Are you and your partner/ex-partner arguing looking for practical support to improve your relationship?

Help is available for parents whether together or apart looking to resolve conflict for the sake of their children, in partnership with Families First.

Children in families with high levels of parental conflict are shown to have a higher risk of negative outcomes. Hertfordshire County Council has commissioned The Counselling Foundation to provide free counselling to parents who want to improve their relationship (whether they are together or apart).

Since the start of our pilot Couples in Conflict alongside, Families First we have received 36 referrals and of those, 27 families have engaged in some way with the counselling process.

Families that are referred to us must be working closely with support workers and must be having relationship difficulties and there must be children within the relationship.  Couples can now been seen for 8 sessions in either St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn, Stevenage and Hatfield.

This service is only available to parents who are already being supported by Hertfordshire’s Families First.

What to expect from parents counselling

  • Offers parents the space and structure to work with the issues that are affecting them and their children
  • Help clarify the problem areas in their own terms and help them decide what steps they want to take next
  • Focus on how the parents can increase stability in family life, improve communication, reducing anxiety in themselves and family members and conflict resolution
  • Both parents will need to participate, and they will be able to access 6 – 8 sessions.

Simple tips on communication that are useful for any parent

  • Relationships are all about talking to each other but it’s not just what you say to each other, but how you each understand what’s being said.
  • Telling your partner the way that you are feeling is important but can cause friction if they feel that you are placing blame on them.
  • One way to avoid this is by saying how you are feeling using ‘I’ instead of ‘you’. An example of this is to replace “You just don’t understand me” with “I feel I’m not being understood and it’s making me upset.”

For further information, please contact your key worker, health professional, local children’s centre or your children’s school.