Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about Relate London North West, Hertfordshire, Mid Thames & Bucks services

Frequently asked questions – specific to Mediation

What is the cost of Relate services?

Relate London North West is a charity and we don't make a profit from our services. We charge a fee for our services to cover the costs of the sessions.

We currently charge £90 for an initial Counselling or Sex Therapy consultation. After this, the cost of ongoing sessions is agreed between you and your Counsellor according to your income.

An initial meeting with a Mediator costs £105 per person for a 45 minute appointment. Mediation is free for those on a low income who are eligible for legal aid. You can check if you qualify by using the legal aid checker on If you're not eligible you will be asked to pay a charge related to your income. 

We aim to support everybody who comes to us for help and we can offer reduced rates if you are genuinely unable to pay the full cost. Please contact us if you would like to know more about the cost of our services.

How do I pay for my appointment?

You will be asked to pay for your first appointment at the time of booking, the first payment can not be done online. You can then make payments online if you wish.

Where can I see a Relate counsellor or mediator near me?

We have a number of different locations across eight London boroughs, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and East Berkshire

Take a look at our list of locations to see what's available near you. When you contact us to make an appointment you can request a particular area and we'll try our best to accommodate you.

If you're looking for a Relate Centre in a different area search our national map.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment for any of our counselling or therapy services please call us on 0300 003 2324 (option 1). To book a Mediation session please call 0300 003 2324 (option 2).

Or you can contact us via email.

How do I cancel an appointment?

You need to give us at least two working days notice if you can't attend your appointment. To cancel or reschedule your Counselling or Sex Therapy appointment please call 0300 003 2324. To reschedule or cancel your Mediation appointment please call 0300 003 2324.

Please be aware that if you cancel less than two working days before your appointment, you may still be asked to pay for the cost of the session.

Do I have to be referred for counselling or therapy by my GP?

No. You don't need a referral to make an appointment for any of our services. Just contact us and we'll help you find the right service for you.

Do I have to be referred for Mediation by a solicitor?

You don't have to be referred to Relate for Mediation although we welcome referrals from solicitors, courts, social services and many other agencies. You can contact us directly to arrange for a mediation appointment.

Can I come to counselling on my own?

Yes. Our counselling sessions are for individuals, couples or families. You may want to come to some sessions alone, with a partner or with your family members. If you have questions about this contact us and we can work with you to figure out what's best.

Can I bring my children with me to my appointment?

Family Counselling often involves both adults and children, so, yes, it's sometimes recommended that they're brought along.

Relationship Counselling, Sex Therapy, and Mediation are services for adults only. We don't have childcare facilities at our locations, so you will need to make arrangements for your children to be looked after during your appointment, this also applies to online appointments.

Can my child see a counsellor on their own?

We cannot see children for counselling by themselves aged 10 or under, however, we can see them as part of family counselling.

Is there disabled access at your Centre?

The majority of our locations have disabled access. If you have a disability please let us know when you book your appointment so that we can advise you about access.

Can I have a counsellor or mediator who speaks my language?

If you don't speak English, we'll try to allocate a counsellor or mediator who speaks your language. We don't allocate counsellors based on any specific ethnic criteria. Please contact us to discuss your options.

Is what I say confidential?

Yes. All our Counselling, Sex Therapy and Mediation sessions are completely confidential.

All records are kept securely and are only seen by authorised Relate personnel. These records are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation May 2018. We will not give your name or any other information about you to anyone outside Relate unless someone's personal safety is at risk. 

What if violence or abuse is an issue?

Violence and abuse is an issue for some people who come to us for help with their relationship. We know that in this situation working on the issue together may not feel safe. If this is case, then we would help each person get individual specialist support from Relate or another organisation.

How long is a session?

Counselling sessions are usually at a regular time each week and they last up to 50 minutes. Mediation sessions usually last for 90 minutes.

We know everyone has busy lives so your counsellor or mediator will talk to you about what days and times are best for everyone.

How many sessions will I need?

  • That all depends on you and your counsellor. You'll decide together how long think counselling is helpful.
  • Most people find between five and ten sessions is about right for counselling; those coming to Sex Therapy can expect to attend for longer.
  • How long do I have to come to Mediation for?

  • The number of sessions you have with the mediator is variable and depends on your individual circumstances including the number and complexity of the issues to be discussed.
  • What training do your counsellors and mediators have?

  • Relate is a national trainer of relationship counsellors.
  • All our practitioners have been assessed as competent to work with their clients on a wide range of issues.
  • As with all our counsellors, they are in ongoing professional clinical supervision for the work they undertake.
  • Relate counsellors and supervisors are required to comply with the code of ethics and practice that is appropriate to the work they undertake.
  • Relationship counselling is covered by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice. (find out more here)
  • Sex therapy is covered by the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapy’s Code of Ethics & Principles of Good Practice. (find out more here)
  • Family counselling is covered by the Association for Family Therapy’s Code of Ethics & Practice. (find out more here)

In addition, Relate personnel must comply with Relate’s practice policies and guidance which both complement the external codes and set specific organisational standards for ethical working. Please ask your counsellor if you would like to know more about this.

For further information see here:

How do I make a complaint?

We want to hear your views. It helps us to learn, improve and provide the best service we can. Please tell us if you're unhappy with our service in any way and we'll work to resolve your complaint.

If you'd like give us feedback on our services, please email us at

You can download our complaints process below.

Relate NTC complaints process

What's the cost of your workshops and courses?

The cost of our training courses and workshops varies. To find out more, take a look at our training programme.

How do I book a place on a workshop or course?

Full details of how to book onto our training courses and workshops can be found on our training and education page.

You can book a place by using the online form on the relevant workshop page or if you have questions about a course please email us.

Do you offer placements for student counsellors?

Demand for Relate couple counselling is high so we have to give priority to suitable people who are aiming to qualify as counsellors and work for our charity. This means that we will only consider offering a student counsellor placement at our centre if you have a place on a Relate approved counselling course.  

My college course work requires me to obtain policies and procedures from organisations like yourselves, do you share these?

Our charity’s Policies and Procedures are for our clients, staff, practitioners and funders. We are sorry that we are not able to share these documents more widely.


What is a MIAM?

A MIAM (Mediation Information and assessment meeting) is a 45 minute meeting which provides you with the opportunity to talk to the mediator about your situation and consider your options in confidence. The Mediator can help you work out if mediation is right for you and tell you about other help and support that may be available to you. 

Do I have to go to a MIAM?

If you want to take your case to court, it is now - in most cases - a legal requirement that you attend a MIAM (mediation information assessment meeting). The other person involved is also expected to attend one.

What issues can I mediate about?

We can help with issues about your finances and children following separation or divorce. We can also offer mediation for neighbours, colleagues, landlords and help with inheritance issues.

Once you have both attended your MIAM and both agree to try mediation then a joint appointment will be arranged. These meetings will take place in a safe, neutral place in the presence of a professional, trained mediator. If however mediation between the two parties does not proceed for whatever reason, you will receive the necessary form to include in your court application. This form is only valid for 4 months so if you do not use it before that time you may have to return for another mediation meeting.

When and where can I see a Mediator?

We have a variety of locations across North West London and Hertfordshire, we can also offer a limited number of evening and weekend appointments.

There is a small supplement for these out of hours appointments.

Can I mediate online?

Yes. At present all our mediation work is being successfully carried out online. The process is simple, secure and convenient for clients in their own homes.

We use Zoom, a simple secure online video conferencing platform.

All you’ll need is a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam, a reliable internet connection and somewhere private to take our video call.

Do I have to be referred to mediation by a solicitor?

You don't have to be referred to Relate for Mediation although we welcome referrals from solicitors, courts, social services and many other agencies. You can contact us directly to arrange for a mediation appointment on 0300 0032324 option 2.

Is what I say confidential?

Yes. All records are kept securely and are only seen by authorised Relate personnel. These records are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation May 2018. We will not give your name or any other information about you to anyone outside Relate unless someone's personal safety is at risk.

How much does it cost?

The initial MIAM meeting with a Mediator costs £105 per person for a 45 minute appointment. Mediation is free for those on a low income who are eligible for legal aid. You can check if you qualify by using the legal aid checker on If you're not eligible you will be asked to pay a charge related to your income. Full mediation can cost less than £600, the similar process through the courts could cost over £6,000.

Do we have to be married?

NO we often work with clients who were never married. Mediation can help with lots of issues after the breakdown of a relationship including extended family members and grandparents. 

What training do your mediators have?

All our mediators are accredited members of the Family Mediation Council who are responsible for mediation standards nationally. They are trained to the highest possible available standard. They are also all able to offer legally aided mediation and are qualified to see children within the mediation setting.

More help

If you weren't able to find the answers to your questions please get in touch and we'll do our best to help you.