Frequently asked questions about Relate Dorset & South Wiltshire's services.

Can counselling 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 understand your relationship and your feelings and then empower you to make the decisions that are right for you both.

What is the cost of counselling?

Relate is a charity and each session costs significantly more than the fee you’re charged.  We ask for a contribution of £51 for an evening appointment and £46 for daytime for Relationship Counselling, £56 for Sex Therapy, £56 for Family Counselling and £46 for Young People’s Counselling. If you think you’ll find it difficult to pay, you may be able to access our bursary scheme, and we can discuss this with you when you speak to our booking team on 01302 380900 or use the enquiry form.

How do I pay for my appointment?

We take payment in advance to secure your appointment. We accept debit or credit cards over the phone (with no service charge) or cash at our Centre in Poundbury.  We plan to be able to offer a pay online option in the very near future.

We have a strict 48 hour cancellation policy.

Do you offer Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is not currently available with Relate Dorset & South Wilts, but we work closley with organisatins that can offer the service and we would be delighted to help you find a Family Mediator to suit your needs.  Please contact us through the enquiry format the top of the page.

Where can I see a Relate Counsellor?

We offer counselling across Dorset, in Salisbury and Yeovil. See our list of locations for maps and contact information.

What training do your counsellors and sex therapists have?

All our relationship counsellors receive training in couple counselling, both theory and practice.

To become a sex therapist or family counsellor they undergo further specialised training. Our children and young people’s counsellors must have relevant training as well as experience of working with youngsters. All our counsellors also undertake ongoing professional development and have close clinical supervision. 

Relate Dorset & South Wiltshire follows the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s ethical framework and the Relate Federation’s own principles and policies

How do I make an appointment?

Please telephone 01302 380900, use the enquiry form or contact us by email.

What happens when I come for an appointment?

You will be asked to arrive early to complete some paperwork prior to seeing the counsellor. The counsellor will see you for an initial assessment, which is a 50-minute appointment. This gives you the opportunity to talk through your issues with the counsellor. If you decide to have on-going counselling we then look for a weekly appointment to suit you.

How do I cancel or reschedule my appointment?

You will need to telephone 01302 380900 or email us giving at least 48 hours notice. Contact us.

Is there a waiting list?

This depends on where you want to be seen and how flexible you can be. The admin team will give you a better indication when you call as availability varies from week to week depending on client demand and counsellor workloads.

Do I have to be referred to Relate by my GP?

Your GP may suggest you come to Relate but we do not have a formal referral process for adult counselling.

CAMHS may make a referral for Children and Young People’s counselling

Can I come to counselling on my own?

You can come as a couple or alone for relationship counselling.  You do not even have to be currently in a relationship. We are open to all and welcome anyone from the straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Can I bring my children with me to counselling?

No, it’s not normally appropriate to bring your child or baby with you for relationship counselling 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.

Are your counselling sessions confidential?

Yes, all Relate counsellors work under a strict code of confidentiality, which will be discussed before counselling. Relate rigorously defend the confidentiality of any notes of the session. However in cases when we are concerned for your safety, we may be obliged to disclose some information to the police or social services, but we would always endeavour to include you in this process where possible.

How often will I have appointments with a Relate Counsellor?

Most people attend weekly sessions to maintain the momentum of the therapeutic work. If this is not possible we will make arrangements for suitable times.

How long will I have to come for Relate Counselling or Sex Therapy?

Relationship and young people’s counselling may last for 6-10 sessions and sex therapy for 10-20 sessions, but how many sessions you attend very much depends on your needs

Can I have a counsellor who speaks my language?

Please ask us for availability of counsellors who speak your language.

Is there disabled access at your Centre?

We have disabled access at most of our Centres and outposts. Our Salisbury and Yeovil offices however, are on the first floor. Please ask us about disabled access when you contact us and we will make appropriate arrangements.

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. 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 to try counselling?

Only you can make this decision. However if you both want to work together it demonstrates that it may be possible for you to redevelop or reform a relationship. If your partner will not come with you, you can come on your own to work through your emotions and make the right decisions for you. We can continue to work with you as you separate particularly if children will be affected and we can refer to a Family Mediation service which can help couples who are separating with practical, financial and legal aspects.

What is Relate's Data Protection Policy?

We regard the privacy of our users as very important and any personal information which you provide to us will be dealt with in accordance with our terms and conditions.  Full details are in contained in Relate National Privacy & Cookie Policy.  Not all factors discussed in the policy are pertinent to Relate Dorset & South Wiltshire so please feel free to discuss how we protect your data when you call.

How do I make a complaint?

Please contact the Centre Manager, by phone or by email.

01305 268690

She will be happy to hear your feedback and try and resolve your complaint informally in the first instance. Should this be unsuccessful you can ask about our complaints procedure.

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.