Tavistock Relationships calls for NHS to provide more couple therapy


New study shows how effective it is for treating depression and anxiety

A recent study by Tavistock Relationships has shown that improving the quality and satisfaction of a couple’s relationship through couple therapy helps people recover from both anxiety and depression.  This follows figures released by NHS Digital in 2018 revealing that couple therapy is currently the most effective psychological treatment for depression and anxiety*.

The Tavistock study was based on 200 people where one or both were diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety. In each case the couple were receiving treatment from the NHS via the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) approved ‘Couple Therapy for Depression’ programme which is delivered as part of the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Service) programme.

The treatment addresses the issues in a relationship that are considered to be contributing to the diagnosis of depression or anxiety, and the results of this study provide further evidence of the benefits of this kind therapy for the treatment of both relationship distress and depression.

Kate Thompson, Tavistock Relationships’ Head of Couple Therapy for Depression Training, commented:

“We now have further crucial evidence that relationship satisfaction predicts recovery from depression and anxiety. This new study shows that the strength of a relationship is critical for couples going through hard times.

“Unfortunately, access to the ‘Couple Therapy for Depression’ programme on the NHS is variable depending on where you live, with only half of IAPT services currently providing a couple-focused intervention to treat depression. We are calling for nine out of 10 IAPT services to provide Couple Therapy for Depression by 2024.  We would like to see more therapists trained in this specialist area so that more couples can benefit for this treatment.”

Tavistock Relationships runs Couple Therapy for Depression training nationally and throughout the year, for therapists and counsellors from within IAPT, as well as voluntary and charitable organisations working for IAPT.


*Data derived from: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/psychological-therapies-annual-reports-on-the-use-of-iapt-services/annual-report-2016-17-further-analyses


Notes to editors


About Tavistock Relationships


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 support couples.

Working from two London bases (Warren Street and New Street) as well as operating a nationally available online service, Tavistock Relationships has over 100 professionals providing an effective and highly-regarded form of couples’ counselling and psychotherapy.

Last year, Tavistock Relationships held nearly 20,000 therapy sessions, helping thousands of people with their relationships. The charity received very positive feedback, with more than 93% of its clients saying they would certainly rate the organisation’s services as good. and would recommend it’s services.

For more press information contact:

John Fenna, Head of Marketing & Communications

T: 020 7380 1974 E: jfenna@TavistockRelationships.org 

Paula Scott, PR consultant T: 07932 740221

E: paula@limegreencommunications.co.uk

Debbie Walker, PR Consultant T: 077486 40577

E: walker.debbie@sky.com