Alcohol Dependence

Although research shows that the impact inter-parental conflict on children is highest in families where parents are dependent on alcohol, there is very little specialist help available.

This is regrettable as one of the most powerful ways of helping individuals to change is through work with the couple.

Tavistock Relationships - along with the charities One Plus One and Adfam - was funded by the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Work and Pensions to make more support available to parents, so that children of alcohol dependent parents can be helped.

Reducing the impact of inter-parental conflict on children in families affected by alcohol dependence

The project contained three elements:

  • A two-day training course which will be delivered in six areas around the country to frontline practitioners (such as social workers, family support workers, people working in alcohol services). This course will be delivered to 420 front-line health workers to help them identify alcohol dependent couples at an early stage, and ensure that they are enabled to understand the impact of alcohol dependency and inter-parental conflict on children and to understand the critical link between the two. The course will focussed on developing the skills and techniques of frontline practitioners, equipping them to have the often painful conversations about the impact on children of alcohol dependency and inter-parental conflict.
  • Advanced training for staff in evidence-based therapeutic work with parental couples. We will provide training to 30 practitioners (working with couples in the context of alcohol dependence.) in Behavioural Couples Therapy for Alcohol Dependence, an approach recommended by NICE but rarely available in this country.
  • The development of innovative, self-help digital solutions for parents and for practitioners. The digital content for parents will centre around an online version of Couple Coping Enhancement Training, an evidence-based approach to help couples deal with the stress which may be causing their drinking. The digital content for practitioners will be focused on their training, latest updates, homework to be completed and a forum for them to speak with other practitioners.

These three elements of the project were interwoven, linked by the core digital element, which offers resources both for parents to access for self-help as well as a range of content and functionality to support the training and ongoing professional development of the staff who are trained within our approach.

The project was delivered through a partnership between the charities Tavistock Relationships, Adfam and OnePlusOne, and concluded in March 2020.

Relationships are a vital part of helping families with addiction. 

- Participant in our training (see video below)

If you would like to know more about the frontline training course, or the training in Behavioural Couples Therapy for Alcohol Dependence - both of which can be commissioned as a standalone offer, please contact Richard Meier at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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