Reducing the impact of interparental conflict on children’s mental health

Teenager standing between two parents in conflict


bbc children in need



As a result of lockdown/COVID-19, both aspects of this programme – i.e. the therapy sessions for parents and the peer mentoring sessions for children and young people - are being delivering remotely/online.

Tavistock Relationships and Fitzrovia Youth in Action have been funded by BBC Children in Need to deliver therapeutic support to separated parents whose ongoing conflict is affecting the mental health of their children. The project will provide couple therapy to the parents alongside peer mentoring support to their children.

The therapeutic element – delivered by Tavistock Relationships online - will involve three ‘assessment sessions’ (two to parents individually, one to parents together, to agree a focus for the therapy), followed by six sessions of fortnightly couple therapy. There is an opportunity for a further three, monthly follow-up sessions if this is deemed helpful by all parties.

Mentalisation-based couple therapy for separated parents aims to help parents think about the possible impact of conflict on their children – and the impact of their conflict on their parenting.

The peer mentoring programme – a six to eight week programme covering a variety of aspects of young people’s lives and relationships – will be delivered to young people aged 10-18 by Fitzrovia Youth in Action online, either individually or in small groups.

The programme explores themes that have been linked to promoting positive mental health which have been co-produced by young people. These themes have been developed and shaped from evidence based models such as, ‘The 5 ways to Wellbeing’ and The ‘Resilience Framework’ as protective factors in supporting mental wellbeing. The themes that the programme will cover may vary as the group will be led and guided by the young people who attend themselves. However, core topics that are explored are usually: mental health, relationships, self-esteem and resilience.

The two elements of this project are very much linked. The parents must be able to engage in therapy, and the children of those parents must be interested in participating in the peer mentoring programme in order to qualify for this free help. 

Who is eligible

· Parents prepared to sit in a room together (we will not accept parents who feel unable to do this).

· Parents should ideally have two or more children (all aged between 10 and 18). However, we will accept parents who only have one child in this age range, if the referrer strongly feels that the parents and child would benefit.

· Parents must undertake to talking to their child/children about the peer mentoring programme, and the children would need to be prepared to try an introductory session in that programme.


The parents’ therapy and the peer mentoring group will be available from January 2020.

Information for parents and young people about the project

With our partner, Fitzrovia Youth in Action, we have produced:

  • a summary for practitioners about this project, which you can download here
  • a leaflet for parents about this project, which you can download here
  • a leaflet for young people aged 10-14 about this project, which you can download here
  • and a leaflet for young people aged 15-18 about this project, which you can download here.

How to contact us

Please email if you are interested in making a referral or finding out more about this project.

Parenting Together

happy family with their children

Parenting Together is a service for parents, whether living together, separated, divorced, following civil partnership dissolution, or in blended families, who are having difficulty parenting their children co-operatively and are in conflict over parenting issues.

We initially offer 6 sessions with an option of continuing the work for a maximum of 12 sessions if you wish. Some of these sessions may be weekly but other times the sessions can be spaced further apart. This will be explained in more detail during your assessment. Once you have finished, we also offer you the option of ad-hoc top-up sessions in the future.

You will be seen by couple psychotherapists or relationship counsellors who have specialist training in this area.

For any enquiries about our Parenting Together service please call 020 7380 1950 or email

You will be contacted by our administrator who will speak with you about the service and arrange an assessment appointment for you.

How can the Parenting Together service help?

Perhaps you are finding yourself in frequent conflict over parenting and are noticing that these arguments upset the children. Perhaps you are having difficulty agreeing on safe boundaries or keeping to contact arrangements.

We aim to offer a safe space to share these problems in order to help parents work through some of the difficulties and disagreements that prevent them from parenting together in a shared way.

You can come to the Parenting Together Service with your partner, ex-partner or new partner or any other adult with whom you co-parent. We work with a wide range of parents from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Our practice is inclusive, non-discriminatory and culturally sensitive.

Fees for the Parenting Together service

£200 per session



Couple 50+ MOT - Couple Retirement Planning

elderly couple enjoying their retirement

A new brief couple intervention promoting resilience in couples during the transition to retirement, via face to face and online counselling. This innovative model aims to provide couples with the resources and thinking space to face the changes emerging from a future life together

Building Relationships for Stronger Families - Professional Referrals

parents swinging little boy dressed in bright red top

Building Relationships for Stronger Families - Information for Referrers.

We are offering parental and relationship support in areas of London and the northern home counties, assisted by partnering local authorities and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). 

To refer a couple use the materials below at the foot of the page.

About the programme

The ‘Building Relationships for Stronger Families’ programme has been designed to help parents that feel that stress and conflict in relationship that is affecting relationships and family.

The programme offers parents support appropriate to circumstance, in order  to address conflict within relationships, along with strengthening parenting skills to help bring up children.

Our skilled workers offer one to one or group sessions encouraging discussion around the modern struggles that parents and couples face.

During the programme, you will work on your relationship, whether you are together or separate, and find ways to manage stresses and disagreements, exploring patterns of behaviour and tools and techniques to improve your parenting skills and help your family succeed.