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.
"The New Year is a busy time for us. Around 30% more of our counselling sessions are allocated to people in January than at any other time of year." Says Andrew Balfour, Director of Clinical Services at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships.
"Hope for relief from life's stresses during the Christmas holidays may be dashed if a couple is not in a good place, which in turn often intensifies disappointment and leads to conflict. Additional stress can also be brought about because of demands and expectations from children and the extended family at this time of year.
Another factor that often contributes to relationship distress during the festive season is alcohol; even when consumed in moderation, at times can lead to escalation of aggression, confrontation and other problem behaviours.
Christmas brings hope of recovery for many couples, but when this does not happen the sense of crisis in a relationship deepens."
Therefore it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that divorce lawyers also report a similar trend at this time of year. Such is the dramatic rise in enquiries after the Christmas period that the first day in January after the New Year break is often referred to as 'Divorce Day' within the legal sector and the media.
"It is important to recognise that in some cases it may be best for both parties to separate. In which case counselling and therapy can help couples to understand the breakdown of their relationship and help them to part amicably, having understood what happened rather than parting in an angry rage, which is harmful for themselves and particularly if they have children."
Post-Christmas and the New Year is naturally a time when most of us take stock and assess our lives, and this inevitably includes our relationships too.
"The most important New Year's resolution a couple can make is to invest time and energy into their relationship. For those couples whose relationship is already in trouble, it is important to seek professional help in order to understand each other better and work through the problems you are facing."
To find out more about TCCR's relationship counselling services and how they could help you, please visit tccr.org.uk
Notes to Editors:
• Based in central London, the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) provides a comprehensive range of affordable counselling services for couples and individuals facing relationship problems.
• To find out more about the range of services offered visit www.tccr.org.uk or call 020 7380 1975
• TCCR also runs a variety of practitioner trainings, ranging from introductory courses to doctoral programmes in couple counselling and psychotherapy and is recognised in its field as a centre of advanced practice and study, both nationally and internationally.
• For further information contact Lauren Dunbevand, Marketing Executive at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 380 1975.