As a gay or queer couple you want to know how counselling can rescue your relationship from trouble. Let's discuss how couples therapy helps…

How does Couple Counselling Help LGBTQIA+?

22 May, 2023Blog

Gay couples counselling, also known as couples therapy or civil-marriage counselling, is a form of therapy specifically designed to help gay couples improve their relationship and to resolve conflicts together.

Relationship counselling can effectively assist LGBTQIA+ couples in resolving difficulties that they have been unable to handle on their own.

However, not all counsellors are able to offer couple counselling. Default training programs (in the UK) train counsellors to work with individuals only. Couple counselling is a very different approach therapy (no, it’s not “individual counselling with two individuals”) and only those properly qualified in couple counselling ought to be offering therapy to the public.

So, let’s discuss SEVEN ways in which couple counselling can be beneficial to gay couples:

An LGBTQ+-Affirming Counsellor

You get to work with someone who is totally on your side.

Not just a counsellor who might know some LGBTQ+ people, but a counsellor who has a deep, sometimes personal, relationship and comprehension of the struggles that gay couples may face together.

Improved Communication

A primary goal of couple counselling is to enhance communication between partners.

The counsellor helps the couple to develop effective communication skills, teaching them how to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a healthy and constructive manner. A systemic counsellor can help in this way by interrupting poor behaviour patterns seen in session. The couple learn to recognise that they can make their own helpful interruptions too. Improved communication can lead to better understanding, empathy, and collaboration within the relationship.

Conflict Resolution Skills

Couples can face conflicts and disagreements, which, if left unresolved, can damage the relationship.

Gay couples may face struggles that their heterosexual counterparts may not. Counselling for gay couples provides a safe and structured environment where the couple will address and work through their conflicts, in the safe containment of the therapist’s presence. The therapist facilitates productive discussions, helps identify underlying issues, and guides the couple towards finding mutually satisfactory resolutions.

Rebuilding Trust

Trust is a fundamental component of a healthy relationship.

Couple counselling can aid in rebuilding trust when it has been compromised (eg through an affair, through lying etc). The therapist will assist the couple in addressing issues such as infidelity, breaches of trust, or other betrayals. Through open and honest communication, sometimes built up over time rather than straight away, couples can work towards rebuilding trust and establishing a more secure foundation.


How does Gay Couple Counselling actually help?

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Strengthening Emotional Connection

Over time, a gay couple may experience a decline in emotional intimacy and connection.

Couple counselling focuses on reigniting and strengthening the emotional bond between partners. The counsellor can help the couple identify and express their emotional needs, foster empathy and understanding, and encourage behaviors that enhance intimacy and connection.

Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

Couple counselling equips partners with effective problem-solving strategies that can be applied to various aspects of their relationship.

Couples learn how to identify patterns of behavior that contribute to problems, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and find mutually beneficial solutions. These skills can improve the couple’s ability to navigate challenges and maintain a healthier relationship in the long term, well after the counselling work has ended.

Preemptive Relationship Maintenance

Couple counselling can also be valuable for couples who are not currently experiencing significant issues.

It can serve as a preventive measure to address smaller concerns, enhance communication, and strengthen the relationship before conflicts escalate. Preemptive counselling can help couples develop a deeper understanding of each other’s needs, promote ongoing growth, and foster a more satisfying partnership.


In short, counselling for gay couples provides a structured and supportive space for the men to work on their relationship, resolve conflicts, improve communication, and strengthen their emotional connection. The specific focus and goals of counselling will vary from couple to couple depending on the couple’s unique circumstances and needs. The first few sessions will be about discussing these needs, so that the couple can recognise they are on the right path with the right counsellor.



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