Zurich uni offers free couples therapy during corona crisis

More intimacy, not always a good thing. Keystone / Christophe Gateau

With many couples suddenly finding themselves in close confinement due to coronavirus distancing measures, tensions are inevitable. The University of Zurich is now offering free online counselling.

This content was published on March 24, 2020

The goal of the programmeExternal link is to help relationships become stronger in times of stress by increasing mutual support, the University wroteExternal link on Tuesday.

The main focus of the counselling is on boosting effective communication, which often falls victim in stressful times. It also aims to teach participants that the value of a solid partnership lies not merely in the relationship itself, but also in the general health and well-being benefits it brings, the university writes.

Being in a satisfying and loving relationship leads to a better overall mood, as well as better psychological and even physical health. “A ‘healthy’ partnership is objectively linked to having a stronger immune system and a lower risk of sickness.”

Initially, a five-hour introduction offers videos, examples, and practical lessons about how to better solve shared problems and challenges; for those who need more targeted advice, one-on-one counselling can be booked from this week.

The offer is directly linked to the social isolation measures around the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen people in Switzerland forbidden from congregating in groups of more than five people, and strongly advised by the government to stay at home. Authorities have so far stopped short of a complete lockdown. 

Those who are able to do their jobs from home, meanwhile, have been advised to do so.

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