A London-based charity offering counselling services has reported a dramatic increase in LGBT couples seeking counselling in the past few years.

PinkNews advertiser The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) in London is reporting an almost 400% increase over the past four years in the number of LGBTpeople using its counselling services.

TCCR Chief Executive Officer, Susanna Abse, said they have noticed a marked increase in demand from the LGBT community, especially following the stressful festive season.

“Christmas can be a hard time of year for many couples, as they deal with the stress of family interaction and strained finances.” Susanna said.

“Lesbian and gay couples may find Christmas tough, particularly where there are unresolved issues with families. Many lesbian and gay couples do not spend Christmas together because of these problems, and unsympathetic or rejecting families put extra pressure on couples who are already facing difficulties in their relationship.”

“In the New Year, many of us make a special commitment to go to the gym or cut down on drinking but the most important New Year’s resolution a couple can make is to invest time and energy into their relationship,” Susanna said.

“For those couples whose relationship is already in trouble, it is important to seek professional help in order to understand each other better and work through the problems you are facing.

“At TCCR we train our counsellors and therapists to understand the particular issues couples in the LGBT community face, and we see couples and individuals from all types of backgrounds seeking help with their relationships. Whether you are young or old, gay, lesbian or heterosexual, living apart or together, if you are experiencing problems in your relationship seek professional help.”

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The centre saw an increase from 24 LGBT clients in 2009/10 to 115 in the year 2012/13.

The negative impacts which couple relationship distress is known to cause include depression, anxiety and poor work performance. Relationship distress can also affect cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, neurosensory and other physiological systems that, in turn, contribute to physical health problems.

This research was released on “Blue Monday”, the day on which, according to researchers, people are most depressed due to a number of factors.

The TCCR provides a range of affordable counselling services for couples and individuals facing relationship problems, as well as training.

The 2013 eQuality Award was given to the TCCR, by LGBT charity PACE, which promotes LGBT health and wellbeing.

The award is given as a quality mark of mainstream counselling services which show an inclusive practice, and which have show high standards of care for LGBT clients.

More information can be found at the centre’s website, or by calling 020 7380 1975.