Privacy notice

Please read the following information carefully

What you need to know

We meet with thousands of clients every year and we want them to get the most effective help possible. That’s why, if you’re coming as a couple, we’ll talk with you together and individually because this helps us all to work out if Relate is the best place for you to be or whether another resource could be more helpful. Many clients find that those initial conversations help them to make best use of ongoing counselling or to get to other forms of support as quickly as possible.

Individual time with a practitioner

The content of any individual conversations is confidential between the person attending and Relate.

Reports and client records

Occasionally Relate is asked by clients or others such as Social Care, solicitors, or the NHS to write reports or express an opinion on the progress made in counselling or other services. We are not normally able to do this because of our duty of confidentiality to our clients, and because Relate practitioners are not trained in the specialist areas of diagnosis or social work assessment. In addition to this, any notes we take about sessions are extremely brief, not a verbatim account of who said what and they are used only to support continuity from session to session. However, we can in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from the client(s) who attended a service, provide the dates and number of sessions attended. We are also sometimes asked by clients, their solicitors, the police, and the courts for access to client records. These are not suitable as evidence in legal proceedings and Relate reserves the right to resist legal requests to produce the records in court. We do this to protect Relate’s duty of confidentiality to all its clients, and to preserve Relate’s national reputation as a provider of confidential counselling and relationship support.

Mobile phones

Please switch off your mobile phone during your sessions as it can create an unhelpful distraction and interruption.

Unauthorised electronic recording

In order for you to work safely and effectively with a practitioner, it is important that the privacy of the work is respected. Please, therefore, do not attempt to record your sessions using any device or app. If it is found that recordings have been made covertly, services for the individual responsible will be discontinued immediately and Relate reserves the right to seek legal advice regarding possible further action.

Authorised electronic recording

Occasionally a practitioner, for example one who is undertaking a training course, will be required to record a session with a client or clients. Some practitioners regularly use audio or video recording in their work and in these circumstances, you will be asked to give your written consent for this to happen.

The consent will specify all the ways in which the recording will be used (for example training, supervision or research) and will specify how and when the recording will be destroyed.

Where a session is to be provided via a video link, such as a web conferencing service, this will be made clear along with any additional data privacy information

Cancellation policy

We charge clients for cancellations made outside the centre’s cancellation period. Your centre will provide you with information about their cancellation policy. Please make sure you have understood it to ensure you do not incur any charges if you need to cancel an appointment.

Student practitioners

Relate is a national trainer of relationship practitioners. This means that the practitioner you see may be a student or a qualified practitioner who is now undertaking training in a different discipline. An example of this may be a qualified relationship practitioner who is now training in sex therapy. All our practitioners in training have been assessed as competent to work with their clients on a wide range of issues. Our practitioners receive regular, ongoing and professional clinical supervision for the work they undertake with Relate clients. Clinical supervision supports their work with you to ensure it meets the highest professional standards. If you would prefer not to be seen by a practitioner in training, please let us know.

Sex therapy

If you’re coming to us for sex therapy, as part of assessment or ongoing work, your therapist may suggest reading or viewing explicit sexual material to support the work they are undertaking with you. Your practitioner will always discuss this possibility with you first and answer any questions you may have and you can decline their suggestion at any time.

Feedback and complaints

Our colleagues will always aim to resolve whatever is concerning you efficiently and courteously and we request that you respond to us in the same way.

We do not tolerate abuse towards our colleagues and Relate reserves the right to consider action against anyone who behaves in an abusive way to any member of our team.

If you have any feedback or a complaint about the service you received at Relate, please let us know as quickly as possible. You can tell your practitioner, the centre manager or you can also use the general feedback e-mail 


Relationship support is a private and confidential form of help. We hold information about each of our clients and the services they receive in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organisation. However, there are exceptional cases where Relate might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example if we had reason to believe that someone is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice. We will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless we believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.

Data protection

The information about confidentiality in no way contravenes your rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the UK GDPR, collectively known as Data Privacy Legislation, to access personal data that Relate holds on you. Relate keeps confidential records and statistics about its clients. All records are kept securely and are only seen by authorised Relate personnel. These records are subject to the Data Privacy Legislation and in accordance with the Relate Data Privacy Policy. Some of the information we may collect is classified as special category (sensitive) personal data. This data may include: racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences. Your personal and sensitive personal data will only be used in order to provide the service to you and for managing and quality assuring the service. Records are kept for a maximum of 6 years (for young people under the age of 18 the 6 years starts from their 18th birthday) and are then securely destroyed.

Relate recognises that our clients may wish to exercise their rights under the DPA 2018 and make a subject access request in respect of their personal information held by Relate. Often during counselling and in services, information is provided by more than one individual. In these cases Relate will only release unredacted information if consent has been given by all of the individuals involved. If at any time you wish to exercise your rights under the Data Privacy Legislation please refer to the detail provided in the Relate Data Privacy Policy.

The data we may process

Our clients’ case records including any case notes are captured and maintained in our case management system. These records are jointly controlled by Relate Hull and East Yorkshire and the Relate National Registered Charity.

Data Protection Statement

I understand that Relate will be processing my personal and sensitive personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and in accordance with their Data Privacy Policy for the purposes of delivering counselling to me, and for quality assuring, and assessing the effectiveness of those services.