Frequently Asked Questions

Answers you may find helpful

Are Relate’s services confidential?

Yes. Relate operates under a strict code of confidentiality which will be discussed with you before you begin counselling.

We are not married. Are we eligible?

Yes. Relate provides relationship counselling for individuals and couples. Other services include family counselling and sex therapy.

We are gay. Are we eligible?

Yes. We welcome anyone from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

When can I come for counselling?

Counselling sessions are available at various times throughout the day and on several evenings a week until 9.00 p.m. You do need to make an appointment.

Is there a long waiting list?

Usually no one has to wait more than one week for an initial appointment. The waiting time for ongoing counselling depends on your availability.

Can I come on my own?

Yes. Whether you are single or your partner does not want to be involved you are welcome to attend.

Can you help me?

We counsel anyone who is distressed as a result of a relationship, whether current or past. We can work with you and/or your partner to help you to understand your relationship and your feelings and then empower you to make the decisions that are right for you both or for you as individuals.

My partner is violent/abusive to me. Can you help?

We do work with couples and individuals where violence is a feature of the relationship but only where we are confident that no one will be placed at risk by doing so. Violence and abuse are issues for some people who come to us. In this situation we need to be sure that working together is safe. The counsellor will explain at your first session how we work.

Is it too late?

Only you can make this decision. However if you both want to work together it demonstrates that it may be possible for you to develop or reform a relationship. If your partner will not come with you, you can come on your own to work through your own emotions and make the right decisions for you.

What does it cost?

There are fees involved - our counsellors are all professionally qualified. The cost of each couple counselling, family counselling and sex therapy session is £55. As a charity, we strive to ensure that our service is available to everyone and we do have bursary facilities for clients who just cannot afford the full costs.

If you need to request a lower fee for your follow-on sessions, this will be negotiated between you and your counsellor when you come for your first appointment.

What happens when I come?

You will initially have a one hour session with an experienced counsellor. If you then require ongoing counselling you will be given a booking form to complete giving your availability.

I am not ready to meet face to face. Are there any books I can read?

Yes, Relate has a range of books, listed below, which can help. You can order them from the local centre or obtain them from many good bookstores.

  • The Relate Guide to Staying Together
  • The Relate Guide to Starting Again
  • The Relate Guide to Better Relationships
  • The Relate Guide to Second Families
  • The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships
  • Stop Arguing Start Talking
  • After the Affair
  • Babyshock
  • Loving Yourself Loving Another

However, books are not a substitute for counselling.

Can I meet other divorced/bereaved/separated people who are going through the same experiences as I am?

From time to time we run courses for groups of people who would like to be able to re-build their lives outside of a relationship. If you are interested, please call the Centre for further details. We also run other special interest courses such as Self Esteem and Assertiveness courses.

How are the counsellors trained?

All our counsellors receive training in couple counselling theory and practice. They may then undergo further training to specialise in areas such as family counselling and sex therapy. The Relate Academy oversees the professional training of our counsellors who receive Ongoing Professional Development training and close clinical supervision.


Relate adheres to the ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and to Relate's own principles and policies.

Can I bring my child or baby along to counselling sessions?

No, it is not normally appropriate to bring your child or baby with you and we are unable to offer creche facilities at our counselling locations. Even small babies can pick up on emotions in the counselling room and the counsellor will be able to support you best if your whole attention is given to the counselling process. If you are attending for family counselling it may be appropriate to bring a child with you if you have arranged this with your counsellor in advance. For a first assessment appointment for family counselling, please discuss the age/s of your children when booking and the appointments secretaries will guide you as to what is suitable.