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The Relate Alternative.
Havant Private Couple Counselling.

Havant: when you're waiting for other couple counselling services: Distinctly Private & Affordable Counselling for Adult Relationships with a counsellor of 24+ years actual experience. For Intimate or Platonic, Friends or Business, LGBT or Straight…

Distinctly Private Couple Counselling.

When your relationship is in trouble and you don’t wish to be on a waiting list.

Celebrating his 25th year, Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg) of Havant Counselling offers effective couple counselling with skill and experience, local to you.

Private couples counselling – available by next week!

Let me ask you both a question: do you believe: “we have tried everything to fix our relationship”?

Then you may be surprised to learn how effective meeting with me, Dean, would be for upon your relationship, together.

You see it can be massive a relief to experience what a different, distinctly private perspective brings. Although I am a fully qualified and experienced couple counsellor, I have an advantage that the both of you do not…

…I *can* see the wood for the trees.

Using thoroughly tried and tested (science bit follows…) couple relationship / systemic / psychodynamic counselling approaches (over now!) that assist couples in discovering their own root causes to their problems, I avoid taking on the role of a “relationship expert”. In taking a neutral (but effective) therapeutic position, I don’t need to become someone with all answers; I effectively assist your relationship in discovering your own effective resolutions… and that’s something you can take away with you after our work is finished.

Encouraging curiosity (employing a bucket load of therapeutic frameworks) upon arguments, conflicts and distrust can bring new knowledge to the couple. Knowledge brings with it understanding, and understanding fuels the development of new decisions.

A couple becomes empowered into resolving their own problems both now … and in the future too.

Don’t Wait to Relate… when your relationship is struggling and you’d both like to bring back the happier, calmer, more relating times, I would be the distinctly private couple counsellor for your distinct relationship.

You might also be interested in the article: “How does a Couple Counsellor Think” (Systemic Theoretical Framework / Circular Questioning) which discusses effective approaches to couple counselling.

Counsellor Dean Richardson

Dean's Experience as a Couple Counsellor.

  • Originally trained by Sue Esau (Relate couple counsellor and supervisor - retired) & Chris Vincent (Tavistock Clinic - now private practice, lecturer and author) via Chichester Counselling Services' Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling Couples (systemic / psychodynamic), 2009-2010.
  • 24+ years counselling experience: charities, EAPs, private practice, etc.
  • Now exclusively available in private practice Hampshire & Secure Online Video.

Compare Couple Counselling Services.

These are some interesting differences between private couple counselling in Havant, and other commercial/charitable services (for example: Relate, Chichester Counselling Services etc). These differences may help you make an informed decision upon which service may suit you and your partner.

Havant Counselling.

The Initial Meeting.

  • The therapist you meet on day one is the same one you’ll work with right the way through. This helps you make a fast decision on if this is the service your relationship needs. It also provides consistency in your counselling right from the beginning, and the counselling continues from week #2.


  • Standard fee is £75.00 per 50-minute session. For those with a restricted income, a fee you can responsibly afford together can be discussed before you meet with me.
  • A £30 deposit is required for the first session – if you cancel the first session > 48 hours notice this is fully refunded.

Cancellation Fees.

  • Cancelling with > 48 hours notice: half the fee is payable; < 48 hours notice: the full fee is payable.
  • After a cancellation you’ll simply meet with your counsellor again the following week (same day and time).
  • Deposit is refunded if you cancel the initial appointment > 48 hours notice (otherwise the deposit covers expenses).

50 minutes or 90 minutes

  • Not everyone suits 50 minute sessions. Some couples prefer the extended option of 90 minute weekly sessions (for example those couples who have travelled substantial distance to work with Dean).

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

  • By choosing your appointment day/time from my available list, you’ll get to meet with me by next week (allowing for mutual vacation dates etc).

Do you work with LGBT Couples?

  • I work with gay couples, lesbian couples, mixed-orientation (“mom”) couples, plus couples of mixed gender-identity and mixed-sexuality.
  • I specialise in working with Gender, Sexuality, Relationship Diverse (GSRD aka LGBT/Q) Couples:- https://LGBTCoupleCounselling
Other & Charitable Services.

The Initial Meeting.

  • The therapist you meet at the beginning may not be the one  you work with in therapy. Student/in-training counsellors especially are not be qualified to assess a couple accurately. So, a special “assessment team” may meet new couples. Your actual counsellor may be someone who picks up your case when their availability matches yours.


  • Relate Portsmouth charges between £68 and £112 for the first session (ref: Portsmouth Venue). Only afterwards may you negotiate a fee for ongoing work.
  • The full fee is required in advance of the first session. This fee is not refunded if you cancel the session.

Cancellation Fees.

  • From Relate’s website: If you give > 48 hours notice, a fee (unknown amount?) is payable. If you cancel with less than 48 hours you will lose your payment.
  • After a cancellation: you will be asked to make another payment before another appointment may be allocated.

50 minutes only

  • All charitable services offer 50 minute sessions by rote.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

  • (From Relate: “…you may have to wait until the counsellor you want has a vacant appointment to offer you.”

Do you work with LGBT Couples?

  • (From Relate: – “Do you work with Gay Couples?”) “Yes. We don’t discriminate between different types of relationship.”

Havant Counselling 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 the UK Nationwide over Zoom & Skype, plus locations in and around, 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!

How does Couple Counselling 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 Relationship 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.

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!).
Couple Counselling Couch

About Havant Online CounsellOR

You could choose any counsellor in and around Havant, 'natch!

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

  • someone you can grow to trust,
  • someone who demonstrates highly competent skills, ethics and sensitivity.
  • someone who speaks plain English (rather than psychobabble),
  • someone who's as happy to use base/swearing language as much (or as little) as you do,
  • someone who considers himself a frank, no bullshit counsellor, particularly you when you're in need of an authentic response (rather than an "hmm"),
  • someone who would become an equal part of your therapeutic partnership (e.g. doesn't just sit mostly in silence for 50 minutes).
Does this peak your interest in meeting Dean @ Havant Online Counselling, experiencing all of this this for real?

Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCPS (Accred/Reg) - a simply private choice.

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.

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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…

The Relate Alternative.
Havant Private Couple Counselling.

Havant: when you're waiting for other couple counselling services: Distinctly Private & Affordable Counselling for Adult Relationships with a counsellor of 24+ years actual experience. For Intimate or Platonic, Friends or Business, LGBT or Straight…

STOP-PRESS: specialty with Zoom & Skype video. Tap for more info…

STOP-PRESS: counselling continues to be available via reliable & confidential Zoom & Skype Video Conferencing ~ ideal for counselling from home, office, abroad. Click here for details…

STOP-PRESS: Secure Zoom & Skype video counselling a specialty. Tap for info…

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