Is this the best gay couple counsellor for male relationships? Four Important Aspects your counsellor must demonstrate for your most valuable therapy…

Is this the Best Gay Couple Counsellor?

20 May, 2023Blog

In layman’s terms, here are FOUR vital criteria that would make up the best gay couple counsellor you could hope to work with.

In other words: a couples counsellor who works with gay males in partnership via an integrated psychodynamic and systemic model (such as Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg)) that helps the couple to focus upon, learn about, and put in place resolutions to their relationship problems.

We’ll discuss things more in plain English in just a second… but let’s get to the three criteria…


Has Extensive Knowledge of Gay Couple Relationships

The best gay couple counsellor is well-versed in gay couples’ behaviour, not just from a social point of view, but also from a psychological one too.

You might think of a gay couple counsellor as having a superset of skills and knowledge when compared to a standard couple counsellor.

For example, gay couples have had to form their own relationship methods; following behaviour they experienced from their (heteronormative) parents can leave the gay couple insufficiently prepared for long-term relationships.


Demonstrates Empathy and Active Listening

The best couple counsellor has the ability to hear, understand and empathise with each partner’s feelings and experiences… without taking sides.

The couple counsellor remains neutral whilst actively listen to both individuals. In doing this he creates a safe and non-judgmental space for open communication. By helping each partner express his emotions and concerns, the other partner(s) get to hear things and learn about matters not previously understood.

The couple counsellor and helps the partners navigate their relational dynamics effectively, identifying what behaviour they wish to alter, and assisting the couple in meeting those goals.

Integrates a Systemic & Psychodynamic Approach

The best couple counsellor is knowledgeable and skilled in both psychodynamic and systemic models of therapy, plus helpful aspects of other therapeutic approaches.

Psychodynamic therapy: focuses on exploring past experiences and unresolved conflicts that is being brought into the present relationship (regularly unawares).

Systemic therapy: looks at the broader context of the couple’s interactions with one-another, and the behavioural “systems” they are a part of (e.g., family, culture – read more here).

An integrated approach combines models to help the couple gain a comprehensive understanding of the their relationship dynamics; empowering them to be able to provide their own tailored interventions and changes.

Best gay couple counsellor - Dean Richardson - Zoom Smartphone app

Gay couple counsellor – Dean Richardson – via Zoom Smartphone

Remains Neutral, is Collaborative and Solution-Oriented

(…when useful!). The best couple couple counsellor can work collaboratively with a couple in identifying their goals, and helps them identify solutions to their own challenges.

The couple’s therapist facilitates constructive dialogue, helping the partners explore their needs, expectations, and patterns of interaction. By learning what’s happening in the relationship, the couple becomes able to identify the changes they wish to make. A good couple counsellor would follow the couple in developing effective communication skills, conflict resolution strategies, and healthier relational patterns as their relationship develops from the therapy. When the couple are ready to try focusing on finding practical solutions, a good counsellor will support the couple in creating positive changes within their relationship (sometimes called “homework”) and will assist the couple in determining what (sometimes) goes wrong when homework trials do not go as well as hoped.

These criteria integrating psychodynamic and systemic couple counselling theoretical frameworksare described in simplified terms and there will be additional factors to consider when evaluating who would be the best gay couple counsellor for your relationship difficulties.



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