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Press releases

Tavistock Relationships and Harrow Council welcome the Department for Education’s announcement, as part of its Safeguarding Grants programme 2016-2018, to fund their joint project to safeguard Harrow children affected by domestic violence.

Building on the experience of a successful pilot study initiated by Harrow Council in partnership with Tavistock Relationships, we will work with a further 30 families and deliver a training programme for up to 90 frontline practitioners to help them use evidence-based approaches in their work with families where there has been domestic violence. There will also be advanced training for Harrow clinicians drawn from Social Care, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and other Harrow Council teams. 

Commenting on the DfE’s announcement, Andrew Balfour, Chief Executive of Tavistock Relationships, said:

“Safeguarding children is a key part of Tavistock Relationships’ core mission, and so we are particularly pleased to be able to develop this collaborative work with Harrow.  This project aims to keep children safe by working with parental couples, through giving them the opportunity to change the ways they communicate and resolve conflict; we will do this whilst being acutely sensitive to the risks involved.  We look forward to helping more Harrow families and helping to train the current workforce in Harrow; we hope that this approach can become embedded within frontline practice in the future”.

Parmjit Chahal, Head of Service at Harrow Council, said

“Innovation is the top priority for Harrow Council in improving outcomes and I’m delighted the DfE have supported our approach.

“We often deal with multiple instances of situational domestic violence with little change, leaving children repeatedly exposed to domestic violence, with damaging long-term potential effects. This funding gives us an opportunity to work to develop new ways of giving couples an opportunity, where it’s safe to do so, to develop more effective techniques to resolve their conflict, without resorting to violence.”


For more information, contact:

John Fenna, Head of Marketing & Communications T: 020 7380 1974

E: jfenna@TavistockRelationships.org  W: www.tavistockrelationships.org

download the Pdf here 

Notes to Editors

  1. Established in 1948, Tavistock Relationships is a registered charity internationally renowned for delivering and developing advanced practice, training and research in therapeutic and psycho-educational approaches to supporting couples.
  2. The project is an approach to safeguarding children, which uses Tavistock Relationships' innovative and unique MBT (Mentalization-Based Therapy) and Harrow Council’s frontline social workers working directly with parents in order to improve children’s outcomes.
  3. Situational couple violence differs from controlling coercive violence/intimate partner terrorism in that it is not characterised by an overall pattern of control of the woman by the man, but tends to be occasional and reactive, and to some degree mutual. In families where there are concerns about children there is an urgent need to tackle violence between the parents in order to improve the couple relationship so that violence is less likely to occur in the future, and hence improve outcomes for their children.
  4. Tavistock Relationships are being funded to deliver an evaluated mentalization-based intervention by two qualified clinicians for up to 30 parental couples to improve relationships. The 12-15+ session model is built of a 3 session assessment with 6 sessions of therapy plus three to six top-up sessions as appropriate. This builds on and extends the previous domestic violence pilot intervention undertaken with Harrow Social Care.
  5. The training that is being funded is for up to 90 front-line practitioners to increase knowledge and understanding of the parental couple, the impact of conflict and abuse on children and the role of drug and alcohol abuse on family relationships, and to increase effective practice by learning new ways of intervening in family situations where violence and abuse leads to heightened child/vulnerable adult safeguarding concerns. In addition, we will be providing an advanced training up to eight qualified clinicians in the delivery of a mentalization-based treatment intervention for parents and couples where violence and abuse dominates family life. This ensures sustainability of the model into the future, embedding changed practice in Harrow’s service response to these challenging families.


Tavistock Relationships Launches New Online Psychotherapy Service

Couples can now access specialist help via webcam

Tavistock Relationships, a world-leading centre of excellence in providing couple therapy and individual counselling, is entering new ground by offering therapy and counselling for couples and individuals online via webcam

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Tavistock Relationships' Parents as Partners programme awarded the highest rating of all interventions reviewed by Early Intervention Foundation

The publication of the Early Intervention Foundation's review today on What works to enhance interparental relationships and improve outcomes for children marks an important step forward in not only recognising the impact of interparental conflict on children but, more importantly, developing and supporting interventions which can improve the life chances of children affected.  As the review states, “Children are affected in different ways across a range of negative outcomes as a result of negative family conditions marked by hostile levels of inter-parental conflict”.

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Press Release: For Immediate Release

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) unveils its new web-based clinical chat service - Chat First. This initiative will enable couples or individuals to ask any questions about couple therapy prior to entering the consultation room.

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You Can read our response to the announcement by the Government to double the amount of funding available for relationship support over this Parliament here.


TCCR begins delivery of innovative counselling model in Harrow to help couples who are violent towards one another to stop.

As part of an ambition to develop and enhance its approach to dealing with couples who are violent towards one another (that is, who are involved in situational couple violence), Harrow Council has commissioned TCCR to deliver an innovative counselling intervention with a small number of carefully selected couples.

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New support for couples coping with the challenges dementia brings.

Thanks to innovation grant funding from City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) is bringing their innovative Living Together with Dementia programme to City and Hackney. Health and social care professionals, working in City and Hackney, can now apply for free training in this couple-focused psychosocial intervention.

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Tavistock Centre calls for new family hubs to support couple relationships

Conservative conference hears that embedding relationship support in a new model of children centre service delivery is fundamental to tackling the £47 billion cost of relationship breakdown.

Speaking at a CSJ fringe event with the Relationship Allinance, at the Conservative Party Annual Conference in Manchester, Susanna Abse, Chief Executive of The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships emphasised the importance of ensuring that relational approaches to working with parents and families become central to the work of children's centres, the role of which is being consulted on this autumn. 

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Mental health service users and professional bodies call on the Government to ensure that patients can access a range of talking therapies for depression

The campaigning organisation for people with experience of depression, Depression Alliance, along with the leading professional bodies in the mental health sector – including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – have urged the Government to do more to address the lack of choice of talking therapy available in the NHS.

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TCCR has secured a share of a £1.7 million fund to help couples who have adopted children.

TCCR was successfully selected to receive over £190,000 from the adoption tranche of the National Prospectus Grant, awarded by the Department for Education (DfE). The grant will enable TCCR to work with couples over the next 12 months, providing essential support and offering a variety of tailored therapeutic services specially designed for adoptive couples which have hitherto been unavailable.

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Innovative group parenting programme reduces parents' psychological distress, improves relationship quality and parenting skills, helping participants and their children

The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and Family Action have reported outstanding outcomes for the jointly-run group based parenting intervention, Parents as Partners, at the programme’s recent national conference.

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 TCCR, along with the leading professional bodies for the professions of psychotherapy and counselling, has written to NICE to express concern regarding the recruitment procedure for the guideline development group covering depression in adults. TCCR highlighted that the proposed list of professionals for the development of the guidelines didn’t include either a psychotherapist or a counsellor despite the fact that both are more involved in the treatment of depression than any other professional grouping. 

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President of Malta meets with the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships to discuss approaches to helping couples.

The Chief Executive and other senior members of staff from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) were delighted to meet today with Her Excellency the President of Malta. The President, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, has recently set up a National Centre for Family Research which forms part of the President's Foundation for Social Well-being. It was with great pleasure therefore that we were able to discuss with her the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships' experience of devising and providing relational approaches to helping parental couples.

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For many of us the Christmas period is a happy time of year when we look forward to spending time with family and friends, indulging in plenty of food and drink and taking a well-earned break from the stresses of work.
However, the holiday season is not always such a magical time for everyone. Enquiries to relationship counselling services increase significantly during the post-Christmas period due to the many pressures faced by couples and families over the Christmas holidays.

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A free service has been developed by a local counselling and psychotherapy charity to help couples when one partner has been diagnosed with dementia.  

Supported by Camden Council, the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) has launched the Living Together with Dementia programme to improve the quality of life of couples in Camden who are living with dementia.
Dementia can be difficult to understand and come to terms with, bringing challenges for couples at a time when the relationship with their partner is key. 
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TCCR has teamed up with Mischon de Reya to help address the need to offer alternative ways to resolve disputes for families, so that litigation can be the last, not the first resort for the resolution of parental disagreements.

This project comes in light of recent government figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, which reveal that the numbers of unrepresented parents in family court cases have increased dramatically over the last year coinciding with the withdrawal of legal aid from most family proceedings in April 2013. 

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The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships is delighted to announce that, from September, Mr Nick Pearce is to become the new Chair of Trustees, taking over the role from Dr Anton Obholzer. Dr Obholzer has been chair of TCCR’s governing body, The Tavistock Institute for Medical Psychology, for nearly nine years during which time he has overseen profound changes in the organisation’s scope and size.


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