Couples Therapy

How can couples therapy help?

Couples come to therapy at different stages in their relationship and it can be incredibly beneficial in many different ways.


Some couples start therapy because they notice unhelpful themes or patterns in their relationship and find themselves stuck having the same argument over and over again. Other couples come to therapy because they are approaching a significant life event – like getting married, becoming parents or the children leaving home – and want to navigate that change in the best possible way.


Many couples don’t make it to therapy until they reach “breaking point”. And although it can be helpful in these situations too, ideally it’s best to come as soon as possible. This will enable you to understand how you’re both feeling and make meaningful changes before things get to a more challenging place.


What happens in couples therapy?

The main goal of couples therapy is usually to understand the dynamic of the relationship and what patterns are at play. When two people come together, they bring both themselves to the relationship but also their past experiences. Very often these vulnerabilities are easier to tolerate in the earlier stages of a relationship, but over time, they become more entrenched causing a lot of unhappiness in the process.


In couples therapy, we work to unravel how these patterns came to be and what underpins them. Once we’ve identified this, we look at ways to exit these patterns and discover new ways for you to be together that facilitate connection. The aim is always to help you both meet each other’s needs and find healthier ways of responding to each other.


As with individual therapy, there are different modalities in couples therapy. Depending on which approach your psychologist works with, there will be different types of exercises. This may involve some imagery work, connection exercises or homework between your sessions to help you better manage difficult situations when they arise.


Frequently asked questions

Couples therapy can be short-term if you’re looking to work on a specific issue in your relationship. In these cases, therapy might take about 6 months. However, a lot of the time, these types of patterns are more firmly entrenched and they take longer to work through. For this reason, on average, couples therapy tends to take a year.
This is a classic myth of couples therapy. Your therapist will never take sides or look to blame one partner for the problems in the relationship. Their role is to guide you in better understanding each other and resolving your own differences.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.