Frequently Asked Questions
All sorts of people use Relate's wide range of services to understand what's going on in their relationship and change things for the better. If you have any other questions at all, please contact a member of our support staff.
Counselling involves individuals, couples or family groups meeting regularly with a counsellor to talk through an issue or work through a problem.
The counsellor is trained to help people understand themselves better, relate better to others and make decisions about what to do going forward. Your counsellor will provide a confidential space in which you can talk openly and honestly.
During Sex Therapy the therapist will carefully assess with you what the sexual difficulties are and how they can help. This usually means he or she will design a sequence of tasks and exercises that you complete together (if you’re attending with a partner) or individually at home.
The therapist will discuss your progress at each session and work at your pace to build on new learning and experience.
Sex therapy is a talking therapy and you will not be asked to undress or do anything sexual at the sessions.
Counselling and Sex therapy always work at your pace, not to a specific timetable.
At your first consultation a counsellor will talk with you for up to 50 minutes, and if you come with a partner or other family member, the counsellor may spend longer with one person than another; sometimes seeing clients individually as well as together.
You and your counsellor will discuss how Relate might be able to help and, if appropriate, your counsellor will recommend a Relate counselling service, Relate Sex therapy or another Relate service. If your counsellor doesn’t think we are the appropriate organisation to help, they may suggest you contact another.
When you first arrive you will be asked to fill out some forms in order to help the counsellor understand more about your situation. These forms are confidential and will not be shown to your partner. If you are unsure about how Relate will use any of the information held about you, please ask your counsellor or a member of staff.
Relate counsellors have all received special training in Relationship counselling. It takes two to three years to become a fully-qualified Relate counsellor.
They undergo further training to specialise in areas such as family counselling, children and young people counselling and sex therapy.
Your Relate Centre may talk to you about seeing a “counsellor-in-training”. Counsellors-in-training receive thorough academic and practical training and are carefully assessed throughout this process and also after they qualify. All counsellors continue with on-going training and consultation with other professionals to make sure they give you the highest standard of counselling.
We are a part of Relate National, providing counselling services to the Northamptonshire area. Our counsellors are local to Northamptonshire, with a local support team based in Northampton contactable on our local number. Being part of Relate National, however, allows us to take advantage of the training opportunities and organisational benefits that come with a larger organisation.
For our clients, it's the same great experience: a knowledgeable support team available through our local phone number to help you book counselling with a local counsellor.
Relate works to the relevant ethical framework of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the College of Relationship and Sex Therapists (COSRT) and the Association for Family Therapy (AFT). The Department of Health’s publication, “Talking Therapies” also recommends Relate as a reputable provider of counselling.
Yes. Whatever shape your relationship takes, whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity, we welcome you to access our services.
Relate's service is completely confidential.
We will not give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organisation unless we have reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at risk of serious harm.
We will give you more information about confidentiality when you come for your first session.
Relate keeps confidential records and statistics about our clients. Records are kept for a limited period and are then destroyed.
Relate complies with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018.
We will give you more information about this when you come for your first session.
You might find it useful to think about how you want counselling to help. For example, are you looking to feel better about something in the past or do you want to make a change to your life now?
Appointments are for 50 minutes and are usually once a week but this can be flexible according to your particular circumstances.
Counselling will continue for as long as you and the counsellor feel it is helpful. The number of sessions depends on you and your progress.
Most people find four or six sessions is about right for counselling, but Sex therapy can be a longer process.
If you are unable to keep an appointment, please telephone our administration team on 01604 634400 as soon as possible and we may be able to offer an alternative appointment.
Relate offers affordable relationship support to people across Northamptonshire. As a registered not-for-profit charity, all the money from our charges is directed back into providing an excellent service to the community. We do often have funding available for households that struggle to pay for counselling. This may allow for reduced or free counselling sessions.
We use a secure online payment system which is a convenient way you pay in advance for your counselling appointments.
Six days prior to the date and time of your next appointment you will automatically receive an email with a link to enable you to pay online using your debit or credit card. Just click on the link and complete the payment form. You will then receive an email confirmation and receipt for the payment. This is a secure payment process that can only be accessed by you.
It is important that you pay for your appointment at this point.
No appointment will be booked without a payment and appointments are only confirmed once the fee
Please be aware that we have a 48 hour cancellation policy. If a client cancels an appointment giving less than 48 hours notice, or fails to attend a booked appointment, the fee will be retained.
We are continually trying to improve our services at Relate. If you have any questions about this new online payment system or comments about other aspects of our work, please call our office on 01604 634400 and speak to one of our Appointment Secretaries who will be happy to help you.
Violence and abuse - physical, verbal or emotional - is an issue for some people who come to us for help with their relationship. In this situation, working with both partners together may not be safe.
If violence or abuse is a current issue in your relationship, we would like to get you the support you need. If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 now.
There are a number of local services offering support to both victims and perpetrators:
- Eve: for people suffering from abuse, you can contact Eve on 01604 230311 or visit their website to find out more about their Restored Programme.
- The Sunflower Centre also offers support for victims of domestic abuse: 01604 888211.
- Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) supports victims of domestic abuse. Their 24-hour helpline is 0300 0120154, or contact them through email/chat/social media through their website.
- Eve Northamptonshire also runs the Evolve programme, for perpetrators of domestic abuse. You can find out more by calling 01604 230577.
- Respect Phoneline provides help to perpetrators of domestic abuse via their website or on 0808 8024040.
If your domestic abuse experience is historic, whether in a previous relationship or your current one, we are able to offer you counselling. We can help you process and overcome the impact of past abuse, whether you were a perpetrator or a victim.
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Phone lines are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5:30pm, on 01604 634 400.
Counselling appointments available during daytimes, evenings and weekends.
Charity number: 1098399
Company number: 4712486 (Registered in England)
Registered address: St. Giles House, 76 St. Giles Street, Northampton NN1 1JW