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Family Counselling

What is it?

Family counselling is largely preventative work, dealing with life issues before they become serious problems requiring specialist interventions. Every family has arguments at some time. Usually they are easily resolved, but sometimes the problems just get worse and the longer they are left, the more difficult it is to make up, creating tension and stress for everyone.

You can see a Relate family counsellor individually, as a small group or the whole family together. We won't take sides or tell you what to do. We will encourage each family member to have a voice and help you resolve your differences together.

How can it help?

All families are unique and have unique problems, but our counsellors are experienced relationship experts, specially trained to work with families to help resolve their problems.

Who can we work with?

Our family counselling service works with the whole family, including children. This can be helpful where a couple's problems are directly affecting the whole family or where there have been significant changes affecting the whole family - bereavement, step-relationships, serious illness, moving to a new area for example.

We will work with family members; any group of people who describe themselves as a family; parents; sibling groups; children or adults; extended family members - grandparents, aunts, uncles etc; blended families.



Relate family counsellors are equipped to work with the following issues:

  • Parents and children who struggle to communicate effectively
  • Parents whose different ideas and practices around parenting cause friction in the couple and family relationships
  • Adult siblings who have unresolved issues affecting their relationship
  • Children/young people who are struggling with sibling or other significant relationships
  • Blended families coping with bringing together differences in discipline and expectations to a 'new family'
  • Family members who are recovering from the influence of sexual abuse or other abuse which continues to affect their lives and relationships

Outcomes of this service

  • Increased understanding to make choices about how relationships are managed within the family setting
  • More effective ways of anticipating and managing areas of difficulty within the family
  • Improved capacity to communicate both within the couple relationship and across generations
  • Access to other forms of help as necessary in order to improve relationships, such as parenting and family support resources

Being a parent is for life

Parents are helped to remain as partners in the parenting of their children, even though they may live apart.


Download our "Relieve the Pressure on your Family" Digital Resource





"I appreciated the straightforward, helpful and informed observations about situations - this service really helped us get through Christmas."

"Counselling took us from a bad place to a good one and we would return if needed."

"Very impressed with the way our Relate NI counsellor managed the sessions. They provided each of us with a voice and offered balanced perspective. She was very non-judgemental and enabled us to reach a greater understanding of our issues.  She also made us feel normal when it felt anything but."

"My Relate NI Counsellor was exceptional at helping both myself and my children navigate a particularly difficult situation.  We will be forever grateful.  Her help has allowed me to sustain a better motherly role due to her support throughout"



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