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Dundee, Angus & Perth:
01382 201343

Fife:
01592 751095

Relationships Scotland logo

Relationship Counselling

Encouraging discussion, supporting change

What is Relationship Counselling?

Relationship counselling is a confidential process in which individuals or couples are helped to explore their intimate relationships, with the view to understanding themselves and each other better and providing them with insight and coping strategies for the future.

It can help people identify the nature of their difficulties, understand them better and explore ways in which they might make changes. It can help couples understand the impact of their relationship difficulties on themselves and their children. It is also a safe place to begin to look at any sexual problems that may exist.

Relationship counsellors do not give advice, as such, but will support the individual or couple by listening carefully while helping them to explore their options, be their choice either to stay together or to find the courage to part.

Who is it for?

Relationship counselling is for individuals as well as couples - married, living together or apart, in opposite or same sex relationships. All that is required is a readiness to explore the difficulties they are experiencing in their adult couple relationships.

When is it helpful?

Relationship counselling can be helpful at any time if communication becomes difficult or breaks down. This may be:

  • because of an affair
  • as a result of families re-forming, such as stepfamilies
  • after a bereavement or major life change
  • because of a sexual problem
  • as a result of repeated rows or misunderstandings

Relationship counselling can also help parents cope better with difficulties which are impacting on their children.

How does it work?

Individuals or couples can come for relationship counselling. They will be offered an initial individual interview to talk about the options available to them. Sometimes it is clear after the interview that another service is needed, but usually clients will be offered counselling sessions as soon as a counsellor becomes available.

Once counselling starts, a timescale for the sessions will be agreed between the clients and the counsellor. The average is four to eight sessions, each lasting 50 minutes to an hour, though there is usually no limit to the number of sessions that can be attended.

What about children?

Relationship counselling does not normally involve children. It can, however, have a big impact on any children in the family and often sought out for that reason. Our service provides specialised counselling for children and young people who are affected by separation, divorce or relationship breakdown. We also offer Family Therapy if it is deemed beneficial to include other family members in the therapeutic process.

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 urgent risk of harm. All our counsellors and therapists work to the ethical standards of the national professional bodies.

Who are the counsellors?

Our 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. Couple counsellors are all specifically trained in couple work. All our Practitioners 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. You may be seen by Counsellors who are in training for couple work; you will be given the choice to opt out of this if you wish.

Our service is an organisational member of COSCA and information on them is found on their website.

Is there a waiting list?

We are acutely aware of the distress that relationship problems can have on individuals, couples and children; we endeavour to offer you an intake appointment at your earliest convenience. When offering counselling appointments we have to take into account your availability, the counsellors’ availability and our opening times; but rest assured we will try our best to accommodate your requests as much as possible.

You will find answers to some commonly asked questions, under What We Do.

I would recommend your counselling service to any couple experiencing difficulties. It certainly helped me through a difficult time in our marriage.

Dundee DD3 6HG

Relationships Scotland Family Mediation Tayside and Fife is the operating name of Family Mediation Tayside and Fife