• family in kitchen

    Family Life and Parenting

    We help couples and families with a range of services

parent  with child
  • Family and Parenting
parents holding small baby

Couple relationship support in a child’s first year

The Couple’s Perinatal Service at Tavistock Relationships offers highly specialised therapeutic support to couples in the perinatal stage. It is suitable for first time parents and parents who already have children.

Becoming a parent is central to many couple relationships and is often a momentous occasion, full of joyful moments. However, the transition to parenthood can also be fraught with many unforeseen challenges which might throw parents into turmoil, leaving them feeling despairing and disorientated. Our experienced therapists are skilled at assessing your individual challenges in this important stage of your child and your family's development, and building pathways to improved communication and mutual support.

Book relationship therapy

smiling white couple with baby looking at laptop

Aims of the therapy

We are aware of how such difficulties can impact family life and, if not addressed, may mean couples experience difficulties relating to each other that are hard to resolve.

The aim of our work is to help parents establish a supportive parental couple in which both can form a bond with the infant which is inclusive of the other, a bond that starts even before the baby is born.

A service tailored to your needs

Tavistock Relationships offers a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment. We offer an initial consultation where we will assess the best service for the specific issues you are facing. We may offer a more extended assessment where necessary. 

There is no set number of sessions, and you can attend as many weekly sessions as you need, from pregnancy up until your baby is one year old. We can also offer other services after the perinatal stage if you feel it would

How are the sessions delivered?

Sessions take place weekly at the same time each week and last 50 minutes. We offer sessions online via webcam or in-person at City Wellbeing Centre, 75-77 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7DA.

african carribbean couple with baby on laptop meeting with therapist white couple and baby with counsellor

How much does it cost?

As a not-for-profit organisation, we believe that relationship counselling should be accessible to all. You can register and book a consultation with one of our therapists via our website.

Fees per session range from £100-£180* per session depending on your circumstances. We offer a limited number of reduced rate appointments for those who find our standard fees difficult to manage - please call or email us to discuss your individual situation.

Why choose us?

  • Tavistock Relationships is a world centre of excellence in the delivery and training of psychotherapy.
  • When a couple relationship works well, it can have a very positive effect on mental health and children’s outcomes.
  • Over 90% of our clients have found therapy helpful and our model has been proven to be effective in the largest ever naturalistic evidenced study of psychotherapy.

Why not take a look at some of the testimonials we have from past clients. Or our how highly our clients rate us.

Read more …Couple’s Perinatal Service

elderly couple enjoying their retirement

A new brief couple intervention promoting resilience in couples during the transition to retirement, via face to face and online counselling. This innovative model aims to provide couples with the resources and thinking space to face the changes emerging from a future life together

Read more …Couple 50+ MOT - Couple Retirement Planning

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  • Relationship Advice

FREE help for parents who aren't getting along

sad mixed heritage girl with parents arguing around her

A free project to improve parents’ relationships in Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and Bristol

Do you have a child or children aged between 8 and 14? Do you find it hard to get on with your partner or your ex? Do you frequently argue or shout at each other? Or have you stopped even talking to each other?

If your are having trouble getting on with each other, our programme 'Support for Interparental Conflict' (SIPCo for short) could help.

Download PDF flyer

Who can apply to attend?

We are looking for parents who live in Dorset, BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) and Bristol who:

  • have a child aged 8-14
  • have conflict with their partner or co-parent
  • are willing to try something new to help reduce their conflict.

The aim is to improve your communication to help create better outcomes for your children and you. 

Whether you are separated or separating parents, parents in extended families, or any other group, this help is for you.

The support provided is suitable for straight parents and LGBTQ+ parents.

Referrals can be taken from both parents or from one parent.

sad teen boy with parents facing away angrily

What kind of support will I get and how will that be decided?

The Youth Endowment Fund has funded two different types of support. It is providing free sessions to parents who sign up, because that helps them to look at the support's effectiveness and how parental help of this kind can be made the best it can be.

Parents need to contact their local service to be put forward for this free programme (see contact details below).

The help the parents receive will either be counselling sessions with a family therapist or special online resources and support to help reduce your level of conflict.

Which kind of help you get will be decided on a random basis. We expect each type of support (the counselling sessions and the online resources) to be helpful to parents who need to reduce their conflict.

couple in meeting with therapist on laptop

What do the sessions with a family therapist involve?

The sessions with a therapist take place online. They will work through issues with you and give you techniques you can apply to calm situations down and communicate better.

The type of help is called Mentalization-Based Therapy for Parents under Pressure (MBT-PP) and it is delivered by family therapy counsellors from Tavistock Relationships - an organisation with a long history of helping parents in this type of situation. 

man looking at a laptop while sitting on sofa

How will support through online resources be delivered?

If you receive this type of assistance, your local council will be providing you with online resources. You will be able to work through these at your own pace with the support of a locally trained practitioner.

The staff that you can contact will be people who regularly deal with the issues of families and their children.

How do I apply for this support?

If you want to find out more or be referred to your local service, you can speak directly to us at Tavistock Relationships.

Contact: Sarah Ingram
Tel: 020 7380 1960

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or you can apply directly using the contact details below.

Dorset residents

Contact: Simone Kettle
Tel: 01305 224256

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit Dorset Council website

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) residents

Contact: Jessica Lanham
Tel: 01202 127553
Mob: 07423 782590

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Visit BCP Council website

Bristol residents

Contact: Gina Pazienza
Tel: 07721 635376

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

View a video about this support programme

Visit Bristol Council website

surviving the festive season flyer cover showing parents arguing in front of christmas tree with upset child

Free online event for parents under pressure

Thursday 14 December, 7pm-8pm online on Zoom

We are hosting a free online event 'Surviving the Festive Season' to allow parents to find out more about how this project can help.

Download a PDF flyer for full details

Book a place

This project is a collaboration between

and is funded by the Youth Endowment Fund.

Read more …Support for Interparental Conflict (SIPCo) project - Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole,...

multicultural parents kissing baby
  • Relationship Advice

Parenting can be an extremely rewarding and enriching experience but it can also place an enormous strain on the parents’ relationship.

It can be hard to manage the conflicting demands of attending to the needs of the children as well as having an intimate and satisfying relationship. When the parents’ relationship is stressed and in conflict, this can, in turn, upset the children and have a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing.  

50% of all of our clients have at least one child under 18.

Parents often benefit from a safe and confidential space away from their children to make sense of these stresses. With this in mind, Tavistock Relationship is offering a specialised service designed for parents.

Our Parenting help is face to face or online

We have to be honest and say we still argue but it’s actually about different things, now we are more organised with a lot of the boys’ routines, we have now found flexibility works better for us. It’s about recognising what the other person needs…common sense really

How it helps

In the Parenting Consultation Service, you will be seen by one of our experienced and specially trained therapists who will:

  • Offer a safe space to reflect on the impact of parenting on your couple relationship
  • Help you towards a better understanding of your relationship with each other and your children
  • Support you with difficulties you may be having with your children
  • Improve the overall quality of your parental- and couple relationship and family life

Parenting help, the process and how to contact us

The Parenting Service offers an initial consultation, after which parents can progress to weekly sessions.

You can come to the Parenting Service with your partner, co-parent or on your own.  We work with a wide range of parents from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Our practice is inclusive, non-discriminatory and culturally sensitive.

Read more …Parenting - Consultation Service

parents swinging little boy dressed in bright red top
  • Relationship Advice
mixed heritage family with small children walking hand in hand

An effective programme for parental support

Parents as Partners supports parents in strengthening their relationship with each other, so you they more able to face life's ups and downs.

Parents as Partners is a programme that looks at the whole family, not just the relationship between parents and their children. Both parents are involved in sessions, and the group is always led by a male and female pair of trained workers.

Sessions include a mix of creative activities, video clips and discussions, input from the group leaders and space to talk about the things that are important for you. The group is a safe space to explore things that might be difficult and sad, as well as a space for lively discussion, fun and meeting other people who might be going through similar situations.

How does it help?

Parents as Partners has proven results in helping:

  • Improve your relationship and communication with your child's other parent
  • Strengthen your family relationships and improve your child's wellbeing and success
  • Manage the challenges and stress of family life
  • Reduce conflict in your relationship

To find out more about its outcomes, look at the Early Intervention Foundation Guidebook’s page on the ‘Schoolchildren and their Families’ programme (the original name of this programme in the US when it was tested on a group of parents whose children were entering school – it’s the same programme as Parents as Partners). Here you can find out more about how it helps to support children’s mental health and well-being, enhance school achievement and reduce internalising and externalising problems. The Parents as Partners programme works with parents who have at least one child aged 11 or under.

Our specialist programmes

mother and father of different heritages smiling at their baby

Parents as Partners - Perinatal Programme

A perinatal programme for parents to attend together to improve their relationship, increase their children's wellbeing and improve children's outcomes. To attend, parents must be referred by their Family Hub or a local authority practitioner.

View PDF flyer for more details

parents with small child with learning disability playing under a sheet

Parents as Partners - Global Developmental Delay

This is a free 16-week online (web-meeting based) therapeutic group for couples of children with global developmental delay, with support from couples who understand the unique pressures involved. You can call 020 7380 1960 for further information or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

>> Apply now for group starting in September

View PDF flyer for more details

parents with baby

What is needed from you

To benefit from this programme, whether you are together or separated, you need to be willing to talk together about how you would like to bring up your children. Groups have included couples and co-parents from different backgrounds, including adoptive couples, same sex couples, and for couples dealing with the particular stresses of parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum.

Please note:

  • Both parents have to agree to participate and attend the group together
  • This isn't a programme for one parent only
  • We meet couples/co-parents before to decide together whether the programme is suitable for you.
  • You cannot attend if you are currently involved in care proceedings or private family law proceedings.

What parents say

In this video, a couple who attended Tavistock Relationships' Parents as Partners programme shares how the sessions helped their relationship and their family dynamic.



Children and Young People Now 2017 award logo

An award-winning approach

The Parents as Partners programme, a group-based approach to strengthening parental couple relationships and family life, was named the 'Best Family Support Intervention' at the Children & Young People Now awards ceremony at 2017 ceremony. 

My husband and I were referred to parents as partners by our counsellor. To be perfectly honest I was very sceptical about it and if it wasn't because of not having an option to improve our relationship, I wouldn't have attended it. Issues like confidentiality was a big problem for us. We didn't want to discuss our personal issues in front of others. Plus, being in a room with five other couples for a limited amount of time made us think we cannot take much away with us... However, the group was a life changer for us... I wish we had done it earlier. Sharing some time with other couples who go through similar problems, sharing their approach towards their issues and having two professionals who are amazing at guiding couples is so helpful towards improving relationships. The group is designed in a way that covers the most parts of marital problems especially those that come up after becoming a parent. Since we've done the course, our relationship with each other and our child has become a lot better. The session about communication was absolutely brilliant. It's helped us being able to talk with each other effectively without avoiding or arguing. Also, not only wasn't the confidentiality an issue, but we ended up making some great friends for life... I highly recommend this group. You cannot imagine how effective it can be...

Read more …Parents as Partners

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