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By Andrew Balfour, CEO of Tavistock Relationships

Following the publication of the organisation's annual review, Andrew Balfour reflects on the last year in relationship support and how Tavistock Relationships has responded.

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, families across the world are ing the threat or actuality of illness, isolation and loss of social networks, unemployment, financial hardship and other privations.

We know that escalating family stress is likely to mean that greater numbers of children than ever before are exposed to the damaging effects of intense parental conflict, and we have seen an increase in people coming to us with very seriously distressed relationships.

Without targeted interventions to help with the psychological fallout, the consequences of the deprivations experienced by so many, will continue to be felt long after the acute danger of the virus has diminished.

Now, more than ever, there is a need for the work of agencies such as ours to contribute to the national effort that is going to be required to address the psychological challenges facing families across the UK.”

We aim to reach the widest range of families by developing and testing new approaches to contemporary psycho-social problems.

Our data continues to show statistically significant improvement in relationship quality for couples seen in its services, and improvements in the well-being of their children.

In our Online Therapy Service delivered 1,281 sessions, a 9.5 per cent increase over the 1,170 sessions delivered the year before.

In March, when lockdown began, we were able to adapt rapidly to the changing situation called by Covid-19.

We used the systems developed for our online therapy service, launched in 2016, to transfer more than 350 cases online, whilst only shutting our clinical service for three days. All our 120 therapists, including trainees, and 30 supervisors were trained in how to use the software, as well as how to work clinically online. In this way, we were able to continue to support couples and families facing relationships and mental health challenges during lockdown.

It is this support that we continue to expand in the area of couple relationships in a number of different areas, from the impact of Interparental conflict, to divorce and separation and life transition as well as living with Dementia. Additionally the launch of the City Wellbeing Centre, sees us expand in 2020 into the area of individual mental health.

Though there are many challenges ahead in the year to come, we remain resolved to fulfil our mission to ensure that effective relationship support is accessible to all.

If you need supoport on any relationship issue, we have a range of services, you can find them here.

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