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& Learning

Relationship Counselling

Sexual Problems

Family Counselling


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How to help




What happens at a counselling session?

At your first session a counsellor will talk with you for up to one hour. You and your counsellor will talk through how Relate might be able to help and, if appropriate, your counsellor will recommend Relate counselling service, Relate sex therapy or another service. If your counsellor doesn’t think we are best placed to help, they may suggest another organisation.

How can counselling help me?

Counselling helps you take time out from your situation and see it from a fresh perspective. Working with a counsellor gives you, or you and your partner, or even you whole family, a chance to think about what you can do to change your situation for the better. It can also give you a chance to explore complex or difficult issues in a safe and confidential environment. Counselling is not just a matter of trying to fix problems - it can also help you develop your relationship in new ways.

Is Relate the right place to come for my problem?

Relate is all about relationships and helping you make changes for the better. If you want to talk about your relationships past, present or future, how your family is affected by your relationship, how you can improve your relationship, how you can manage a separation constructively, how you can get over a break up, Relate is here to help.

Do I have to pay for Relate services?

You will normally be expected to pay a fee. Relate Avon is a charity and we do not aim to make a profit from the services we provide, the fee is to cover the cost of running the services. We do not want our fees to stop people coming for our support. Do talk to us and tell us what's affordable for you and we'll look to reduce the cost for you.

Can I come on my own?

Yes. Whether you are single, or if you have a partner who doesn’t want to come or you simply want to discuss things alone you are welcome to bring any aspect of your current, past or future relationships to Relate by yourself.

Is Relate relationship counselling confidential?

Relate counselling is completely confidential. We will not give your name or any information about you to anyone outside Relate, unless someone’s personal safety is at risk.

Do Relate counsellors have special training?

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 psychosexual therapy and family counselling. When seeing a trained counsellor we may ask you if you would mind a counsellor-in-training attending your session so that they may observe and learn from the work of the experienced counsellor.

We may also talk to you about seeing a counsellor-in-training. Counsellors-in-training have gone through a rigorous selection and training process and will be receiving close professional support.

All counsellors continue with ongoing training and consultation with other professional to ensure they give you the highest standard of counselling.

What happens if I have a complaint?

We welcome feedback and are keen to improve our services. We have a complaints procedure which aims to make the process straightforward and fair. Should you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, please raise it with the General Manager.

Can children attend?

If you are attending as a family for family counselling then children can attend. Otherwise they cannot. Relationship counselling is a private matter between adults, it is therefore not possible to counsel with children present. We do not have any child-minding facilities, so please organise appropriate childcare..

What happens if I miss an appointment?

If you need to cancel an appointment please give 72 hours notice (three working days). If you do not do this you will be charged for the missed appointment.

What is sex therapy?

Many people encounter sexual problems at some point in their lives. There are lots of physical and emotional reasons why this can happen, such as stress, tiredness, illness, family and work pressures, even a new baby. Lots of people find these sexual problems don’t last long. Where a problem does last, Relate can help. We see lots of people with sexual difficulties like: loss of desire, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and pain on intercourse.

93 per cent of the people we see tell us that we help them make their sexual relationships significantly better.

Relate Avon is committed to ensuring that no person receives less favourable treatment on the basis of personal or group characteristics, such as: race, colour, age, culture, medical condition, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or socio-economic grouping.

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