be a key part of improving

People benefit from couple therapy for many different reasons. It may be that the relationship has broken down or that there is anxiety that it might.  Sustaining a fulfilling and stable relationship is never easy.  Pressures from work, money, children, family tensions and ill health can all contribute
to creating problems and these problems can lead to depression and other difficulties for one or both partners.

Couple Therapy for Depression is provided in the North East of England by Relate Northumberland and Tyneside and Relate North East.  Relate is the country largest provider of
relationship support with over 70 years of experience.  Relate Counsellors have specialised training to work with couples experiencing depression.

How does it work?

Couple Therapy has been shown to be of value for those who are suffering from depression and it has been used as a treatment for anxiety and depression for many years.  It aims to improve relationships by helping couples to identify and then work together on the things that create unhappiness, helping both you and your partner move on from stuck and even
hostile patterns of relating.  This should lead to a happier and more fulfilling relationship and relieve depression (which in itself often helps to improve the relationship).  This positive cycle leads to improve mood and emotional well being.

Couple therapy can have benefits such as:

•A more stable family life


•An improved sexual relationship

•Reduced jealousy
•Increased confidence

What does it involve?

Everyone’s therapy will be a bit different but usually couple therapy will help you and your partner explore and understand more about your difficulties, working together with a therapist, you will open up the issues that seem to be troubling you and your partner.

Talking openly with your partner about the problems for the first time can feel difficult and you may be worried about what your couple therapist thinks about you. Your therapist will help you to make sense of any worries you may have about starting the sessions.  They should give you the feeling that they know that starting therapy can be difficult and give you a sense that they will try to understand what life is like for you and your partner and that they are not judging you and your partner in any way.

Your couple therapist will usually try to get a good picture of what you and your partner are finding difficult and how this affecting you both.  Although your couple therapist will need to
gather some basic information about you and your life, most of the time they will let you take the lead.  Sometimes
your couple therapist may suggest ways for you and your partner to improve your communication and this may occasionally involve some “homework”.  Mostly however they will be interested in helping the two of you have a conversation so that you can find your own ways to resolve the problems you are having.

How can I get Couple Therapy for Depression?

Couple therapy for depression is available via your local IAPT service, contact numbers for locations in the North East are listed below: 


Sunderland Primary Care and Wellbeing Service – 0191 566 5450


Talking Changes

North Durham – 0191 3740044     South Durham or Darlington – 01388 646831


Alliance Psychological Services - 01642 352747

Hartlepool and East Durham Mind – 01429 269303

Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind - 01642 257025 or email

TalkingTherapies@tewv - Tel 01642 424030 or 0800 8048155

Talking Matters – 0300 3305470

Teesside talking therapies - 0300 555 0555

Unfortunately we are not able to offer the service in North Yorkshire yet.

What's Next: The Process

We've made it easy and painless for you to access the support you need.

The Process: Contact us, Attend Appointment, Ongoing Work

I am very happy with the service and have been treated very well. I am very grateful and don't know where I would be now without the help. I am worried about having no more sessions but I am trying to think positively