About Private Couple Counselling.

When you’re Struggling and your Relationship is in Conflict.

Do you believe that: “we’ve tried everything already” ?

Then you may be surprised to learn how effective working with experienced private couple counsellor: Dean Richardson MNCS(Accredited Registrant) can be for your relationship, together.

You see it can be massive a relief to experience what a different, distinctly private perspective brings. Although Dean is a fully qualified and experienced couple counsellor he has an advantage that you both do not…

…he isn’t involved in your relationship; he is able to see the wood for the trees.

Using thoroughly tried and tested couple relationship / systemic / psychodynamic counselling approaches that assist couples in discovering their own root causes to their problems, Dean avoids taking on the role of a “relationship expert” and assists the couple discovering their own effective resolutions.

“Experts” judge, prescribe and tell. Dean assists couples in building their own resolutions to conflicts that make it difficult to relate.

Encourage curiosity (employing a bucket load of therapeutic frameworks) to arguments, conflicts and distrust brings new knowledge. Knowledge brings the couple understanding, and understanding fuels the development of new relating decisions.

When your relationship is struggling to exist and you’d like to bring back the happier, calmer times, Dean Richardson MNCS(Accredited Registrant) would be the distinctly private couple counsellor for your relationship.

Havant Counselling Dean Richardson

Dean's Experience as a Couple Counsellor.

  • Originally trained by Sue Esau (Relate couple counsellor and supervisor - now retired) & Chris Vincent (Tavistock Clinic - now in private practice, lecturer and author) via Chichester Counselling Service's Post-Qualification Diploma in Counselling Couples (systemic / psychodynamic), 2009-2010.
  • 20+ years of counselling experience, both in charitable establishments, EAPs and private practice.
  • Available exclusively in private practice in Hampshire (not available via EAP, Charity nor NHS).

Counselling Services for Couples.

No Waiting

NHS and charity counselling services often make you wait until the next counsellor is available. Going to a private couple counsellor, you may often have your first appointment arranged for the next week.


To be effective, couple counselling sessions are (of a minimum) weekly. Any more time between sessions will weaken the therapy work. Regular weekly sessions also help with budgeting, arranging baby-sitting, and provides a containing sanctuary where you may both focuses on your relationship in safety.


Open Ended

Couples’ lives together are not limited by time, so neither is couple counselling. We’ll first clearly identify the problems, then you will have a choice: work on the problems alone, or continue to work in counselling during regular sessions.

Suitable for…

Suitable for adult couples in any form of relationship (marital, intimate, business, social, neighbours). Couple Counselling helps unstick the stuck – enabling you both to work together again.

Private counselling near me serving 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, local residents anywhere in between and regularly further afield!

Click for location details…

How does it Work?

Couple Counselling is an effective therapeutic intervention for adult marriages, intimate couples, platonic couples and social couples (e.g. friends, flatmates, neighbours).

Couple Counselling supports both you and your partner together in identifying and then working-through the relationship’s problem(s).

With the counsellor’s intervention, you will both be creating your own unique therapy, ideal to your unique relationship.

We stop when the couple can make the counsellor redundant (which means you can work on the problems yourselves on your own).

Dean’s approach to couple counselling helps the couple not only address current problems, but also prepares the couple to manage new conflicts in the future.

Couple Counselling using effective systemic / psychodynamic therapeutic interventions, without reference to religious or moral rules, encourages a couple to teach each other how to work their relationship through conflicts.

Havant Couple Counselling

Non-Traditional Relationships!

My approach to couple counselling allows me to work with all sorts of couple relationships…

  • Parental/child relationships (adults only)
  • Sibling relationships (brothers, sisters, twins)
  • Flatmates
  • Neighbours
  • Friends
  • Good-on-paper-but…
  • Long distance
  • Co Dependent / Independent
  • Dominating / Submission
  • Rebound
  • Toxic
  • “Trophy”
The systemic & Psychodynamic theoretical models and approaches I use allow me to respect and learn from your particular form of relationship without imposing any form of judgement or offering any form of normative “a normal couple in your situation would…” prescriptive interventions.

What happens in Couple Counselling?

Generally the first few sessions of couple counselling are known as an assessment.

The couple and Dean work together to discover what the relationship needs to focus upon (“the focus”).

The couple might think they know what the problems are, but often they are surprised to learn new facts as we unpack the relationship.

Some couples remain in counselling for support in working through the focus, whereas others leave counselling able to work on the focus themselves.

An aim of Dean Richardson’s couple counselling is to enable the couple to see their relationship with different eyes, listen with new ears, and feel with different approach.

The couple will discover how they can address their own problems themselves without further need of future counselling.

Topics Couples Discuss in Counselling.

Without going into the private details of couples Dean has worked with, here are some generalised topics that couples have worked through with Dean in counselling.

  • Behaviour outside of the relationship's agreement (such as infidelity, sexual behaviour etc).
  • Repeated arguments / unresolved discussions.
  • Struggles with one partner's needs being unfulfilled (i.e. the other partner doesn't understand such needs).
  • Difficulties with someone outside of the relationship threatening to expose private information about the couple.
  • Incompatible needs from a partner (whether sexual, social, intimate or secret).

  • Conflicts that are attributed to age differences (for example).
  • Difficulties with the couple's family not seeing eye-to-eye with the couple's relationship (e.g. mixed religions, sexuality, race, colour, creed).
  • Decisions about the relationship getting stuck (such as decisions that affect the family that the couple cannot agree upon).
  • A difficult subject that cannot be brought up by the couple on their own (for example: gender transition, thoughts of separating, confessions).
  • Sex or sexuality - difficulties expressing intimate need.

Thinking about Separation.

A couple can regard separation as a way to bring an end to their relationship, moving on from the problems. Couple Counselling, however, can effect a couple eager to identify their relationship problems (including problems they hadn’t previously recognised) and then become empowered to resolve their problems together.

All the couple needs to do is to take a step into couple counselling together to find out.

Couples that separate can reconcile, and couples that reconcile can separate, all perfectly normal during the time they are in counselling. The therapy work helps the couple negotiate through trying times to a final resolution to their relationship needs.

Is Private Couple Counselling Effective?

Dean’s post-graduate diploma in couple counselling employs an integrated systemic & psychodynamic theoretical framework. OK that’s a bit science-y. What this means:-

Likely to be Effective with…

  • A couple who is looking for help to develop their own ways of addressing problems unique to their relationship (as opposed to expecting diagnosis and prescription from an “expert”).
  • Assisting and empowering a couple in talking about how they both might like to change their relationship together. This is especially good when the couple (and counsellor) can tolerate “not knowing” how the outcome will be; allowing for inspiration and creativity to introduce new not-thought-of-before behaviour into the relationship.
  • A couple who both wish to remain together, or who both wish to separate, may find the couple counselling process helpful.
  • A couple who see the counsellor as a consultant; a partner in the developing process (as opposed to an expert with all the answers).
  • Talking through problems that occurred in the past, but were never resolved to both partner’s satisfaction (eg old wounds).
  • Identifying – simplifying – and altering – patterns of behaviour that the couple deem unhelpful to their relationship. Then introducing small, effective changes.
  • Working with a problem that the couple have not been able to address together.
  • Supporting the couple discuss difficulties in a safe, non-judgemental atmosphere.
  • Interrupting the couple when their behaviour gets in the way of (what they would consider to be) progress.
  • Assisting the couple introducing checks and measures into their relationship, so that old behaviour can be let go. This process can assist the couple long after counselling has ended.

Unlikely to be Effective with…

  • A couple who wants the counsellor to fix their relationship (they have little interest in working the problems themselves).
  • One partner who wants the counsellor to change their partner’s behaviour (eg has little interest in taking part in the process themselves).
  • A couple who have mutually-exclusive agendas (e.g. one partner wants to rescue the relationship, and the other wishes to leave) UNLESS the couple can entertain the idea of compromise, or who may consider discovering a common goal.  Without this, the couple are unlikely to be helped by this process.
  • When one partner believes they are faultless and that the other partner entirely at fault; will not entertain the thought that they have have had a contribution to the other partner’s behaviour.
  • Domestic Violence – unless both partners wish to make changes to violent/aggressive behaviour.
  • One partner coming to help the other / has nothing to contribute to the work. Couple counselling involves both partners.
  • When one partner was not informed about the other partner wanting to come to couple counselling (eg turns up on the day not knowing why). Both partners must make their own an informed decision about entering couple counselling.

Dean’s Distinct Approach to Couple Counselling.

  • Dean's primary client is the couple's relationship (not the two individuals in the relationship). Inexperienced counsellors - or those untrained in relationship work - miss this important aspect when trying to work with a couple.
  • Dean's primary aim is to become redundant: the couple can end their counselling work without thinking that they've become dependant on a counsellor; nor feeling they will have to come back for 'top up' sessions in the future.
  • The couple stay only for as long as it's helping: meaning they might come to counselling for just a handful of sessions, or may choose to stay longer, until the couple can work on their relationship's needs on their own (again). Dean does not set a compulsory minimum (or maximum) period.
  • The couple work with just the one therapist: and Dean practices "neutrality" which means both members of the couple will be understood by a single therapist (no risk of multiple interpretations by multiple therapists in the room). Plus? the common factors that are underlying the couple's relationship problems can be understood and communicated back to them by a single couple counsellor as a single, consistent, understandable whole.
  • Dean does not solve the couple's current relationship problems. Dean is not a "Relationship Expert", doesn't promote his services as being so, and doesn't claim to have solutions and answers for the couple. Instead, Dean focuses on assisting the couple to learn and understand their own problems so that they can address and resolve matters using their own solutions.
  • The couple develop their own unique approach that can be helpful for years to come. Looking at the relationship's problems as if they are a symptom of a system that has become faulty (say, like a washing machine that works until it comes time to rinse). Understanding? and then amending? the relationship's behavioural-system can help the couple understand what's at the centre of their problems. With understanding, the couple can learn to manage & resolve not only current problems? but future ones too? for themselves.
  • Dean involves & immerses the couple in the counselling, rather than operating as a pseudo-advice-giving consultant with-all-the-answers.
  • Dean's couple counselling approach integrates effective systemic and psychodynamic approaches. Rather than using whatever is the latest fad in therapy, Dean successfully applies methods that have been tried and tested for a long time (30+ years: systemic, 100+ years: psychodynamic). This helps the couple (through curiosity, hypothesising & modelling) learn what's happening in their relationship and then helps them develop their own 'fault' resolving strategies.
  • Unlike some couple therapists who respond to questions with 'answers' (whether such generic answers can actually apply to the couple's specific relationship), Dean empowers the couple into being able to answer their own questions by understanding & resolving their own relationship-conflicts. This helps the couple become independent of the counsellor.
  • Boundaries are important: the session is contained within 50 (or 90, optional) minutes, weekly, in a safe room, with the same counsellor. For example, the couple always knows that they can open up (difficult) topics but not fear getting swept up into long arguments? because the session's end time is set.
  • Future "top-up" sessions become unnecessary: the couple ends counselling when they don't need the counsellor any longer. Dean doesn't "fix" the relationship for the couple, he assists the couple in learning how to fix their own relationship problems together. Added bonus: the couple uses the same techniques to manage future difficulties. Once the couple feel that they are more capable at addressing their relationship problems together, they can begin to bring couple counselling to a close without having to come back for "top-up" sessions (as if they'd somehow run out!).

About Havant Counsellor.

You could choose any counsellor in and around Havant .

Yet, when you think that this may be the most personal, private and vulnerable you're going to be with a professional, you'd choose:

  • someone you can trust,
  • someone who demonstrated highly competent skills and ethics,
  • who spoke plain English (not lots of psychobable),
  • who's as happy to swear as much as you do,
  • who makes you an equal part of the therapeutic partnership (e.g. doesn't just sit in silence, saying "Hmm" for 50 minutes)
…then you'd be interested in trying out Dean Richardson MNCS(Accredited Registrant).

A simply private choice, really.

Couple Counselling Fees.

How Counselling Fees Work.

Unlike NHS services (where you have already paid through NI taxation), private counselling will cost you some money.

Couple Counselling sessions are weekly, and last for a standard 50 minutes (with the option to book 90 minute sessions if you both prefer). Although sessions are once a week (except for holidays), you may also attend more than once a week if all three of us think that this would be helpful.

Our sessions will continue one or more of us thinks that we've done enough; then we'll have a conversation about bringing our counselling work to a close.

Fees are payable on the day of our session.

You may pay your counselling fees online (e.g. by a bank transfer, credit/debit card payment or PayPal) or pay in person (cash, cheque [made out to Dean Richardson], credit/debit card).

Restricted Income: If I have spaces available, a lower fee is negotiable should your income make private counselling a struggle to afford. This is not charity (you still must contribute a fee) and it will involve discussing your income and expenditure with the aim to discover a rate that you can afford responsibly. I do not always have any lower-fee spaces available, so please ask when you first get in contact.

Appointments for Counselling.

I offer counselling sessions on Mondays and Thursdays (~5pm until 9pm) and Wednesdays (~noon to 4pm). After we have agreed a day & time for your weekly counselling appointment this day & time will stay with you until the end of our work.

When beginning counselling for the first time you can choose your preferred session day(s) and time(s) from the following table:-

Choose your Weekly Day & Time.

NOTICE ABOUT LOCKDOWN (last updated 11 May - next update due June).

Due to Lockdown/Coronavirus, I am continuing to suspend all face-to-face counselling sessions. Existing clients have been offered to continue sessions online or wait until face-to-face sessions are resumed.

For NEW clients (video/online): whilst I am proficient in online/video counselling, due to the sensitive/confidential nature of the subject matters in which I specialise (plus contraindications for beginning new cases such as couple/group counselling) it is unlikely that I will offer new clients a contract for online sessions. However, you are welcome to get in touch to discuss future possibilities.

For NEW clients (face-to-face): in preparation for Government Advice on services re-opening in June or July please get in contact to reserve your appointment day and time. We're expecting to hear more details about this early June.

Appointment Availability:

  • Mondays: 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm or 8pm.
  • Wednesdays: afternoons possibly, but not yet confirmed.
  • Thursdays: 6pm, 7pm, 8pm.
  • Tuesdays, Fridays & Weekends: not available.

Note: appointments indicated with strike-through are reserved but not confirmed; they may become available when I resume my practice. You're welcome to ask to reserve one or more of these appointments for the future.

Preferred Appointment not available? Register now for free notifications…

Waiting lists may be available for unlisted times.

Times in red are the most popular, and usually the first to go.

Counselling sessions are (at a minimum) weekly, last for 50 minutes, and on the same day and time each week. You may wish to come more than once a week. You may also choose a 90 minute session (by prior arrangement).  Unfortunately I'm unable to support shift-workers.

Our counselling work together continues for as long (or as brief) as we both think it's helpful… and then we'll look at bringing our work to a close.

Fees are due on the day of the session (cash, cheque [made out to Dean Richardson], credit & debit cards).

Ending counselling: it can be helpful to bring up the idea of ending counselling first. Sometimes the need to end may be a mask for something else (avoiding difficult feelings, can't say something, acting out etc) and it can be helpful to distinguish, together, what ending may mean in our work. We'll talk about endings with some thought and some planning on how you might like to say goodbye.

Free Appointment Notifications!

Are your preferred appointments not available? Register now to get notified when they are…

Your full name:

Your email address:

Days/times you prefer:
Sessions begin on the hour. Mondays or Thursdays: 5pm‑8pm, Wednesdays: noon‑4pm

What type of counselling:

Your email address will only be used to send you newly available appointment information. Your subscription lasts for up to two months, after which it expires automatically (no need to unsubscribe).

Planned Breaks.

The following table lists the dates of my planned breaks this year (i.e. when I am not available).

  • Monday 25th May 2020.
  • Monday 6th July 2020 to Sunday 26th July 2020 (21 days).
  • Monday 31st August 2020 to Sunday 6th September 2020 (7 days).
  • Monday 19th October 2020 to Sunday 25th October 2020 (7 days).
  • Monday 14th December 2020 to Sunday 3rd January 2021 (21 days).

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The Cove Therapy Rooms, 12 West Street Havant Hampshire PO9 1PF UK
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Got a Question? Don't Hold Back…

Got a question about Dean Richardson's counselling services in Havant (Hampshire)? Want to make contact, maybe asking about a first appointment? Send Dean a message any time…

Thinking about Divorce.

During my original post-graduate training in Couples Counselling, the tutors asked a question: “Is divorce a solution to a marriage falling apart?” Most students responded: “yes”. Both tutors responded: “No” and “No”.

I had replied “yes” because I thought if two people in a marriage were so unhappy, then of course divorce would be the solution to the couple’s problems. Some 18 months later (when I qualified) I was no longer so sure.

A couple can regard divorce as a way to separate from their marriage and move on from the problems. However, couple counselling can effect a couple eager to identify their marital problems (including problems they hadn’t previously recognised) and then become empowered to resolve their problems together.

All the couple needs to do is to take a step into couple counselling together to find out.

Couples that separate can reconcile, and couples that reconcile can separate, all perfectly normal during the time they are in counselling. The therapy work helps the couple negotiate through trying times to a final resolution to their relationship needs.