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Therapy Helps Couples 🏳️‍🌈

Let’s talk about why you’re considering this online therapy service. You’re a gay couple, and you want assistance with your specific needs: relationship conflicts, arguments / communication, sex / intimacy, trust issues, or maybe a major life event. How do we go about designing and implementing an effective (and bespoke!) therapy approach that will work for you specifically, and is available online wherever you are in the UK?

How does one online counsellor work with your specific relationship needs and expectations of Gay Relationship Counselling.

Tailored Relationship Therapy:

Dean's approach is all about creating a personalised therapy experience. Employing 25 years of knowledge he facilitates a collaborative process, incorporating your unique needs, ideas, and suggestions. This open, honest communication can lead to effective (re-)solutions.

Employing Your Strengths:

Avoiding a "one-size-fits-all" approach, Dean focuses on building upon your relationship's distinct strengths. Working together, a deeper understanding of your dynamics will become available, which can assist with developing your own effective tools for navigating and transforming challenges and conflicts.

Long-Term (Re-)Solutions:

This is personalised relationship therapy, empowering you to create lasting change. You can walk away with skills, knowledge and application that maintains your healthy relationship for years.

This is not always an easy approach—there'll be work for you to do, which can sometimes be stressful. But our aim is to mature this process into something unique, useful, and lasting to take away, having actively invested in its development.

Online Gay Couple Therapy introduces Innovation, Creativity and Helpful Ideas

(† that is: online therapy that supports relationships between gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals, transgender, asexual, aromatic (AroAce) and mixed-orientation couples; even many pairs of adults in most forms of relationships).

Dean helps Couples

As a compassionate counsellor, I am here to support you and your partner on your journey towards making empowering changes to your relationship.

Together, you’ll both have the opportunity to engage in open and honest discussions, where you can express your needs, negotiate compromises, and ultimately reach agreements that will bring positive changes to your relationship.

Trust that I am here to guide you through this process with care and understanding.

The process gradually becomes second nature to individuals over time, and while it may require some initial effort, the couple’s bond grows stronger and more fulfilling.

Why you’d use Online Couple Therapy

As a gay couple, it is understandable that you may sometimes face unique challenges within your relationship; challenges different from those of our heterosexual brethren. Seeking the facilitative skills of a couples counsellor, who specialises in working with gay couples, can provide you with the additional support and tailored assistance that benefits you in ways you’ve missed alone.

Couple Therapy has the potential to provide valuable support for LGBTQ+ couples, allowing us to navigate the specific challenges that can arise within our distinct relationships. Through this helpful process, couples can cultivate a deeper understanding of one another and work towards strengthening their bonds, which may feel fragile at the present time. You will work alongside Counsellor Dean Richardson, a highly skilled professional who will support you in navigating the intricacies of your relationship challenges, enhancing your communication dynamics, and cultivating strategies to effectively address not only current conflicts, but (bonus!) those that appear in the future too.

Why Engaged in Gay Couple Counselling

Whether you find yourself grappling with long-standing, intricate challenges or simply seeking to address minor concerns, engaging in couple’s therapy can offer the valuable support you seek in helping you resolve your own relationship difficulties.

A Therapy You Design

The therapeutic approach that you have both contributed to designing ensures that you do not experience a sense of passively following a therapist’s directives. Indeed, your active involvement in this bespoke, therapeutic process assures a lasting impact on you both (aka you’ll keep developing your relationship and managing conflicts) long after you’ve left counselling.

Ending Counselling

Additionally, when you feel prepared to conclude the therapeutic process, Dean can gradually or promptly (according to your expressed needs) disengage from the counselling work. This allows your relationship to regain its sense of independence and autonomy, applying the therapy you helped to design. You’re free from attending regular therapy sessions.

How to Use Online Therapy

You will have some work to do! Therapy for gay couples isn’t “done to” you (such as imagining that you’ll describe what’s wrong and a therapist will decide what’s best for you to do). Instead, the couple and therapist form a therapeutic alliance* that can empower the couple to make use of the therapist and the process they’re all developing together.

The couple might like to discuss thoughts and ideas to address relationship problems or to bounce-around ideas (trials, adjustments, reviews, etc) in session. This is an effective therapeutic process, as opposed to trying to use the therapist as a form of adjudicator (“am I right? or is my partner?”) or as a kind of guru expert with all the solutions the couple will need.

The beginning of gay couples therapy sometimes takes a little time to warm up, but to help the beginning sessions Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg) “holds the therapeutic frame**”.

Your therapist will support you both with:-

1. Comprehending… what has been going wrong in the relationship (as far back as you need).

2. Learning new things… about your relationship (that you hadn’t noticed as important before).
3. Helping you apply… your new knowledge, combined with your increased comprehension, to make changes (to yourself, to the relationship, etc)

So, you see, with new information comes new, informed choices that you could make together. New, informed choices can lead to transformations in your relationship behaviour. This is what you came here for.

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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*The Therapeutic Alliance: the relationship between a psychologist, psychotherapist, or counsellor and a patient/client, regarded as important for the outcome of psychological therapy.

**The Therapeutic Frame: the couple therapist is initially responsible for managing a safe, secure environment for the couple and he who begin a (re-)construction process. This will be a process that the couple will take over autonomously during, and towards the end of, the therapy work.

Gay Couple with Relationship Problems Sitting Apart

Seeking counselling as a single, gay man?

I’ve got you covered on this too…👍

Counselling for Blokes Online (

Our Approach

Our approach to gay couple therapy can be a very helpful process for pretty much any form of couple relationship, whether it be intimate, platonic, friendship, work colleagues, family, and so on.

  • Note that although “Couple Therapy” generally refers to two people, this bespoke therapy approach can also be helpful to LGBTQ+ throuples and polyamorous groups.
  • Sessions are (at a minimum) once a week, automatically scheduled for the same day and time each week (except for planned breaks and bank holidays). There’s an option for more than one session per week by prior discussion with your couple counsellor.
  • Each session lasts for 50 minutes (with an option for 90 minutes by prior arrangement), starting on the hour. Sessions don’t begin late.
  • Your next session is booked automatically after our first appointment, assuming that our initial “mutual assessment” session(s) inform us that we’d make a good working alliance and, of course, if we agree to work together.
Overview of Gay Couple Therapy

Our first task in couple therapy will be to discover, together, what is going to be our main focus of our work.

Finding the Focus

Understanding the focus of what therapy is going to address is important. Relationship problems aren’t always as obvious as how they present. This is true even if the couple thought they knew what was wrong with their relationship based on their observations. With this approach, what is really at the heart of the relationship’s difficulties can be unearthed in the first set of therapy sessions.

We’ll use our initial time to talk about the couple’s (unsatisfactory) relationship behaviours. We’ll employ empathy, curiosity, and hypotheses (aka developing informed hunches and testing them out with homework and new knowledge).

You’ll play an Active part

In our approach, the couple will play an active part in this therapeutic process; they will not be passive bystanders to a therapist’s instruction.

Curiosity will become a powerful tool. Curiosity lets us learn new things. With new knowledge can come new choices, and with choices comes the possibility for change.

This integrated systemic and psychodynamic approach for gay couples is particularly effective.

Clients have remarked on Counsellor Dean's uncanny ability to 'read' behaviours that have gone unrecognised by the couple (sometimes for years). By contemplating "what could be going on here?" we grow a helpful alliance that can improve your understanding of your (seemingly) helpless battles. With such new information comes the ability for you to make different, newer decisions—decisions that can lead to your relationship growing in different, more satisfying directions.

Using your Own Relationship and Individual Strengths

We’ll discover and make use of your relationship’s distinct strengths, skills, creativity, and ability to hypothesise; we’ll unearth new information that invites new behaviours. We’ll introduce homework that puts new behaviours into action (with Dean’s help and support), reviewing which behaviours struggle to work, discarding those that aren’t helpful, and keeping those that are.

We’ll bring our therapeutic contract to an end when you, the client couple, feel able to manage relationship problems much better with your newer skills that effectively address conflicts.

Does this actually work

This therapy approach employs (science bit coming up) integrated systemic and psychodynamic (e.g. object relations) psychotherapy theoretical frameworks.

What that means in plain English is: by learning about the relationship’s “systems” (i.e. how things work, fail to work, reactions, responses, triggers, etc.) and what each partner brings from their respective pasts, a gay couple and counsellor work in alliance to develop ideas on what the unsatisfactory behaviour may be asking for. We can figure out ways to sooth the ailing relationship. As the couple matures with this process, they become more adept at making well-informed decisions about any adjustments they wish to make to their own relationship.


The counsellor maintains a neutral position (he doesn’t side with one partner over the other or make adjudicating decisions) while employing a motivating style of curiosity and interest.

One Useful Task for Improving a Bad Relationship

Can we improve our relationship by regarding it as a system with flaws we can learn to repair?

The couple becomes empowered to discuss, negotiate, and agree to changes to their relationship. The process becomes second nature to them after a while, and although it can be hard work to begin with, the couple’s relationship deepens and becomes more rewarding.

Together, gay couple therapy helps to inspire new ideas about why things are going wrong in the relationship. Therapy helps the couple make informed choices about how to make changes together.

Sounding complex?

Therapy becomes second nature quite quickly—we’re using skills that you already have!

Every Session Provides

Different relationship counsellors work in different ways.

Dean's core approach is the integration of psychodynamic and systemic theoretical models (along with whatever is helpful, to be honest!). But let's give you a more plain-English overview of what each counselling session can provide for you.

  • A complete 50-minute session (or 90 minutes for throuples and groups) that begins on the hour, will not start late, and ends at a consistent and predictable time.

  • Over 24 years of therapeutic skills including: reframing of subject matter that can bring comprehension, behavioural interpretation, identification of unconscious processes (projection, splitting, etc), insightful comments, observations, active listening, and knowledge of LGBTQ+ relationships that can help you make informed choices around relationship change.

  • Non-judgement respect for this being your distinct relationship, avoiding diagnoses, pathologising, and prescribing to you: "how a normal relationship would deal with this is..."

  • Techniques and approaches that can help all partners confront, halt and transform unhappy behaviour.

  • Unlimited opportunities to contribute your own ideas, suggestions and hypotheses.

  • Unlimited opportunities to gain new knowledge and comprehension about their partner's (and their own) behaviour and motivations in the context of this relationship.

  • Unlimited homework opportunities: to discuss, plan and design your own homework in between sessions.

  • The same counsellor every session, so that the connection you build with Dean can become dependable and trustworthy.

  • Weekly appointments scheduled for the same day and time (excepting planned holidays), giving you the flexibility to manage your personal schedule without squeezing-in future counselling sessions.

  • A professional facilitative approach that can assist you and your partner(s) in identifying your own problems, interrupting faults, and putting in corrective behaviour. A strategy you can use and re-use for years to come.

  • A therapist who listens for the problems that your relationship cannot hear and who maintains a neutral position (e.g. does not take sides).

  • Reliable and containing boundaries - whether it's as simple as time keeping or more complex such as distressing subject material.

  • Flexible and dynamic outcomes - your goals at the beginning of our work together may change over time. We will manage whatever new matters your relationship needs to attend to.

  • Helpful support during distressing and emotional times.

  • Support in finding ways to bring the counselling work to an end. We can stop our work at any time, and discussing this with your counsellor can help find creative ways to plan for the partners to continue their work.

Learn New Things

In couples therapy, we’re trying to gain new knowledge about how this gay couple relates (see above).

Curiosity invites new knowledge, and with new information comes inspiration and opportunities for changing behaviour.

As a gay couples therapist, Dean practices a form of relationship therapy referred to as an integrated systemic / psychodynamic approach. He takes a neutral stance within the therapeutic alliance in order to learn how the couple pulls and pushes together.  He’s listening within the stories for common and/or conjoined anxieties (hidden within the couple’s story) that the couple (unaware) are trying to mitigate. In reality, the couple is teaching him how the relationship works (and, by inference, how it is failing too). With this knowledge, Dean is educated on how to make helpful interventions that the couple can find palatable.

It’s a Socratic Approach

So, rather than the therapist teaching the couple “how” to relate, the couple actually discovers for themselves better ways of relating together in their own partnership.

It’s not magic; it’s effective gay couple therapy!

This approach may relieve the couple of the need to compel the therapist to act as an adjudicator (i.e. decide which partner is “right” or “wrong” – as if that would help).

Learning how to Relate through Therapy

This approach is just one of the many effective psychological approaches that Dean employs to work with gay couples in therapy, rather than employing tools or exercises at the couple (like some therapists inexperienced in couple work may try to do). Couples in therapy sessions are invited to participate within the therapy as equal partners alongside the therapist.

In time, we can develop into three therapists working together. A little later, two therapists (the two of you) can say goodbye to the third (me) as you leave our therapeutic alliance.

Two Video Devices

Dean Richardson has more than 17 years experience of practising real-time, online Video Therapy (Skype, Zoom etc). His original focus was working with couples in Long Distance Relationships (i.e. partners being in different countries to one another would use one online video device each).

As 2019’s pandemic developed, Dean discovered a therapeutically useful phenomenon for couples seeking remote therapy services over video: couples living together also benefited from using individual devices (i.e. one device each, sitting in different rooms from each other); couples reported back that the approach gave them a helpful sense of “we’re not at home” during therapy.

Dean’s Distinct Therapeutic Approach

This means that Dean’s particular approach empowers couples to talk with each other about subjects that couldn’t (usually) be discussed “at home”. Difficult subjects became more accessible due to the use of two video devices (any mix of Smartphones, tablets, PCs, Macs etc available to the couple).

So, as you consider engaging in video therapy with Dean, the following Preparations for Video Sessions will be helpful to you both…

Couple in Online Therapy over Video

Beginning Online Therapy

First Session(s)

Initially, couples meet with their counsellor using a pre-agreed online video conferencing service. We discuss their relationship problems. Right from the start, Dean will be assisting the couple in making an informed decision about therapy (eg taking contact information, a history of the individuals and the relationship, any previous therapy experiences, psychiatric/GP care, etc). After safeguarding is completed, we move into assisting the couple to begin finding the focus of the therapy. This may be telling the story of the relationship, the current problems, what enables couples to begin talking.

Discovering what we’ll Focus upon

Finding the Focus is an important aspect for couple therapy. A couple may think they know what the problems are from their behaviour (or events). But when the counsellor begins to drill down a little more for new information, the couple may find that what they think are the problems are actually symptoms of a deeper ailment. This will be helpful – once the focus is identified more clearly, therapy can proceed with a more accurate aim.

The first session (sometimes the first handful of sessions) includes evaluating if the couple and therapist can work together. We notice if we’re able to work with what’s on offer. The first session(s) may merge into subsequent sessions naturally, rather than to declare “the first session is done, now we move on!”, or we may interrupt our work to discuss possible other approaches (or services) to which the couple may respond better.

Subsequent Sessions

Each subsequent session usually begins with the invitation: “What do we think we need to focus upon today?” This puts the couple’s autonomy and inspiration in charge of leading the session.

We may discuss the previous week’s homework (see later), any new difficulties that the couple have encountered, or any new learning and new decisions made since the last session.

Post-Session Homework

Each session can be about “identification”:

  • Identifying the focus,
  • Identifying relating conflicts / difficulties
  • Identifying processes that get in the way of resolution (eg defences, historic experiences etc).

And while sessions can often include practice (like how to change what we’re identifying), there is also a lot of time to try things out and change them outside of the session.

We call this “homework.”

Instead of assigning homework each time, the counsellor may ask the couple to identify what themes they observed emerging during the session. The couple can use these themes to figure out what they might want to work on at home. After a while, the couple may master the art of identifying their own homework.

Subsequent sessions may include discussions about the previous week(s) homework: identifying what worked well, what didn’t go so well, and what could be done differently; a way to bring new information into counselling sessions to work on with the therapist

Homework for a Couple in Therapy

How Therapy Ends

If one of the primary goals of gay couple relationship therapy is to empower the partners to make their own transformative decisions together, another equally important goal is to empower the couple to make their counsellor redundant.

I’m talking about the couple bringing the therapy to an end (whilst taking their newly built therapeutic behaviour with them).

A couple does not have to be in therapy until every problem is resolved.

No, through practising therapeutic techniques that the couple developed in session with Dean, the couple begin to develop and employ their own therapeutic approach. Once the couple recognises that this has become effective within their partnership (e.g. the couple are managing their own difficulties more successfully), the need to attend weekly therapy sessions diminishes.

How Counselling Comes to an End

‘Ending’ is not the same as ‘Completed’

Most couples leave therapy with their previous difficulties well on their way to becoming resolved – without needing to have everything “fixed” (so to speak). They end the therapy because their counsellor’s presence has become redundant. The couple continues to work on their relationship needs successfully on their own.

Top-up Sessions?

Unlike some therapists who suggest that the couple ought to book future “top-up sessions,” this will be unnecessary with Dean’s approach.

There is no expectation for you to return to therapy in the future (as if “topping-up” somehow suggests that you’d run out of the approach you had developed in therapy).

Future Therapy.

Of course, you are both welcome to meet with Dean again in the future, if you feel the need.

Such arrangements would be on your terms, rather than at the Dean’s suggestion that you needed to return.

You’re free to choose how you bring our work to an end; you’re free to re-engage only when it’s a helpful process to you.

⚠️Might you be looking for Family Mediation?

Counsellors and Mediators have quasi-comparable skills (skills that appear to be the same), which can leave you struggling to decide which professional service might benefit your relationship the most.

Counsellors are not mediators, and mediators are not counsellors. So, in a (very small) nutshell...

  • Counsellors are trained/qualified to support parties who wish to reconcile (and may wish to investigate separation),  and who need to explore historical problems and more deep-rooted historical issues in their relationship, etc.
  • Mediators are trained/qualified to support parties wishing to separate amicably, maintain boundaries in keeping discussions targeted towards the future, mitigate "blaming-behaviour", etc.
Family Mediation

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!