Expatriate Counselling for British LGBT CouplesYou're an Expatriate (living or working away abroad away from Great Britain). You're seeking counselling for an LGBTQ+ couple relationship. Finding a suitable service in your country may be difficult. Finding a gay, lesbian or bisexual counsellor may be even harder. Welcome to LGBTCoupleCounselling.co.uk - the British (re-)solution to relationship struggles for gay, lesbian, bisexual and mixed-sexuality couple & group relationships. With over 21 years+ expertise your relationship has found a home away from the UK with Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)…
Expatriate’s Access to LGBT Couple Counselling
Many couples and groups consider relationship counselling at some stage. Many couples live in a country where such therapies are widely available, though. When living abroad from the UK your options may be limited. When in an LGBTQ+ relationship, your options made scarce.
This counselling service is for a British expatriate couple or group relationship. One or more of you must be a British Citizen (pretty much due to insurance matters).
You might have found your host country requires their therapists to be licensed by the state (eg most American states require this). This is fine, but when you searched for someone who specialised in LGBTQ+ relationships you didn’t find someone who was suitable.
You don’t have to be living in Great Britain and you don’t have to be living together (long distance relationship counselling is perfectly fine). Provided one of you is a British expatriate, this may be the service for you.
An Effective Approach to Relationship Counselling
- Curiosity (initiated through Counselling)… leading to → New Information.
- New Information… leading to → New Options.
- New Options… leading to → Negotiating / Making New Choices.
- New Choices… leading to → Transforming the Relationship (through informed empowerment).
- Transformation underway (partners may leave counselling).
What Expatriates Seek to help their Intimate Partnerships
Let’s look at the core of what British Expatriates seek from a counsellor for their LGBT partnership:-
- Your Counsellor – Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) – is a British citizen and resident.
- He has over 21 years counselling experience accessible from all around the world.
- Dean has been practising Skype & Zoom Counselling long before others added the service during UK Lockdown (14 years before…!)
- Dean has qualifications in Couple Systemic Therapy (helping to understand where a relationship failing) and Psychodynamic Counselling (helping to understand some of the unconscious “baggage” brought into partnerships).
- Dean is an actual gay couple counsellor, specialising in counselling for gay men, lesbian women, bisexual and mixed-sexuality partnerships.
Spotting any distinguishing features that expatriates would fine useful?! 👍🏻
BONUS: this approach to therapy is focussed on relationships (couples or groups). Not all forms of therapy do so, and neither are they so effective. This is not individual therapy multiplied by two… or three. So, an LGBT couple actually continue their own therapy after they leave counselling with LGBTCoupleCounselling.co.uk. There are no compulsory requirements to return to counselling for “top up” sessions later (unless the couple themselves ask for this).
Reach out from Abroad to a British Specialist
It doesn’t matter that, whilst abroad, Dean may be several thousand miles from you. Using Zoom or Skype (and a decent broadband connection) it can feel like you’re meeting with the counsellor in your location.
In reality, you actually do bring the counsellor into your part of the world: metaphorically as well as literally.
It doesn’t matter if you and your partner(s) call into a private Zoom or Skype meeting room from the same location as each other, or from different locations in the world. You’ll both be using one device per person (a effective approach based on feedback from Dean’s previous couples) and dialling into the same Video Session. You get the full 50 (or optionally 90) minutes with Dean.
Modern Day Video Conferencing
Nowadays, video counselling – especially in the hands of someone with Dean’s expertise – can make remote therapy a breeze. You gain access to the same effective theoretical methods used by the counsellor. You’ll be able to talk to each other in real-time. We’ll use devices that you already have (Smartphones, Laptops, home broadband).
For many LGBT+ couples and groups living away from their home country, video counselling offers the solution when their host country does not recognise gay/lesbian relationships.
Physical Office Location
When counselling at a counsellor's physical location or office:-
- You leave home half-an-hour (?) early.
- You drive to the area, find a parking space, pay for parking, leave the car & walk to the consultation room.
- You wait in the waiting room (or outside locked gates) until the appointment time.
- You work for 50 minutes.
- Finally, you leave the counsellor's office to make the journey back home.
Real-time Video Conferencing
When counselling using real-time video technology:
- You sit in front of your computer (tablet or smartphone) around 5 minutes before the appointment time.
- At the session time your video kicks in and the counsellor is there.
- You work for 50 minutes.
- At the end you put the kettle on 👍🏻.
Expatriate LGBT Couples Accessing Counselling Abroad
General counselling services abroad – whether for an individual, a couple or a group – can be just as effective as British/home therapy services.
The issue we’re talking about, though, is being in a gay or lesbian relationship and having your host country’s therapist recognise and respect your partnership.
Some countries don’t recognise LGBT partnerships. Some countries make such partnerships unlawful – or even illegal. In such countries the issue might not be about finding a counsellor for an expatriate couple, but finding one that you can trust.
Trusting an Expatriate LGBT Couple Counsellor
Whatever it is that’s not sitting right with you about your host country’s therapy services, ask yourself:
- Am I looking a a Counsellor who is registered in Great Britain?
- Am I considering a counsellor who specialises in the distinct needs of LGBT relationships?
- Is this a counsellor who has been working over Internet Video for nearly two decades and has over two decades expertise in counselling?
- Does the service respect that you’re a British expatriate, in an LGBT/Q+ partnership that may not be recognised by your host country.
- Does this counsellor accept fees in GBP/£ and your host country’s currency, payable by electronic transfer?
If your answer is: YES … you’re probably looking at this website! 👍🏻
Be Informed of "non-British" Therapy Services
Video counselling takes place over the Internet - a free service supported by no-cost apps (Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, WhatsApp and others).
So, being Internet-based the service can reach almost anyone in the world.
Some areas (California, USA, for example) require that your therapist to be licensed by your home state. As Dean Richardson is not licensed to work in California, he could not work with Californian citizens in therapy over the Internet. He can work with British expatriates, though.
Non-British Therapy Services targeting the UK
Now, as Britain doesn't have the same kind of licensure system as most USA states, non-British services can advertise their therapy services within the UK. Foreign services - not being transparent about their therapists being other than British - are currently advertising on social media, search engines and verbally in Podcasts.
If you're not looking for an American therapist, for example, you need to be aware of this kind of advertising happening.
How to tell an Advert is not a British Service
Let me tell you how to detect that it's not a British service:-
- Look for foreign phrases or misspelled words.
Clue #1: "Counselor" in the UK is spelled with two "l"s. America spells it with one "l".
- Describing attributions that aren't a British requirement.
Clue #2: offering to put you in touch with a "licensed counselor" (sic). In Britain, qualified counsellors are referred to as being "registered" or "accredited", but not "licensed". British counsellors & psychotherapists join a professional membership body and make our registration via a register recognised by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
Want to learn more about how non-UK regulated organisations are advertising in the UK? Read my notes: "Are you a Licensed Counselor?"
Don't give your Personal Details away
Be aware also that some of the websites of these services ask you to complete a form ("for free!"). The form starts simply, promising to put you in contact with their best counselor (sic), but as you progress through the form you're giving more and more personal details. After several pages of giving many details you're then then invited to give your credit card.
- You weren't matched with a counsellor, you were giving marketing information to the organisation... for free.
- Notice, also, there was no GDPR Policy offered when the website began taking your personal details. You have no rights about how your details will be used.
Choose a British Registered Counsellor
Be safe online! Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) is a fully qualified counsellor, registered (#NCS15-02454) with the Professional Standards Authority through the National Counselling Society.
About Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)
Given that this will be the most intimate and vulnerable you could be with your partner(s), you would want a talented professional whose expertise you can trust. Your couple or group relationship will be in good hands with Dean. He works from Great Britain, is Independent of "box 'em/shift 'e" organisations. He identifies as a gay couple counsellor. He is easily payable in pounds sterling! Dean already had an impressive 14 years actual video webcam experience way before the first British emergency began (did you notice other counsellors suddenly adding a video option to their portfolio?! 🤔).
What makes Dean a Distinct Counsellor
- Dean is sensitive and effective to your sexuality / gender-identity and intimate ways of relating to each other.
- You'll discover quickly that Dean is an informed member of your own community.
- Dean demonstrates adept skills with lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, mixed sexuality and same-or-mixed gender relationships. He avoids the role of an "all-knowing expert"; experts don't learn & respond, they instruct!
- Dean speaks plain English (and can swear like a virtuoso if you like, or not at all if you prefer). He works cooperatively with your relationship (no unnecessary silence, or just "hmms...").
- Dean is proud to be an accredited member of The National Counselling Society. Accreditation is a valued recognition, originally awarded 12 years ago from another professional body. Accreditation usefully validates a counsellor's substantial experience and attention to ethical practice. Dean is a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union of Great Britain.
Specialist in LGBT/QIA+ Relationships
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, particularly those who are commonly qualified in Individual Counselling, have such specific qualifications for working with couples or groups. Nor do they have therapeutic relationship experience. Such counsellors may try, perhaps out of misplaced goodwill, to employ "individual" techniques but will find they are ineffective. This is 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 trust your instincts based on the responses you hear).
- 1 Expatriate Counselling for British LGBT Couples
- 1.1 Expatriate’s Access to LGBT Couple Counselling
- 1.2 What Expatriates Seek to help their Intimate Partnerships
- 1.3 Reach out from Abroad to a British Specialist
- 1.4 Expatriate LGBT Couples Accessing Counselling Abroad
- 1.5 Be Informed of "non-British" Therapy Services
- 1.6 About Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)