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Companies failing to support staff with relationship difficulties

Published in Press Releases on April 30th 2013

The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) have recently released a report showing that many companies and organisations are not supporting staff appropriately despite personal and family relationships being acknowledged by the HR sector as a top cause of employee stress.

Indeed, TCCR’s online survey, conducted in January 2013, found that employers do not in general see interventions for relationship distress as either their responsibility or something which their employees are calling for them to provide. This is despite the fact that almost 95% of those who responded to TCCR’s survey either agreed or strongly agreed that employees’ couple relationship difficulties affect work performance.

However the vast majority refer on to individual therapy, despite evidence suggesting that individual counselling is less effective for relationship difficulties than couple approaches.

Commenting on the report, TCCR CEO Susanna Abse, said: “Having recently seen a 10% increase in the number of couples approaching TCCR for help we can see that social attitudes towards couple therapy are changing, however employers are still lagging behind. HR Managers need to familiarise themselves with the considerable evidence base regarding the benefits of couple therapy. It must become standard practice for the couple relationship dimension to be given due consideration when assessing and assisting an employee who is struggling at work”.

Download the report here.


Further information

For further information or to find out more about the work of TR contact:: 

  • Paula Scott, PR consultant T: 07932 740221, E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Notes to editors:

  1. Established in 1948, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) provides a comprehensive range of affordable counselling services for couples and individuals facing relationship problems. Through its clinical, training and research programmes it supports and improves services to couples and families.
  2. TCCR run a variety of practitioner trainings, ranging from introductory courses to doctoral programmes in couple counselling and psychotherapy.
  3. TCCR is recognised in its field as a centre of advanced practice and study, both nationally and internationally. Our ethos is to develop practice, research and policy activities which complement and inform the development of services to couples.
  4. The negative impacts which couple relationship distress is known to cause include depression, anxiety and poor work performance; relationship distress can also affect cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, neurosensory and other physiological systems that, in turn, contribute to physical health problems.
  5. The evidence base for couple therapy shows that this type of intervention produces statistically and clinically significant reductions in relationship distress (Lebow et al., 2012; Snyder et al., 2006). Indeed, the impact of couple therapy is similar to that of the most effective psychological and pharmacological treatments available for individual psychological disorders (Shadish and Baldwin, 2003).

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