1st Edition

Couple Therapy The Basics

By Molly Ludlam Copyright 2025
    224 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Couple Therapy: The Basics provides a comprehensive introduction to couple therapy. Taking both a general overview and a psychoanalytic focus, it addresses the basic questions which both couples and those interested in becoming couple therapists can expect to ask.

    Using jargon light language, this book summarises the range of approaches available to those seeking couple therapy – from behavioural to psychoanalytic. It covers topics such as: what defines a couple, challenges for couple therapists, and outcomes for couple therapy. While introducing the subject to many readers, it also aims to further interest in and understanding about couple therapy, explaining its differences from other therapies. A glossary of key terms is included, as well as appendices with links to research and associated organisations.

    This book is essential for early career therapists as well as those undertaking or interested in couple therapy.

    1.      Introduction to couple therapy

    2.      What is a couple?

    3.      Why do couples seek therapy?

    4.      What is couple therapy?

    5.      What basic skills are required?

    6.      Different kinds of couple therapy

    7.      What is psychodynamic - psychoanalytic couple therapy?

    8.      Further couple therapies linked to psychoanalysis  

    9.      First meetings with a couple

    10.  Ongoing meetings and challenges in couple therapy

    11.  Outcomes: endings and new beginnings

    12.  Why is supervision for important for couple therapy?

    13.  How can I learn more about couple therapy?


    Molly Ludlam, MA, couple and individual psychoanalytic psychotherapist and contributor to many books and journals, was the founding editor of Couple & Family Psychoanalysis (2011-19). Now retired from clinical practice, and as a course teacher and examiner, she currently focuses on consulting and writing.

    “This compact, helpfully structured book contains a wealth of information about the range of couple therapies available to those seeking help. The author brings her considerable knowledge and experience to provide valuable insights into the rationale behind different approaches and illustrates how these are put into practice. The result is an accessible and intriguing resource that will be of real value to couples seeking help, to practitioners making referrals, and to those considering training to be a couple therapist.”

    Christopher Clulow, PhD, consultant couple psychotherapist and senior fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology

    “Clear, succinct and attractive in format, Couple Therapy: The Basics by a leader in the field, Molly Ludlam, provides an excellent resource for beginning therapists and supervisors alike to think psychoanalytically about couples, couple therapy and couple supervision.”

    Jill Savege Scharff, MD, FABP, MRC Psych, co-author of Object Relations Couple Therapy, co-founder, International Psychotherapy Institute

    “Molly Ludlam provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the field of couple therapy, whilst also homing in on key, in depth, elements of this approach. Her style of writing is open, inclusive and reflective and will stimulate the reader’s curiosity at every turn. This book will be extremely valuable to anyone who might be considering couple therapy for their relationship or as a career.”

    Mary Morgan, psychoanalyst, senior fellow Tavistock Relationships