Tavistock Therapists impart their expert advice about divorce and separation to callers on ITV’s This Morning programme

Our specialist couple therapists helped viewers struggling with their relationship or wanting advice on divorce or separation, running a phone in clinic on ITV’s This Morning show, which addressed Divorce and Separation.

This is an area where couple counselling and psychotherapy can be very helpful, and indeed Tavistock Relationships runs a special service to help people manage the challenges that the process of separation and divorce can entail.

To raise awareness of what can be done for couples in this situation, we worked with Deirdre Sanders, (agony aunt for The Sun newspaper) to set up a special public phone-in on the popular ITV show This Morning, hosted by Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. Tavistock Relationships provided experts to field requests for help from worried viewers who called in from across the country.

The three trained couple therapists were carefully picked for their experience with couple relationships in difficulty (working with our Divorce and Separation service). After being comprehensively briefed and filmed setting up, they moved on to answer hundreds of calls from viewers, prompted by the presenters’ request for dilemmas.

Here’s what one of our experts Jo Harrison said:

“People rang in from all over the country with different problems. One thing I heard time and time again was how helpful and reassuring it was for people to know that their difficulties were familiar to us in our work at Tavistock Relationships and that they weren’t alone in their struggles. A lot of the calls were related to divorce and separation and it felt important to be able to suggest to people in the throes of divorce and separation that they seek counselling to help support them as they make such a big life decision.”

Feedback from This Morning about the Tavistock Relationship counsellors was very positive – “We were busy up until 3pm and feedback we had from the public on the advice they gave was very positive”, commented Deirdre Sanders.

“It was such a success, we were thrilled, thanks to your wonderful counsellors” said Penny Jordan (Head of Counselling for This Morning).

One of the things noted by our therapists was that many of the people ringing in were unaware of where they could go to get relationship support or didn’t feel they had the means to access it, and our staff were able to help guide them to our website to see what services are available. A priority for Tavistock Relationships is to make people who are struggling in their relationship, or in the midst of a divorce or separation, aware that couple counselling is a very effective source of help.

We want people to feel that couple counselling or therapy can be an option for them, and initiatives such as this help to ‘normalise’ seeking professional help. There is strong research evidence which demonstrates that couple therapy works [link], which may help to reassure those who may be thinking about it.

At Tavistock Relationships, our first priority is the welfare of the couple and their children, especially in situations where conflict and separation are having a damaging effect on the mental health and well-being of all involved.

Thanks to ITV for allowing us to talk to the nation.

If you have been affected by Divorce and Separation, relationship counselling can really help. Our service can be contacted here.

You can watch the episode involving our staff here – for a limited time: