Relationship therapy for couples in a safe, comfortable and private setting

Anita Dunford - BSc Therapeutic Counselling and Psychotherapy. MBACP (Accred)

Help for couples in a relationship.

Do you avoid bringing up your thoughts and feelings because you know it will end in a fight?

Do your everyday discussions turn into arguments full of defensiveness, contempt, and criticism? 

Do you give your partner the silent treatment, or are you the partner receiving the "silent treatment"?

Do you find yourself “putting up” with difficult situations for fear of upsetting your partner?

Do you feel alone in your relationship? Do you feel like roommates rather than soulmates?

Does your relationship feel empty and lacking the intimacy and passion of the past?

Do you feel like your world has ended after the revelation of an affair or betrayal?

If you have answered yes to any of the above statements, then you may find Relationship Counselling helpful. Most of us initially sort out our problems ourselves. 

But because we are often IN the relationship it takes work to take a 'birds' eye view and see the whole picture that we have inadvertently got ourselves into. 

That's where relationship counselling can help. Relationship therapy can help you and your partner in every relationship phase. No matter where you are in your relationship, you don't have to wait and hope things will improve.

What is

Relationship Counselling?

Relationship counselling involves confidential sessions in which you and your partner can gain insight, hear, and learn from each other in a safe environment with the help of a counsellor trained in relationship counselling.

The goal is for you both to act as a team to work through your difficulties and find a way to move forward. This may involve addressing conflict (necessary in a healthy relationship) and learning a more effective way of communicating our needs, feelings, thoughts, and desires for the future. 

The sessions may explore your past and lived experiences and provide you and your partner with some understanding of why we behave in the way we do and how we can change unhealthy behaviour patterns.

Please note that relationship therapy is not intended to be a substitution for individual psychotherapy when the following are present: Severe and persistent mental illness, Alcohol or Drug addiction or Violence in the Relationship.

How I work with couples.

I have undertaken varied training in couples therapy and follow many aspects from the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy. This is based on Dr. John Gottman's research, which began in the 1970's and continues to this day. The research has focused on what makes relationships succeed or fail, providing an approach to improving clients’ relationships.

The method is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy within the relationship. To help you productively manage conflicts you will be given tools to manage“resolvable problems” and dialogue about “gridlocked” issues. We will also work together to help you appreciate your relationship strengths and to gently navigate through its challenges.

What to expect

Session 1 (Assessment)

This is a one-hour session during which we will discuss the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and goals for the therapy. This allows you both to meet with me and for us to decide if we are a “good fit” and could work together. 

There is no charge for this initial assessment. If you did decide to proceed with some sessions, I would require you both to complete the Gottman Couples Online Questionnaire at a one off cost of £35.

Session 2 Individual Sessions


In the next session, I will meet with you individually to learn your personal history and give you an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. This session will last one hour and is charged at the individual rate of £60 each.

Session 3 (Assessment)

In the final assessment session, I will share my recommendations for treatment and work to define mutually agreed-upon goals for your therapy. This joint session and any future sessions will be one hour’s duration and charged at £75.

Session 4 onwards (Therapy)

Your specific needs and goals, as a couple, will determine the length of therapy. During the therapy, we will establish points at which to evaluate your satisfaction and progress. I will also encourage you to raise any questions or concerns that you have about therapy at any time.  You will also be given exercises to practice between sessions. In the initial stages, we will meet weekly to develop our relationship.


Frequently asked questions

What is the Gottman Online Questionnaire?

Fully HIPAA compliant, the questionnaire consists of 337 questions about friendship, intimacy, emotions, conflict, values, and trust. It includes questions about parenting, housework, finances, and individual areas of concern. Each partner completes the online questionnaire independently and neither partner can view the replies of the other.

The results are then emailed to me with detailed reports that include responses, areas of concern in the relationship, and suggested treatment options. The therapy focus will on the unique needs of the relationship from where you will both to develop greater awareness of the strengths and challenges in the relationship, and begin your journey to a stronger relationship.

How long we it take to complete the questionnaire?

On average it will take two hours to complete the questionnaire. You can choose to complete the questionnaire in one sitting or in stages. If you choose to take a break you simply log out. Upon your return the system will remember where you left off and resume from that point.

Can we have our sessions online?

Couples therapy is different from individual therapy and although some relationship counsellors do see clients online I prefer to meet in-person for couples work, certainly in the initial stages. I would be happy to discuss further at our initial meeting.

Where are you located?

My counselling room is located within the building of Grove Therapy, 62 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9PA. The building is easily accessible from Ilkley train and bus stations which are within a short walking distance. There is metered car parking in the main central car park as well as on street car parking nearby.

The location is easily accessible for clients in Ilkley and the surrounding areas of Addingham, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Menston, Guiseley, Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, Otley and Skipton.

Will what we say remain confidential?

You can be assured that everything you share with me during our work together will be treated as highly confidential. However, there are some limits to confidentiality which you need to be aware of: In very rare cases I may be legally or ethically obliged to break confidentiality for example, where I consider your welfare or the welfare of others to be at risk.

This would include you disclosing information that someone (including yourself) is in danger, or you disclose to me your intent of committing a serious criminal offence or terrorism, at which stage I may need to consider breaking confidentiality in accordance with the BACP Ethical


How many sessions will we need?

Your specific needs, as a couple, will determine the length of therapy.

What happens if I am unable to attend my session?

If you rearrange or cancel within 24 hours notice of your appointment there is no charge. However, cancellations of less than 24 hours would normally incur the full appointment fee.

What happens if my partner doesn't want to come for therapy?

Contact Me

If you are looking to arrange some sessions please feel free to get in touch with me. I am happy to discuss any queries or questions that you may have as this enables us to discuss the reasons why you are seeking counselling, whether it could be helpful for you, and whether I am the right therapist to help.

You can also call me on 07704 631975 if you would prefer. If I am not available to take your call and you would like me to call you back, please leave a message with your name and number. I am unable to respond to missed calls where no message has been left.

All enquires are usually answered within 24 hours (except Sundays) and all contact is strictly confidential and uses secure phone and email services. Find out more by reading my Privacy Policy.


Couples Counselling Sessions ( in-person only). One hour duration.

£75 per session

©2022 Anita Dunford

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