For the first time in NHS history, free relationship counselling/couples therapy is being offered to those whose relationship is in danger of falling apart due to mental problems or depression.
From April 2010 psychologists and counsellors will be appointed to work with patients who have been assessed and offered a choice of ether individual or couples counselling. The aim of the government programme is to improve access to psychological therapies (IAPT). However, Health Secretary Andy Burnham, although welcoming more widely available therapy, believes that there is not enough money left in the government pot for new therapists, training or the increased demand.
Couples with problems that were not triggered by or developed into clinical depression or anxiety would not be eligible for NHS counselling and The National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends that patients with mild to moderate conditions be offered step-based therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy as initial treatment, before medication is even considered.