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Dr Jim Byrne offers a specialist counselling-supervision service for couple's therapists, in Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, West Yorkshire; and all over the world via the telephone and internet systems.

Specialist Counselling Supervision Service

For Couple's Therapists

By Dr Jim Byrne

Doctor of Counselling and Couples Therapist

November 2015



Although I am happy to work with counsellors and therapists from any discipline, or any area of specialism; I also have a special talent for helping couple therapists to handle the stresses and strains of their field of work.

So if you are a couple’s therapist, and you want to work with a supervisor who knows this field of work intimately, after sixteen years’ experience; and who has developed a structured approach to couples therapy which avoids conflict and stress, then I can help you.


Stress in the counselling room

It may be difficult for many people to believe, but the open secret in the world of counselling and therapy is that “couples therapy stresses out therapists”. (The New York Times, Elizabeth Weil, ‘Does couples therapy work?’ 2nd March 2012).


One of the insights of that article is this: most therapists are too soft and gentle to be able to manage the aggression that is brought to the counselling room by distressed couples.

Pearson and Bader, a couple of psychologists, from the Couples Institute in Palo Alto, California, describe the role of the counsellor with volatile couples as being “like piloting a helicopter in a hurricane”.

In Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), we have evolved a highly structured approach to couples therapy, which locks the couple into a ‘gentle-person’s’ agreement to follow an agreed structure which prevents arguments, conflict, volatility, or overload of the counsellor.

Professor Doherty suggests that, while a counsellor or therapist – working with an individual - may be able to freewheel for a while, as they try to figure out what to do next, in couples therapy “the emotional intensity of the couple’s dynamic doesn’t give you that luxury”.

But the CENT approach to couples therapy reduces that emotional intensity; channels it; and slows down the action so the counsellor can stay on top of the story and the unpacking of the difficulties that need to be examined and resolved.


The importance of an agreed structure


The main component of the CENT approach is a strong structure, which is completely even-handed with both partners; and which allows time and space for reflection before feedback.  

According to Elizabeth Weil, some kinds of couple’s therapy are known to work better than others, and those types seem to be the more structured approaches, like attachment therapy and some forms of behaviour therapy.

And this insight is supported by Dr Pinsof who says

“You have to be very active in structuring the session, or the system can blow you away”.

A strong referee does not lose control

Dr Pearson is convinced that, if you are engaged in couple’s therapy, then you are going to see a lot of anger and volatility in your office. But this is not our experience in CENT couple’s therapy.  We would not allow such indiscipline!  We are not in the business of accepting a fee for watching our clients fight.  That would be immoral!


So if you want to learn the CENT approach to structuring a calm, couples therapy session; and you want to learn to be a strong referee, who creates the space and time for unpacking the marital problems; calmly reflecting upon them; and individual times for feedback; then I can teach this system to you during our supervision sessions; and then I can supervise your progress in implementing this system for however long you need that supervisory support.

The benefits are obvious:

A less stressful work role for you!

And a more productive therapy service for your clients.



Three approaches have been identified so far:

Firstly, you could sign up for supervision with me, and you could learn the CENT approach informally, via our supervisory conversations; and with some email follow-up.  (This would involve monthly meetings, of 45 minutes each, at my home in Hebden Bridge, at the moderate cost of £70.00 per session).


Secondly, you (and your partner, or a friend or colleague) could come along to couples therapy (or role-played couples therapy) with me, so you can learn from the way I structure and manage the sessions.  (Please see my Couples Therapy page.*** )


Thirdly, if you are too far from Hebden Bridge to come and see me, we could find ways of working over the phone or Skype.

Initially, to set the ball rolling, why not either:

Email me, Dr Jim Byrne.***


Phone me on: 01422 843 629


At the moment (November 2015) my work is supervised by Dr Clare Lennie, from the University of Manchester. 

In the past, my work was supervised by Dr David Wallin, the author of Attachment in Psychotherapy, who lives in California, and we used to meet over Skype for our sessions.  Before that, I was supervised by Dr Ed Jacobs, the creator of Impact Therapy, who lives in West Virginia, and he used to review audio tapes of my counselling sessions, and give me feedback based on his perceptions.  Prior to that time, my work was supervised by a series of REBT/CBT oriented individuals, like Dr Nando Pelusi, who writes for Psychology Todayand John Blackburn and Dr Al Raitt, both of whom worked within the British National Health Service.


Face to face supervison services 

For face to face supervison, my standard fee is £70.00 per 45 minute session, to be paid in cash at the end of each session. I normally see my supervisees on a monthly basis.  

To explore possibiliites, please email me in the first place at the ABC Counselling Division.*** 

Telephone-based supervision 

To book a single, 45 minute session of supervision with me, via the telephone system, please pay the fee of £50.00 GBP, in advance, by clicking the PayPal 'Pay Now' button that follows:


When PayPal notifies me that your fee has been received, I will contact you to set up a day and time for our telephone session, or face-to-face session, or to advise you on the submission of an audio recording.  In addition, please send me an email - at The ABC Counselling Divison - to confirm that you have made the booking, just so I definitely have your current email address.


If you need any further information, about either service, please email or phone me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

01422 843 629 - from inside the UK

44 1422 843 629 - from outside the UK


Please take a look at the page describing Dr Jim Byrne's first book on Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy.

Or the second (popular) e-book on CENT, entitled: CENT Counselling: How to apply Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) in counselling and self-help.