�1m Government initiative sees Hackney first-time parents offered discounted couples therapy

Life after the birth of a baby can feel like absolute chaos – but now first-time parents in Hackney are being offered discounted therapy to help them avoid relationship break-up.

The �1m government-backed initiative called The Three Of Us is also trialling in Islington, the City and Westminster, and launched at the Ann Tayler Children’s Centre in Triangle Road, London Fields today.

It is estimated 61 per cent of couples experience relationship difficulties after having a baby, and expecting and new parents, with children up to two-years old, will be offered 60 per cent off the full price of couple therapy, which can bring the price down to �10 dependent on income.

The aim is to help parents understand the transition their relationship will go through after they have a child and to give them strategies to stay strong as a couple.

In his speech at the launch event, Duncan Fisher, who has an OBE for services to children and is author of the book Baby’s Here! Who does what?, said: “Relationships and parenting are absolutely interwoven and mums and dads need support to be able to approach looking after their baby together as a strong team which is exactly what these sessions will do.”

Annabel Burns, director of relationship support at the Department for Education added: “We want parents to feel that it’s as normal to access relationship support as it is to go to an antenatal class.”

Relate, the Fatherhood Institute and The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships are delivering the face-to-face and online counselling sessions.

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Discount vouchers will be distributed by professionals working in early years and are also available online at www.the3ofus.org.uk.