More than half (58%) of therapists have reported an increase in clients presenting with relationship issues in the past year, according to our Mindometer survey.
And nearly a third (30%) of therapists have noticed a rise in the number of enquiries for couples counselling.
Our members also say they traditionally see spikes in couples coming for counselling after Christmas and New Year.
And they’ve said the issues that couples are coming to therapy for have changed in the past few years – with more now seeking help because of the impact of social media on their relationships.
The couples collective
We’ve released these figures as we launch The couples collective – a group of our members who’ve come together to create a booklet for members of the public that addresses some of the most common relationship problems, share top tips and explain how to seek couples counselling.
Our Mindometer survey of 3,000 of our members found therapists reported a rise in individual clients coming to therapy for support with their relationships, and an increase in couples seeking help together.
Therapists say they believe the increase in people seeking support compared to the previous year is because they are re-evaluating their relationships since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our member Indira Chima, who is part of The couples collective, said: “COVID opened the floodgates to relationship work. People are more open to talking about their mental health and relationship issues because of COVID. The idea of life being too short and wanting to enjoy it to the full means people are not willing to settle.”
Therapists expect to see more enquiries in January as well.
Lindsay George, a BACP member and part of The couples collective, added: “After Christmas and into January, therapists often see big spikes in receiving new clients. There’s something about January and not wanting to go into another year feeling like this in a relationship that brings people to re-evaluate their situation and seek additional support.”
Our members have said couples are still seeking therapy for common issues such as communication, intimacy, finance and commitment.
However, there’s also a range of other issues that are coming up in therapy as causing problems in relationships.
These include problems over jealousy stemming from partner’s social media use, desire to pursue open relationships and explore one’s sexuality, or navigating socio-economic challenges such as the cost-of-living crisis.
Indira added: “I’ve had more and more clients come to me with issues over social media in the past five years. Younger couples in their 20s and 30s come in and disagree on the meaning of ‘like’. Social media nowadays can become the ‘third person’ in a relationship and divide it.”
Therapy can help couples establish what’s going on under the surface and deal with that issue as a team.
To find a therapist who can help you with your relationship visit our Therapist directory.
Our Mindometer survey was of 2,983 therapists. Fieldwork was carried out between 2 July and 3 August 2022.
Relationships advice from The couples collective
Our couples collective of BACP therapists share their top tips and guidance on how to navigate relationship issues. Download our booklet or read our online guide.
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