Couples or families counselling and mediation

This page has information on getting couples or families counselling and mediation to help work through your problems.

What is counselling?

Couples or families experiencing the breakdown of a relationship can approach a counselling organisation to help with relationship difficulties. These agencies can work with you to try and resolve any difficulties, or to help you come to terms with splitting up. You don't have to attend counselling as a couple - if your partner refuses to see a counsellor, you can go on your own.

What is mediation?

Mediation can help couples that are splitting up come to an amicable arrangement about the family home and care of children. A mediator won't tell you what to do, and won't make either of you feel that you are to blame for the breakdown in your relationship. Instead they will help you talk openly and honestly to each other, in the hopes of reaching an agreement.

Mediation is not a substitute for legal advice. It's a good idea to talk to a solicitor before attending mediation sessions, to make sure you understand your rights and options. Talk to your solicitor before agreeing to anything with your partner.

Mediation may not be appropriate if your partner has behaved in a violent or threatening manner towards you.

The Scottish Mediation Network can explain more about what mediation is and put you in touch with a mediator.

Relationships Scotland

Relationships Scotland offers family mediation, which supports parents and children through family change and disruption, particularly where this has occurred as a result of separation, divorce or family restructuring. The organisation also provides couples counselling and family support.

The Spark

The Spark offers counselling to anyone in a relationship, whether you're married, living together or going out, lesbian/gay or heterosexual. Counselling is free, although you will be asked to make a donation if possible. Visit

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Last updated: 23 June 2017

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