Family Counselling Services provided by Relate East Kent

Family Counselling Services

Besides having a rigorous Relate counselling training to equip them to work with couples both psycho-dynamically and systemically, Relate Family Counsellors undergo an additional postgraduate qualification to enable them to work with a whole family or partial groups of the family.

All humans are relational, with each person coming from an original family. Many people go on to form other families. The family is crucially important, providing a template for individual emotional development and identity and providing each person with a unique script of how to integrate with others and the world.

Within this family structure come changes – babies are born; challenging toddlers emerge; adolescence shakes the boundaries; children become independent; the nest empties; new people join the family; mid-life changes and menopause are experienced and bereavements occur. It is well documented that families experience the most difficulties at these transitional stages.

Relate cannot offer rules on how to be a family or what constitutes a family because each family is unique. What Relate can do is to recognise the family members as being the experts on their family, and then a safe environment to explore the issues those family members find important, difficult or painful with an experienced counsellor. Throughout the process the counsellor will remain impartial and ensure that emotional support is offered to each family member, taking care to work at the pace, which suits the family. The counsellor may be able to offer a different perspective or a new intervention to enable the family to move forward.

Family members may attend as a whole family or one person may come to discuss family related problems. The service is there to try to overcome the difficulties and traumas, which can occur in family life. Counselling can be especially beneficial for blended or step families when new relationships may present difficulties, especially for children.

When a family comes to Relate they will sign data protection forms to agree to Relate’s confidentiality procedure. Anything discussed in the counselling room remains confidential to Relate, unless there is a Child Protection issue. Under law this has to be reported but will not be without the counsellor telling the parent(s) of this move.

Sometimes there are more severe problems that manifest such as mental health issues, drug or alcohol abuse or domestic violence. Relate has developed specialised ways of working with such clients but if problems are too severe Relate can advise on other more appropriate agencies to help.

Relate supervisors carefully supervise all casework for counsellors and there is a clear supervisory structure within the whole national organisation where consultation is possible to national advisors when necessary.

Happy Family

Relate can help you to have a happy family life. Contact us for more information