If you've got a question take a look through these frequently asked questions, give us a call on 0300 100 1234 or email us.

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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 also gives you a chance to explore complex or difficult issues in a safe and confidential environment.

What happens at a counselling session?

When you first come to Relate, you'll be given an initial consultation. In this, a counsellor will talk to you for around one hour about what's on your mind and what it is you want from counselling. Some people find this session is all they need to clear their head and help them decide what to do and that no further counselling is necessary. If you and your counsellor agree it would be helpful for you to come back, you'll talk about how it might be best to proceed.

How many counselling sessions do I have to come to?

We work with every client differently, so how long counselling takes will depend on your specific needs. You'll be able to find out more about how we can help you by coming for an initial consultation.

Can we use counselling to help with separation?

Yes. Counselling is a very effective way of negotiating a separation or a divorce. It can help you to process any emotions that you might be struggling to deal with, or bring the relationship to a conclusion with as little pain or misunderstanding as possible.

If you need help making arrangements about finances or children, mediation is a great way of talking things over and coming to conclusions that both you and your ex-partner can agree on. 

Doesn't asking for counselling mean admitting failure?

No. Counselling doesn't mean you're admitting failure. It simply means you're willing to work on your relationship and put in the effort to deal with any issues that might be in the way. In many cases, counselling means beginning not to fail.

How much does counselling cost?

You will normally be expected to pay a fee to cover the cost of your counselling sessions. Each Relate Centre sets their own charges so to find out the cost of counselling in your area please contact your local Relate

Our network of individual Relate-Licensed Counsellors who work in private practice also set their own fees. When you contact them they will provide you with information about their charges.

How can Sex Therapy help me?

Sex therapy is very successful in helping people to re-establish an active sex life. Working with a Relate sex therapist will help you to recognise any difficulties you're having and find a way to move on from them. Many people are surprised at how effective Sex Therapy is. 

What happens at a Sex Therapy session?

In Sex Therapy you and your therapist work on the issues you need help with. Your therapist will design a programme of exercises especially for you, which you'll carry out in the privacy of your own home. At each session, the therapist will talk to you about how you're getting on and discuss the best next steps. You will never be asked to undertake any sexual tasks during the sessions.

How much does Sex Therapy cost?

You will normally be expected to pay a fee to cover the cost of your Sex Therapy sessions. Many Relate Centres offer reduced rates depending on your household income. Please contact your local Relate to find out what payment options they provide. 

What is Mediation?

Mediation is sometimes described as 'a way of having a difficult conversation'. It's a highly effective way of coming to agreements if you and your partner have decided to separate and need help making arrangements about things like childcare and finances. Mediation is a collaborative process designed to help you come to agreements without arguing or feeling like you aren't being listened to.

How can Mediation help me?

Mediation creates a safe environment where everyone gets to have their say and no-one's opinion is more important than anyone else's. It can help you to talk things over properly at a time when you might be finding it hard to make decisions or discuss things constructively. 

What happens at a Mediation session?

Each person will be given a chance to speak and put forward their perspective. The mediator will help you establish some ground rules, such not speaking over each other or not framing criticisms as personal attacks. They'll help you talk about the issues you need to agree on and at the end of each session, your mediator will provide you with a document setting out the proposals you'd like to go ahead with. You'll be able to take legal advice on this document in between sessions.

How much does Mediation cost?

You will normally be expected to pay a fee to cover the cost of sessions. Many Relate Centres have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency enabling them to offer publicly funded mediation if clients are eligible. Fees are payable by clients who are not eligible for funding, but Mediation generally costs far less than an often lengthy and costly court battle.

What is Live Chat?

Live Chat is a free service that allows you to talk to a qualified counsellor online at your convenience. Live chat is in real time and usually lasts from 20 – 40 minutes.

How can Live Chat help me?

Live Chat can help if you need advice and/or information immediately and can be a stepping stone to other services.  or you're not sure if face to face counselling is for you. You can talk to one of our counsellors about what's bothering you and find out more about our other services.

What happens in a Live Chat session?

Once you sign in, you'll be connected with a counsellor. They'll chat to you about any issues you’d like help with and suggest any further services that might be of use. If no counsellor is available immediately, you'll be placed in a queue. Different Live Chat services are available depending on whether you need help with relationships, family, or parenting support. 

What is a Relate Workshop?

We run a variety of Education and Training Workshops for the public, voluntary and public sector organisations, schools and businesses. We believe that relationship skills can be learned and developed - and that doing so is an important part of fostering happy and healthy relationships in people's lives and careers. 

What happens at a Relate Workshop?

You will be together with up to 12 people at a similar life stage. Course materials are based on modern adult learning principles. During the course you may take part in group discussions, case studies, questionnaires, games. Some courses for professionals include role play in order to practise essential skills.

Who runs Relate Workshops?

Workshops and Courses are run by qualified trainers, with expertise in relationship issues. Many of our trainers are Counsellors. Their approach is sensitive, understanding and non-judgemental.

What is the Email Counselling service?

If you have a worry or query about aspects of your relationship or sex life but would prefer not to come in for face to face counselling, you can exchange a series of emails with one of our trained counsellors.

What does Email Counselling involve?

You'll be allocated a fully trained counsellor who will work with you for as long as you need help. You’ll write to them explaining what it is you’d like help with, and they’ll write back with support and advice. You counsellor will reply within four working days of receiving each email. Each reply is the equivalent of one hour's counselling, with the added benefit of being able to go back and review the information whenever you want. 

Is Email Counselling confidential?

Yes. We have a commitment to confidentiality and this is set out in section 9 of our terms and conditions. We also agree to comply with the Data Protection Act (1998) regarding the storage of sensitive information (see our Privacy Policy). We ask that you assist us by being as anonymous as possible. By this we mean don't include name, addresses or telephone numbers in any of your emails, always use a private email address, and keep your password private.

How many emails will I need to receive?

You'll probably want to think in terms of at least four email exchanges with your counsellor. However, each reply will be helpful in itself, and it's for you to decide how much help you want.

What does Telephone Counselling involve?

You call our booking line and arrange a specific time for your Counsellor to phone back, including during evenings and weekends. You can agree on whether you're happy for them to leave a message or, if someone else picks up, say that they're calling from Relate. You'll then have the chance to discuss any issues you'd like help with. If you would like to book another appointment, you can agree a date and time with your counsellor at the end of the call.

How much does the Telephone Counselling service cost?

The standard charge is 40 pounds per hour. 30 minute sessions costing 25 pounds are available but are not normally recommended for someone using the service for the first time. The standard charge is based on calls to UK landlines (including calls to UK mobiles). Payment will be taken via a debit/credit card, so please have your card to hand when calling.

What is Reveal?

Reveal is a personality profiler which uses a series of questions to identify your characteristics, what type of person you are and how you are likely to interact with others. 

Will Reveal help me to solve relationship problems?

Reveal is designed to give you a better understanding of yourself and how you interact with others. Your report can help you think about how you relate to people in your relationships. We believe understanding more about ourselves is the first step to relating more effectively to the people around us. 

What if I miss your phonecall for Telephone Counselling?

If when the Counsellor calls at the agreed time and date and either there is no answer on the telephone no(s) provided or you indicate that you cannot/do not wish to proceed, no refund can be given. Counsellors will invariably try more than once to contact you and will leave a message if there is a message facility and you have agreed you are happy for us to do this.

What are the opening hours for the booking line?

Our booking line (0300 100 1234) is open Monday to Thursday 8am to 10pm, Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays). The person who makes your appointment for you will be able to advise you on the opening hours of the booking line over holiday periods.

If you're a charity, why do you charge?

Each Relate Centre tries to keep the cost of counselling as low as possible, but we do need to charge a fee for services in order to cover the cost of what we spend. Relate is a not for profit charity and the money that we charge goes straight back into providing the best service possible. 

Are your services confidential?

Our services 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.

When I search for my nearest Centre, names of individuals come up. Who are they?

The individuals listed on the Find My Nearest Relate map are independent Relate Licensed Counsellors. They are counsellors who provide relationship counselling and other services independently from their own private practices. Licensed counsellors adhere to the professional standards laid down by the national Relate charity and are supervised by Relate approved personnel. PLEASE NOTE: these counsellors set their own fees for counselling.