Reducing the impact of interparental conflict on children’s mental health

Teenager standing between two parents in conflict

Funder                                     

bbc children in need

Partner                                                      

fya

As a result of lockdown/COVID-19, both aspects of this programme – i.e. the therapy sessions for parents and the peer mentoring sessions for children and young people - are being delivering remotely/online.

Tavistock Relationships and Fitzrovia Youth in Action have been funded by BBC Children in Need to deliver therapeutic support to separated parents whose ongoing conflict is affecting the mental health of their children. The project will provide couple therapy to the parents alongside peer mentoring support to their children.

The therapeutic element – delivered by Tavistock Relationships online - will involve three ‘assessment sessions’ (two to parents individually, one to parents together, to agree a focus for the therapy), followed by six sessions of fortnightly couple therapy. There is an opportunity for a further three, monthly follow-up sessions if this is deemed helpful by all parties.

Mentalisation-based couple therapy for separated parents aims to help parents think about the possible impact of conflict on their children – and the impact of their conflict on their parenting.

The peer mentoring programme – a six to eight week programme covering a variety of aspects of young people’s lives and relationships – will be delivered to young people aged 10-18 by Fitzrovia Youth in Action online, either individually or in small groups.

The programme explores themes that have been linked to promoting positive mental health which have been co-produced by young people. These themes have been developed and shaped from evidence based models such as, ‘The 5 ways to Wellbeing’ and The ‘Resilience Framework’ as protective factors in supporting mental wellbeing. The themes that the programme will cover may vary as the group will be led and guided by the young people who attend themselves. However, core topics that are explored are usually: mental health, relationships, self-esteem and resilience.

The two elements of this project are very much linked. The parents must be able to engage in therapy, and the children of those parents must be interested in participating in the peer mentoring programme in order to qualify for this free help. 

Who is eligible

· Parents prepared to sit in a room together (we will not accept parents who feel unable to do this).

· Parents should ideally have two or more children (all aged between 10 and 18). However, we will accept parents who only have one child in this age range, if the referrer strongly feels that the parents and child would benefit.

· Parents must undertake to talking to their child/children about the peer mentoring programme, and the children would need to be prepared to try an introductory session in that programme.

Timings

The parents’ therapy and the peer mentoring group will be available from January 2020.

Information for parents and young people about the project

With our partner, Fitzrovia Youth in Action, we have produced:

  • a summary for practitioners about this project, which you can download here
  • a leaflet for parents about this project, which you can download here
  • a leaflet for young people aged 10-14 about this project, which you can download here
  • and a leaflet for young people aged 15-18 about this project, which you can download here.

How to contact us

Please email parenting@tavistockrelationships.org if you are interested in making a referral or finding out more about this project.

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