What is relationship counselling?
Relationship counselling is a confidential process in which individuals or couples are helped to explore their intimate couple relationships, with a view to understanding each other better or parting in a more amicable way. It can help explore recurring patterrns in their relationships and understand the impact of their relationship difficulties. It is also a safe place to begin looking at any sexual problems that may exist. Relationship counsellors are all trained in couple dynamics, so pay particular attention to balancing the perspectives of both partners.
Relationship counselling provides a safe place for individuals and couples to explore the difficulties they are experiencing in their adult couple relationships. It is not necessarily about staying together and can often be about finding the courage to part. People who have experienced relationship counselling invariably say that they have gained valuable insights into the way that they relate with their partners.
Who is it for?
Relationship counselling is for individuals as well as couples. We are a non-judgemental service and see people irrespective of age, gender or transgender identity, marriage or civil partnership, living together or living apart, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
When is it helpful?
Couples and individuals bring all kinds of problems to counselling. If you are having relationship problems of any kind or recognise yourself in the common scenarios below, please contact us for help!
This may be:
- Communication problems
- Life events
- New relationships, New families
- Sex problems
- We've drifted apart
- Conflict and rows
- When rows go too far
- We want different things
- Sexual abuse issues
Relationship counselling can also help parents cope better with difficulties which are impacting on their children.
How does it work?
Couples can come for relationship counselling either together or individually, although there is a greater chance of success if they come together. If they do come as a couple, they will be offered an individual initial interview to talk about the difficulties they are experiencing and the options available to them.
Sometimes it is clear after this interview that another service is needed, such as sexual therapy. It is our practice to offer each partner a separate session before their joint couple work begins, to ensure that individual perspectives are taken into account.
Where any aspect of domestic conflict, whether it be for you or your partner, is an issue we will always ask to see a couple for individual sessions. Please note that if you or your partner are currently awaiting the outcome of court proceedings related to any domestic conflict issues then we will not be able to see you as a couple until those court proceedings are completed, although we may be able to see you for individual sessions.
Once counselling starts, a timescale for the sessions will be agreed between you and the counsellor. The average is 8 - 12 sessions, each lasting 50 minutes.
What about the children?
Relationship counselling is different from family counselling, in that it does not involve children. It can, however, have a big impact on any children in the family and is often sought out for that reason, particularly where families are re-forming after a second marriage.
Is it confidential?
Yes, our counsellors are bound by a duty of confidentiality, unless circumstances suggest that the issues being discussed may pose a risk to clients or the wider community. Such issues include domestic abuse, child protection, money laundering and terrorism. In all circumstances, care is taken to protect confidentiality and no disclosure will be made without discussing the issues first, unless there is an ungent risk of harm. All our counsellors and therapists work to the ethical standards of the national professional bodies.
Who are the counsellors?
Relationship counsellors are trained to diploma level over a three year period and have to achieve 200 hours of supervised practice before they are eligible for accreditation with Relationships Scotland. All our counsellors and sexual therapists work to professional standards and have to go through an annual renewal process to demonstrate that they have met the required standards of supervision and Continuing Professional Development.
Is there a waiting list?
Waiting times vary depending on demand. 2 - 3 weeks for an initial intake appointment and 6 - 8 weeks for counselling. This is generally the waiting times.
We are actually aware of the distress that marital or relationship problems can have on children. An early appointment may be offered to you if you have children aged six or under.
What about help for sexual difficulties?
All our counsellors are trained to explore sexual concerns. Some have undertaken additional training at diploma or Masters level to qualify them as sexual therapists. For more information on this visit our Sexual Therapy page.
How much will it cost?
We are highly dependent on donations. We charge a £10 non-refundable registration fee per person and ask for a donation thereafter for every session. Please ask when you make your appointment.
- Veterans their partners and families
- Patients diagnosed with prostate cancer, their partners ans families in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK
- Over 50's
- Young people