Questions Answered

What is the difference between Relate and other organisations and individual counsellors that offer relationship support?

Relate Counsellors have all received Relate’s specialised in-house training in couple counselling. It takes two to three years to become a fully qualified Relate counsellor. They undergo further training to specialise in areas such as family counselling and sex therapy.

Specially trained Relate-qualified Supervisors are assigned to support each counsellor with regular in-depth individual supervision. Relate also provides invaluable group-supervision for our Counsellors.

Relate Counsellors have full access to our national Practice Support Team for specialised advice and guidance in addition to the supervisory support described above.

Relate sets its own high standards of competence for Counsellors and maintains standards through strong support and appraisal.

Other counsellors offer relationship counselling but they rarely work with couples

Relate is often imitated but remains probably the highest quality

and best value relationship help available.

Is Relate Relationship Counselling confidential?

Relate counselling are completely confidential. We will not give your name or any information about you to anyone outside Relate, unless someone’s personal safety is at risk.

How can counselling help me?

Counselling helps you take time out from your situation and see it from a fresh perspective. Working with a counsellor gives you, or you and your partner, a chance to think about what you can do to change your situation for the better. It can also give you a chance to explore complex or difficult issues in a safe and confidential environment.

Do Relate counsellors have special training?

Relate counsellors have all received special training in couple counselling. It takes two to three years to become a fully qualified Relate counsellor. They undergo further training to specialise in areas such as family counselling and sex therapy.
Your Relate Centre may talk to you about seeing a ‘counsellor-in-training’. Counsellors-in-training’ have gone through a rigorous selection and training process and will be receiving close professional support.
All counsellors continue with ongoing training and consultation with other professional to ensure they give you the highest standard of counselling.

How can Relate help me with sex?

Sex therapy is very successful in helping people re-establish an active sex life. Most people who have completed Relate sex therapy said they felt their sexual relationship improved after using the service*. Working with a Relate sex therapist will help you to overcome the problems you’re having and find a way to move on from them.

How can relationship counselling help me?

Relationship counselling helps you take time out from your situation and see it from a fresh perspective. Working with a relate advisor gives you, or you and your partner, a chance to think about what you can do to change your situation for the better. It can also give you a chance to explore complex or difficult issues in a safe and confidential environment.

What happens at a relationship counselling session?

At your first session a counsellor will talk with you for around one hour. Some people find this session is all they need to clear their thinking and help them decide what to do and no further counselling is necessary. You and your counsellor will talk through how Relate might be able to help and, if appropriate, your counsellor will recommend a Relate counselling service, Relate sex therapy or another service. If your counsellor doesn’t think we are best placed to help, they may suggest another organisation.

What training do Relate counsellors have?

Relate counsellors have all received academic training in couple counselling theory and practice. It takes two to three years to become a fully qualified Relate counsellor. They undergo further training to specialise in areas such as family counselling and sex therapy. Our online counsellors have additional training to be able to work with electronic text communication.
All counsellors continue with ongoing training and consultation with other professional to ensure they give you the highest standard of counselling.

Can I come on my own?

Yes. Whether you are single, or if you have a partner who does not want to come or you simply want to discuss things alone you are welcome to bring any aspect of your current, past or future relationships to Relate by yourself.

How do I make an appointment to talk to a Relate counsellor?

Please go to our Appointments page at the top of this screen.

What happens if I have a complaint about Relate counselling?

Relate always welcomes feedback and is keen to improve its services. We have a complaints procedure which aims to make the process straightforward and fair. Should you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, please raise it with the manager of the service. Your complaint or concerns will be investigated and you will receive a reply within four weeks. If you wish to take your complaint further after receiving your reply please contact the Complaints Officer.

Do I have to pay for Counselling?

You will normally be expected to pay a fee. Relate Centres are charities and do not aim to make a profit from the services they provide, the fee is to cover the cost of counselling sessions. A concessionary scheme is available for clients in financial difficulties – please ask when you contact us.