Gay Couple Counsellor - 21 years Experience
Trust Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)
British Gay Couples deserve professional help too. It can help feelings of shame or nervousness to know that, as gay men, you're meeting with an actual gay counsellor specialising in couples therapy (rather than, say, a competent but straight ally).
Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) has over 21 years experience! Available exclusively via Zoom & Skype video, United Kingdom based & centred around Hampshire (Southampton, Portsmouth, Petersfield) & West Sussex (Chichester). Feel confident making an informed decision about the counsellor for your distinct relationship.
Specifically Gay Counselling for Couples
Why go straight when there’s a counsellor right here who specialises in working with gay men, lesbian woman and all sorts of mixed sexuality and gender identities? Your distinct relationship!
Hi 👋🏻 – I’m Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg), fully qualified & experienced couple counsellor with over 21 years counselling experience (11 years in couple counselling & 13 years in Internet video (aka Zoom, Skype etc) counselling). 👍🏻
TL;DR – let’s get you started on some basic, relevant links:-
- How a gay couple begins counselling with Dean Richardson: How to Begin Counselling.
- A Overview of what Gay Couple Counselling is about: Why Gay Couples use Counselling.
- How Video Counselling works: Video Counselling for Gay Couples and Groups.
- Gay Couples seeking counselling to help their relationship: Counselling specifically for Gay Couples.
- Gay Couples in/considering an open relationship: Counselling for Gay Men in Open Relationships.
- Gay men in, or considering, a polyamorous or non-monogamous group: Gay Men Group Counselling for Polyamorous Relationships.
Why Dean Specialised Professionally
Originally beginning training in 1999, Dean Richardson first qualified in counselling via the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s Accredited Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (Chichester Counselling Services).
Practicing for many years in charity afterwards, Dean was approached by his supervisor & mentor: Sue Esau, and invited to consider training as a couple counsellor. One of the persuasive arguments made was that, as an openly gay man, Dean would be welcomed by gay men in couple relationships because, as Sue put it from her decades years of experience: “gay couples often ask if they can work with a gay counsellor…”.
And so the idea was born. Dean completed the necessary training and practical supervised hours over two years to attain his Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic/Systemic Couple Counselling (Chichester / BACP Accredited) back in 2010.
One thing missing, though: whilst the training covered the needs of couples very well, it did not focus upon the distinct needs of gay men in intimate couple relationships. Remember – this is what Dean had been offered by his mentor that gay men in couple relationships would be seeking him specifically as a gay man!
So, this is when Dean employed his own post-graduate, continued professional development: studying (via various media: books, videos, DVDs) the specific needs that gay men seek from couple therapy. He continues this research and re-learning today.
Having put in the work, Dean – today – describes himself as an Out and Proud Gay Couple Counsellor – having developed his practice over 21+ years (offering Zoom/Skype video counselling 13 of those years).
Zoom/Skype LGBT Video
Yup – Dean’s couple counselling services are available both daytime and evenings (weekdays) via free video apps such as Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp (and others – although not iOS-exclusive services because he doesn’t have an iPhone nor Mac!).
Zoom, Skype etc are free applications you can download for your Smartphone, PC, Mac or Chromebook. They use your device’s built-in camera and microphone to provide a video conference experience: you and your partner would be speaking with your couple counsellor in real time (as opposed to recording a video and sending it). You’ll just need to have a decent broadband (around 4Mbps downstream speed & 3Mbps upsteam speed is ideal) and, preferably, you and your partner will use video two devices whilst sitting in separate rooms (explained in the link below).
Dean added video counselling to his portfolio some 13+ years ago. Compare this length of experience with some of the counsellors who only added video counselling when the 2020 UK emergency situation began.
Unlimited or Set Number of Counselling Sessions
Unlike with NHS services or some mental health charities, going private means you are not limited to being offered a strict number of sessions by the counselling service (eg 6 or 12).
Whilst Dean Richardson's approach to counselling does require there to be a regular, weekly attendance (at least during the first core part of our work that establishes therapeutic effect - this may be weeks or months depending on the presenting issues), the number of sessions attended are not artificially limited by the service.
If preferred, after the core part of the work is underway, a set number of sessions can be established. A set number can help with budgeting, availability, new matters coming into the counselling, or other personal needs. All parties must discuss and agree to a set number of sessions before changes are made, however.
Overall, the therapeutic process attending to the presenting issues of the relationship is of primary concern.
After all, this is your distinct relationship for which we're creating an effective therapy, together.
Questions Gay Couples Ask of Therapy
Can I go to a Couple Counsellor when I’m in a Gay Relationship?
You certainly can! We’re not talking just about Dean Richardson as a gay counsellor for gay couples therapy, neither. A majority (nowadays*) of British couple counsellors will work with any form of couple relationship (including family – such as “mother / son”; as my old trainer & supervisor would say: “You know how to keep two people safe in the room, so…”).
Not all couple counsellors will have prior knowledge nor understanding of gay men’s need within couples therapy, and if that is not a priority for you (eg you could tolerate – or even enjoy – a counsellor’s curiosity about your orientation & relationship) then your choice of potential couple counsellors widens too. Plus, if you’re looking for individual counselling to discuss your couple relationship in privacy, this can work too.
(*This hasn’t always been the case, and some counsellors will decline to work with gay men citing religious/biblical reasons… in 2021 🤔)
We’re 400 miles away – can we still work with you?
You certainly can! Dean works exclusively on video counselling for gay men, women and gender-neutral or transitioned/ing people using Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp and more.
Dean also works with long-distance gay relationships (eg the three of us are Zoom calling from three separate countries). Provided everyone’s broadband connection is of a decent quality, Zoom counselling will be a good experience.
Read more about Long Distance Couple Counselling.
Can Gay Friends use Counselling?
You certainly can! Couple Counselling is not just for traditional (you get me?!) marriages, but effective for <strong>any form</strong> of two-people-relationship, including family relationships, friends, business colleagues, flat mates and so on.
So if your friendship is in trouble, or you and your business partner are in conflict, or you and your (twin?) brother need to clear the air – couple counselling with gay couple counsellor Dean Richardson would be an ideal choice to consider.
Are you a “Licensed Counselor”?
This is one of those things you’ve likely seen appearing on Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Google etc by certain organisations based outside of the UK (one clue is in the spelling of ‘Counselor’ !).
For British counsellors (two “l”s) there is no such thing as a licensure scheme. After achieving qualification (minimum diploma, also known as level 5 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland), we counsellors can register with one of the dozen membership bodies recognised by the Professional Standards Authority. Later, if we choose to, we might work towards accreditation with that same membership body (example: add 450 supervised practice hours to our portfolio, write several essays, pay money (and a higher annual membership fee) and if a handful of anonymous peers may agree that we’ve demonstrated competency to receive accreditation).
Dean Richardson’s post-nominal letters are: MNCS(Accred/Reg) standing for “member of the National Counselling Society”, “accredited” and “registrant”, having qualified with his Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling, and Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic/Systemic Couple Counselling (yup – he’s fully qualified to practice) 👍🏻.
Nevertheless, there is still no such thing as a Licensed Counselor (sic) in the United Kingdom – maybe check with America… 🤷🏻♂️.
About Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)
You could choose any counsellor.
But… when you consider that this is the most intimate & vulnerable you're going to be with your partner(s), you'd want to choose someone you could trust with your relationship in therapy. Someone who is British (working remotely but on the same soil), is Independent of organisations promoting en-masse on Social Media, and he's payable in pounds sterling! Maybe you'd want someone who already had 13 years actual video webcam experience using Zoom & Skype before the first British Lockdowns began and other counsellors suddenly added video to their portfolio 🤔.
- Someone who was sensitive and effective with you and your partner's sexuality / gender-identity and intimate ways of relating.
- Someone, who'll you discover quickly, is an informed member of your own community.
- Someone who demonstrates adept skills with lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, mixed sexuality and same-or-mixed gender relationships, but who avoids taking the role of an "all-knowing expert" (experts don't learn & respond, they tell!).
- Someone who speaks plain English (and who can swear like a virtuoso, along with you both as much as you might prefer - or not at all), and works cooperatively with the relationship (doesn't sit in unnecessary silence, or just "hmms..." repeatedly).
- Someone who is an accredited member of The National Counselling Society (accreditation originally awarded 12 years ago from another professional body, being a process that validates a counsellor's substantial experience and attention to an ethical practice) and who is a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union of Great Britain.
Dean focuses on LGBT/QIA+ relationships as a specialty in therapy. He works with individuals, couples and small groups. Plus, he's qualified to a postgraduate level (Chichester PG Diploma in Psychodynamic/Systemic Couple Counselling, IGA National Foundation in Group Counselling) as a private practice counsellor*.
(*Note: not all counsellors - specifically those who are commonly qualified in Individual Counselling - have such specific qualifications for working with couples or groups, nor have they experience of working therapeutically with relationships. Such counsellors try - out of perhaps misplaced goodwill - to employ ineffective "individual" techniques simply because your relationship is not part of their primary theoretical framework nor rationale. A couple is not individual counselling multiplied by two! Remember to always ask your potential counsellor: "what qualifies you to work with our relationship" and judge what you hear in response).
- 1 Gay Couple Counsellor - 21 years Experience
- 1.1 Trust Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)
- 1.2 Specifically Gay Counselling for Couples
- 1.3 Why Dean Specialised Professionally
- 1.4 Zoom/Skype LGBT Video
- 1.5 Unlimited or Set Number of Counselling Sessions
- 1.6 Questions Gay Couples Ask of Therapy
- 1.7 About Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)
- 1.8 Got a Question? Don't Hold Back…