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Why is there a surge in demand for therapy and divorce just after Christmas?

Published in Blog by Joanna Harrison on December 26th 2023

Joanna Harrison, an experienced TR therapist, explains why demand for couple therapy rises in January.

We typically see a significant rise in couples and individuals seeking relationship support in the New Year. In fact, the first working Monday of January is referred to as #divorceday because of a surge in enquiries to family lawyers.

Our experience suggests some of the most common reasons for this post-Christmas surge are the following:

1. Christmas makes strained relationships feel unbearable

here are the stresses of Christmas itself, with financial pressures and time spent with extended family which can have a ‘straw that broke the camel's back’ effect for some couples who were already struggling.

2. New year’s resolutions can lead to decisions about relationships

The expectation that Christmas should be an enjoyable, family focussed time can be a bit of a wake-up call to couples who aren't enjoying their relationships, or are finding family life challenging. This often leads them to think perhaps they need some help - could it be better this time next year? Combined with the New Year rhythm to turn over a healthier new leaf can mean that January is a time where couples seek therapy to help improve the way their relationship works, or to give them support on how to communicate better.

3. Holding on until after Christmas

For some couples, one or both of them may have been thinking more about the question of separating before Christmas, but decide to delay it until after Christmas so that it doesn't spoil Christmas for them or their children.

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