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Parents as Partners Programme
Awarded the Highest Rating of all Interventions

The Effectiveness of Couple Therapy
Our study shows improvments in relationships and mental health

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Our pioneering parenting programme is presented with a prestigous BPC award for innovation and excellence,

The Parenting Together service has been honoured with first place in the British Psychoanalytic Council Award (BPC) for Innovative Excellence 2015

Parenting Togeher  was set up in 2008 specifically to work with parents in entrenched post separation conflict over their children. Since that time, the work has grown substantially and several projects are now underway working with this population of parents in dispute.

The programme was cited by the BPC (the largest membership organisation specifically for the psychoanalytic sector) at its annual conference as achieving success through excellence and innovation in a broad range of areas:

  1. Uniqueness and innovation. There are no other therapeutic services known of that specifically work with this population of parents
  2. Engagement. It has successfully engaged a population of parents who are extremely difficult to work with and do not usually want to access help for their entrenched post separation. This included an active service user involvement group who are involved in the service
  3. Strong model. It has successfully evolved a model of treatment intervention which parents find helpful and which has been shown to be effective in a randomized controlled trial, the first of its kind with this population;
  4. Supporting children. By using the parental couple relationship as the port of entry for the intervention children can be better protected from their parents dispute;
  5. Service reach: Government funding has been secured to develop and expand the service, work collaboratively with other agencies, evaluating the intervention robustly and extending  the availability geographically of this much needed work.

Funding has attracted from several government departments enabling greater capacity in the form of the latterly developed Parents in Dispute Project, as well as running a randomized controlled trial of the intervention which has just been completed with encouraging findings. This group of parents tend to get caught up in long and bitter disputes over contact and residency of their children, frequently spending many years in repeated court battles to try to resolve their acrimonious disputes with deleterious results for children. The harm done to children as well as the parents by repeated court battles is significant and very damaging to all involved as documented in the large evidence base on the effect of parental conflict on children’s outcomes. However to our knowledge there are no specialist services for this population of parents in post separation ‘entrenched conflict’ which are therapeutic, as opposed to legal, and which aim to work with both parents together. the RCT briefing can be read here.

The award was presented to Leezah Hertzmann, the clinical lead on developing the service and research trial, who accepted it at the event on behalf of all the team at TCCR. Speaking of the commendation, Hertzmann said;  

“I am extremely proud that this level of recognition has been given to the Parenting Together team at TCCR, it reflects the hard work and clinical excellence of everyone involved. It shows how new work and thinking is so important in our field especially with hard to reach populations, and underlines the value of supporting the difficult areas of relationships and how expert evidence-based therapeutic support can provide truly beneficial outcomes for the couples and families who participate”.

TCCR Chief Executive Susanna Abse said:

““This award is gratefully received as recognition of our commitment to innovate and push the boundaries of service provision and create new delivery models to further increase the impact and reach of relationship support, particularly in areas where there is unmet need.  There is a desperate lack of evidence- based services for parents in conflict and we hope that this new model can be rolled out nationally, bringing better outcomes for  children and families whilst reducing societal costs as well”.

For further information contact:

John Fenna | Head of Marketing & Communications

T: 0207 380 1974 | Ext: 6108 | M: 07818092771

A: 70 Warren Street, London W1T 5PB | 10 New Street, London EC2M 4TP

E: jfenna@tccr.org.uk  W: www.tccr.ac.uk           www.tccr.org.uk

Note to editors

  1. Established in 1948 The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) is a registered charity internationally renowned for delivering and developing advanced practice, training and research in therapeutic and psycho-educational approaches to supporting couples.