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Expatriate’s Access to LGBT Couple Counselling

Relationship counselling is something that many couples and groups consider at some point. However, you are living overseas outside of the UK, in an LGBTQ+ relationship possibly in a country where LGBTQ+ relationships are not recognised, or where your options for counselling are limited.

Can you get LGBT Couples Counselling when living in your adopted country?

This distinct counselling service is for British expatriate couples or group-relationships. One or more of you either must be a British citizen (pretty much for insurance reasons). This will apply particularly when your host country makes it unlawful for its citizens to access therapists from abroad or therapists who are not licensed by your home State (e.g. America requires State licensing). You may not fall under your host country’s requirements when one of you is a British citizen.

You don’t have to be living in Great Britain and you don’t have to be living in the same country as one another (counselling can help long distance relationships too). Provided one of you is a British expatriate this could very well be the right service for you.

British Expatriate Counselling LGBTQ+

An Effective Approach to Relationship Counselling

Taking Things One Step at a Time

An overview of how LGBT relationship counselling works, starts with encouraging curiosity…

  1. Curiosity (initiated through Counselling)… leading to  →  New Information.
  2. New Information… leading towards  →  New Options.
  3. New Options… leading towards  →  Negotiating / Making New Choices.
  4. New Choices… leading towards  →  Transforming the Relationship (through informed empowerment).
  5. Transformation Underway… the partners are developing affective behaviours that address relationship conflicts (and may choose to leave counselling).

Curiosity allows us to discover new knowledge. New information provides us (and our partners) with new possibilities, which leads to us making some new (or newer) relationship decisions. When new decisions are made, the behaviour of the partnership can begin to change. When the partners' relationship is much more under their own management (again), they will recognise it's time to leave counselling.

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What Overseas Couples Seek to help their Relationship

Let’s look at the core of what overseas LGBT couples seek from their expatriate counsellor:-

  • Your Counsellor – Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg) – is a British citizen and resident in the UK.
  • He has over 24 years counselling experience accessible from all around the world.
  • Dean has been practising Skype & Zoom Counselling long before a majority of counsellors added the service during the 2020 UK Lockdown (15 years before, in fact…!) and works with LGBT overseas.
  • Dean is post-graduate qualified in Couple Systemic(1) / Psychodynamic(2) Counselling.
  • As Dean is resident in England, counselling sessions will take place virtually in Great Britain for the purposes of a legal jurisdiction and insurance. In effect: you’ll be in the UK during counselling sessions.
  • 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 overseas might find useful?! 👍🏻

(1) Helping to understand where a relationship is failing.
(2) Helping to understand some of the unconscious material (what some may call “baggage”) brought into this partnership occurring from other relationships.

BONUS: this approach to therapy is focused on expatriate relationships (specifically: couples or groups). Not all forms of therapy do this. Neither are they as effective. In other words: this is not individual therapy but multiplied by two… or three! So, with such a distinctly matched therapy an LGBT couple can actually leave counselling and continue their own therapy  on their own afterwards. 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. 

Zoom or Skype Video Counselling for LGBT British Expatriates

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

Couple Counselling with two chairs facing each other

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

Gay Couple in a Zoom counselling session

When counselling using real-time video technology:

  • You sit in front of your computers (tablets or smartphones) around 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • When the session begins, your video kicks in and the counsellor appears.
  • You work for 50 minutes.
  • At the end, you put the kettle on 👍🏻.

British Expatriate LGBT Couple seeking 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 here, though, is being in a gay or lesbian relationship, a British Couple, and having your host country’s therapist not recognising nor respecting your partnership.

Some countries abroad don’t recognise LGBT partnerships, relationships nor marriages. Some countries make LGBT relationships unlawful – or even illegal. In such countries the issue might not be about finding a couples counsellor, but finding one from abroad that you can trust and work with.

LGBT British Expatriate Counselling Google Reviews

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! 👍🏻

Being Aware of Non-British Online Therapy

You might prefer a therapist who is British, operating from England. But how do you judge if the service you’re looking at provides this?

There are a number of services currently marketing themselves heavily – that are not British. This is fine, except they’re not being clear about this… at all!

Click to read my article Tips for Recognising Non-British Therapy Services…

About Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg)

You could choose any couple / group counsellor…

Given that this will be the most intimate and vulnerable you could feel alongside your partner(s), you would want a skilled professional whose experience and specialism you could trust; whose focus would be upon your distinct relationship. Your couple, throuple or group relationship will be in good hands with Dean. He works from Great Britain, is Independent of "box 'em/shift 'em" therapy services, and identifies as a gay couple counsellor. He's also easily payable in pounds sterling! Dean already had an impressive 17 years actual video "webcam" experience - way before the first British emergency began (when suddenly many counsellors added a Video option to their portfolio, having not practised so previously! 🤔).

What makes Dean Distinct

  • 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, fluid, mixed sexuality and same-or-mixed gender relationships having over 24 years' experience as a counsellor.
  • Dean avoids taking a the role of "all-knowing expert" (whether requested or projected onto him by the clients). "Experts" tell you what to do, do not learn very well from others, and struggle to adapt to new situations. A couple counsellor must be curious, adaptive, and ask questions from a "not knowing" position so that the relationship in counselling benefits from re-examination.
  • 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 was originally accredited by his first professional body 15 years ago; he is now an accredited registrant with The National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society. Accreditation is a valued recognition of a counsellor's substantial experience. Dean is also a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union of Great Britain.
  • Dean is a British Counsellor working from the South of England. Unlike other counselling services operating from abroad Dean is registered, accredited, insured & supervised from within England (not from abroad).

If any of this resonates with you and your partner(s), you should probably meet with the Gay Relationship Counsellor: Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg) via Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp and other secure, reliable video conferencing media.

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), and works as a private practice counsellor employing 24+ years experience*.

(*Very Important: not all counsellors have such specific skills for working with couples nor groups. Those who are initially trained to use common "Individual" Counselling skills have no experience in working therapeutically with relationships. Such counsellors may try, perhaps out of misplaced goodwill, to employ "individual" techniques (multiplied by 2) but the couple or group will find that the approach is ineffective. Simply put: it's the wrong approach; your relationship is not part of the counsellor's primary theoretical framework. Remember always to ask your potential counsellor: "what qualifies you to work with our relationship?" and trust your instincts based on what you hear.

MNPCS Accredited Registrant Counsellor
Member of the British Psychotherapy and Counselling Union
Location Image+44-56-0366-3067£30-£130
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Got a Question about LGBT/QIA+ Counselling?

Come and ask... whatever question you have about couple and/or group counselling for gay, lesbian, bisexual, aromatic, asexual and mixed-orientation relationships you might have, get in touch today to discuss your needs…

Private Counselling Services Designed for the LGBTQ+ Community. Available Exclusively to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, ASexual, ARomantic, Mixed & Queer Couples, and Established Polyamorous Groups - serving the UK Nationwide over Zoom & Skype, plus locations in and around central Havant, Petersfield to Waterlooville, Cosham to Portsmouth & Southsea, Southampton to Chichester, Fareham to Gosport, Hayling Island, Emsworth, Westbourne, Rowland's Castle, stretching westwards to Bournemouth, eastwards towards Brighton & Hove and northwards towards Liverpool, Manchester and Hull. For local residents anywhere in between, across the whole UK, and regularly further afield abroad!