Client discourses on the process of seeking same-sex couple counselling

Jan Grove*, Elizabeth Peel, Valerie Owen-Pugh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How same-sex couples manage the process of seeking help for their relationships is an under-researched area. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 people who had engaged in same-sex couple counselling, and were analysed using discourse analysis. The ways in which the couples positioned themselves as part of a 'minority group', or part of a generic group of couples struggling with relationship issues, impacted on how they discussed seeking help. We conclude that counsellors and psychotherapists need to be aware of the ways in which couples construct their relationships, and mindful of the tricky navigations around similarity to, and difference from, different-sex relationships. The impact of this on couples seeking therapeutic help is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-586
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number5
Early online date26 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • counselling
  • discourse analysis
  • help seeking
  • same-sex couples
  • social constructionism


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