Better Relationships – Practical ways to make your love last (Relate guide)
This guide offers practical exercises and guidelines to increase mutual understanding amongst married couples, tackling issues of confrontation and commitment, amongst others.
Family Counselling with Heart Image
Family counselling helps you to understand and cope better with the stresses and strains of family life. Families can be a source of support, encouragement and love but sometimes relationships within families are put under strain and family members feel isolated or overlooked. Family counselling can help when siblings aren’t getting on, or when parents and children are going through a divorce or separation. Forming a new family is a challenge and it is at this point that many parents contact Relate for some support to help everyone settle.
What is Family Counselling for?
What can I expect from Family Counselling?
Every family member can expect to have a voice and be heard within family counselling. Relate family counsellors help everyone to say how they are feeling and then to work out their differences.
Once you have made an appointment with your local Relate Centre you will be seen by a trained professional who will ask some questions about your family. At this stage you will also talk about the best times for your sessions, and you will discuss the cost of counselling. For more information on costs, click here.
In some parts of the country family counselling is provided by individuals who are Relate trained and work from their own premises rather than a Relate Centre.
If at this stage counselling is considered appropriate, you will start to see your family counsellor. Given the talking you fit into one session, it is common for families to meet once every two weeks, and sometimes the counsellor will see different family members to work on specific issues. If at this stage counselling is not thought to be the appropriate response referral can be made via your GP to Family Therapy. This can help you with more complex family issues such as an eating disorder.
Many families can get counselling through their children’s school so it is worth asking your child’s teacher if such a partnership exists. You may be reading this because you have been referred by your child’s teacher. However you come into contact with Relate, we hope that you join the thousands of families who have made use of this service to get talking again and heal family rifts.
How will Family Counselling benefit me?
Family counselling benefits the whole family by helping everyone to say how they are feeling. Family counselling can help reduce conflict which means fewer rows at home and can help everyone cope better with their situation.
Advice, exercises and tips
Confused about your options? Don't know where to start?
Our interactive walkthrough will help you improve your relationships with the people closest to you.
Relate for Parents and Families website
If you are a parent and you have any worries about your relationship with your partner or with your children or step-children, you can also visit our Relate for Parents and Families website for useful information and advice for parents, or anyone in a family to help with the most important of relationships - the ones you have with your family.
The sorting out separation web app, from Help and Support for Separated Families, offers impartial help and support to anyone after separation.
Hear from one of our counsellors
“It is amazing how many parents realize the extent to which their child has bottled up their feelings – once the child feels safe, they can speak openly for the first time…. Children really appreciate being listened to. They pick up on conflict and if they don’t have another outlet it can badly affect them”
Ruth, Alex and Kimberley’s story
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How we can help you
- Education & Learning
- Family and Parenting Institute - The Family Room
- Help with problems in your sex life
- Help with your relationship
- Panda's Foundation - pre and post-natal depression advice and support
- Improve your family life
- LGBT people who want help
- Older people who need support
- Relate for Parents website
- Services for divorcing/separating
- Young people who need to talk