5 ways to reduce conflict at Christmas

Kate Thompson, couples' therapist at Tavistock Relationships, shares ways to enjoy a peaceful festive celebration


5 ways to reduce conflict at Christmas

Tavistock Relationships is a charity specialising in helping couples with their relationship difficulties and we always see a significant rise in couples and individuals seeking relationship support in the New Year.

Christmas is primarily for children, a time of magic and surprise, presents, being looked after and spoilt perhaps. For parents, it can be a time of domestic hard work, financial concern, pressure to live up to the expectations of their children, reunions with extended family and way too much rich food and alcohol. 

For adults, there is also the memory of Christmases past, when they too were the willing recipient of magical treats. This expectation of a ‘perfect Christmas’ can be indelibly stamped into our unconscious and all too often adults can regress back to that expectation at this time of year, carrying an unconscious, yet powerful hope for magic, and a yearning to be looked after that cannot be met. The idea that Christmas will make everything in a relationship or family alright again is a strong one to resist, but when the holidays are over and we wake up to rediscover our difficulties have not evaporated, it can sometimes make things worse than ever.

So if all you want this Christmas is family peace and harmony, here are 5 ways to help reduce conflict and keep the Christmas spirit joyful over the festive season:

Working from two London bases as well as operating a nationally available online service, Tavistock Relationships has over 100 professionals providing an effective and highly-regarded form of couples’ counselling and psychotherapy. To find out more about the training offered by Tavistock Relationships, go to tavistockrelationships.org or call 020 7380 8288.

Photo: Getty Images

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