Over 20,000 sessions of help delivered in exceptional year helping relaioinships during the pandemic

The couple therapy charity Tavistock Relationships has published its annual report revealing 1,500 couples and individuals were supported last year, with 64 per cent of those starting therapy within the clinical range of psychological distress, moving to a non-clinical range by the end of their therapy1.

Established after the Second World War as a response to the crisis facing families who had been traumatized and displaced by the war, Tavistock Relationships specialises in delivering relationship counselling and psychotherapy, training and research.

Tavistock Relationships’ therapists have continued to support people throughout the pandemic by switching services online. From April 2020 to March 2021, 120 therapists delivered 20,000 sessions of therapy online to couples and individuals, and in addition.

The charity’s Reducing Parental Conflict Programme (RPC), funded by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), supported over 1,300 parents across seven London boroughs and four counties. Evaluation of the programme shows significant improvements in mental health and relationships were achieved across all of these services, with children’s wellbeing also increasing as a result of their parents’ receiving help.

Andrew Balfour, CEO of Tavistock Relationships, explains:
“While some may have benefited from the opportunity to spend more time with their partners and families during the pandemic, for a significant number of families, life has become much harder. The pandemic has meant that we have been much more reliant on our family relationships for support, and where there have been underlying vulnerabilities in these relationships, these have inevitably become amplified.

“Never before has the link between our relationships and our mental health been so apparent. Family relationships are under strain. Indeed, the experience of the pandemic has brought home to us what research has long shown: in many respects relationship health is mental health. When relationships are in trouble our mental health suffers. With effective relationship therapy, we see significant improvements in mental health as well as in relationship quality.

“Year on year, figures released by NHS Digital indicate that couple therapy is one of the most effective psychological treatments for depression and anxiety2. This is so important not just for the wellbeing of parents, but for their children too. Those children whose parents are in poor mental health are more vulnerable to developing such problems themselves, and this association has increased since the pandemic – as our most vulnerable families have become more disadvantaged than ever.
“Research reveals that prolonged inter-parental conflict can have a damaging impact on the emotional and behavioural development of children3. This sustained conflict can lead to poor concentration, depression and anxiety. The problem which the government’s Reducing Parental Conflict programme was originally intended to address – namely, inter-generational cycles of deprivation caused by the damaging impacts of inter-parental conflict on children’s developmental outcomes – has been made worse by the pandemic.

“We are proud to have been able to continue to support couples and families facing relationships and mental health challenges throughout the pandemic, and to have been able to expand the reach of free parenting programmes, through the training of staff in a growing number of local authorities across the country.”

To see the full Annual Review, visit https://tavistockrelationships.ac.uk/about-us/annual-reviews

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

Notes to Editors
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.
Tavistock Relationships has 120 professionals providing an effective and highly-regarded form of couples’ counselling and psychotherapy. The organisation’s outcome research shows that 64 per cent of clients within the clinical range at intake to its service demonstrate ‘clinical recovery’. In related sectors, such as NHS psychological therapy services, this figure is 52.1 per cent nationally. Tavistockrelationships.org
Reducing Parental Conflict Programmes
Tavistock Relationships, alongside other partner organisations, delivers the Department for Work & Pensions Reducing Parental Conflict programme in Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex, as well as seven London boroughs (Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth).
1. 61 per cent of clients within the research data started therapy within the clinical range of psychological distress, and of those, 64 per cent of clients who provided data at both time points moved to a non-clinical range at the end of therapy.
2. 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
3. The Early Intervention Foundation’s 2016 report ‘What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children?’ https://www.eif.org.uk/report/what-works-to-enhance-interparental-relationships-and-improve-outcomes-for-children