Psychotherapists to help parents reduce conflict in family home
'Relationships aren’t easy, especially when we have children to care for too'
02 March, 2020 — By Geoffrey Sawyer
AN internationally renowned charity providing couples’ psychotherapy from two London bases is introducing a new programme for parents in seven boroughs across London.
Tavistock Relationships’ course, Building Relationships for Stronger Families, is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is free to parents in the London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth.
Research shows us that conflict between parents can have a negative effect on children’s development in terms of mental and physical health, problems at school, sleep difficulties, and in the relationships they make themselves as they grow up. Building Relationships for Stronger Families uses Tavistock Relationships’ expertise with couples to support families and children.
Andrew Balfour, chief executive of Tavistock Relationships, said: “Relationships are so important for our health and wellbeing, and that of our children. But relationships aren’t easy, especially when we have children to care for too. Sometimes expert, impartial help is needed.
“Often when people come to us for help, they’ve already been struggling for some time. They will have tried lots of things, they will have spoken to friends and family and tried to fix it themselves. We urge people to seek support before they reach breaking point, so that issues can be hopefully be resolved, or an amicable split can be supported. Or if you’ve already split, we can help you to parent better apart. We also offer support for expectant parents.”
The new Building Relationships for Stronger Families programme is delivered in one-to-one or group sessions and addresses conflict between couples as well as strengthening parenting skills. Parents are supported to find new ways to manage stresses and disagreements, explore patterns of behaviour and apply tools and techniques to improve their parenting skills. Tavistock Relationships’ experienced facilitators lead the sessions, encouraging discussion around the modern struggles faced by parents.
Emma Rahman, one of a team of specialist family practitioners delivering this programme, said: “Our support includes providing parents with a workbook of practical exercises to help them understand their child’s development, as well as helping them to strengthen communication in their relationship in order to prevent disagreements from escalating.”
Courses are free and open to all eligible parents – mothers and fathers as well as same-sex parents – and are tailored for couples who are together or separated.
Parents could be referred by a GP, social worker, teacher, early help worker or another professional working with families. They can also enquire directly at https://www.tavistockrelationships.org/free-services or by calling 020 7380 8288.
Tavistock Relationships also offers support to adoptive and expectant parents.