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.
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, we offer counselling support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients. Our professionally trained counsellors will support you in a respectful, non-judgemental way.
Family Counselling service may be for any number of family members including: parents, children, step parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, even close family friends etc..
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?
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 offers affordable relationship support to people across Northamptonshire.
Unless we have funding from other sources, you will be expected to pay an hourly charge.
We are a registered charity and do not aim to make a profit from our services.
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.
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.
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 with both partners together may not be safe.
If this is the case then we would suggest each partner receives individual specialist support either from Relate or another agency.
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.
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.