Published in Press Releases by Tavistock Relationships on December 1st 2023
Tavistock Relationships (TR), the charity helping couples and individuals to have better relationships, always sees a rise in couples and individuals seeking relationship support in January.
This aligns with the surge in enquiries received by divorce lawyers after Christmas, and the first working day after the New Year being named ‘Divorce Day’.
TR offers a ‘Divorce and Separation Consultation’ service to help couples and individuals lessen their defensiveness, so they can have the conversations they need to have about children and money, and divorce better. An initial three consultations with a therapist are offered to help partners work on their communication.
Liz Hamlin, a couple psychotherapist and joint head of clinical services at Tavistock Relationships, explains:
“For most couples, there’s a sad paradox when it comes to divorce and separation – just when you need to be able to communicate with one another better than ever before, you’ve often stopped speaking at all.
“All the changes and tensions between ‘soon to be ex partners’ become so overwhelming and seemingly impossible to manage, that people often shut down. Couples in this situation may come to us struggling to find the belief or confidence of finding a way to speak or negotiate with one another about decisions that need to be made.
“No fault divorce has helped as blame no longer has to be cited, but the issues of splitting their lives are still there and must be addressed and resolved. These issues principally tend to centre-around money and children. How will their assets be split so each person can rebuild their lives, and how the care of the children can be shared where differences in parenting become magnified.
“If people do want to separate or divorce, we can help them to become less defensive, opening up the space which is invaluable when making the decisions required. This makes the process of legal separation or divorce less expensive both financially and emotionally, preventing long, drawn out conflict and potentially having to resort to the family courts to resolve matters. Using the courts can take years and makes it much harder on everyone, especially the children.
“Our Divorce and Separation Consultation service is for individuals as well as couples. Sometimes one person will come to us for the first consultation, and then their partner will join for the next. An initial three consultations are offered, but more can be offered if the process is found to be supportive. It’s not a long-term therapy service, but one that helps people think about their lives and how they want to live them, making the best choices they can.
“The service isn’t just for people who are clear they want to separate. It’s also for couples who are uncertain about their future. The emotional support we give can also help people to find a way to co-habit if they can’t afford to separate, or to move into our general service if they want to find a way of bringing about change and stay together.”
Established in 1948, Tavistock Relationships is the charity helping individuals and couples to have better relationships. We believe the world can be changed for the better through nurturing relationships. We aim to advance the understanding of relationships, and of relationship-focused therapy and support, so that everyone gets the help they need. www.tavistockrelationships.org