U Matter – Young People’s Counselling Information

Who’s the Service for?

The service is free and accessible to all young people aged 11-25 in the PO1 to PO6 area, and their families.  There is a walk in/call in self-referral route, or people may be referred via other routes such as their doctor, teacher or health worker.


RelateWhat is Counselling?

Counselling gives you a chance to talk about what is bothering you to someone who is not connected with your family, friends or school.

It can sometimes be difficult to talk to someone so there will often be items in the counselling room to help you express yourself. These may include: pens; paper; things to fiddle with; small items, such as stones, figures, or games. You may also choose to bring something in such as a piece of music; something written, or a picture to the session, if these help you communicate to the counsellor what you need to.

A counsellor will help you to make your own decisions and understand things better. They won’t tell you what to do.


Why talk to a counsellor?

If you are worried, this can have an impact on your time at home, school or work and your friendships. Problems which seem unimportant to someone else can seem overwhelming to you.

Being able to talk to someone outside of your situation can help you feel less stressed and more able to enjoy life.

Counsellors are trained to listen without judging and to help people sort out troubling thoughts and feelings.


What can counselling help with?

We see young people who want to talk about family problems or issues with other people in their life. You can talk about other things as well, like problems at school.

If you are not sure whether counselling can help, why not come along for a first session anyway? If we can’t help, we’ll do our best to work with you to find someone who can.


Keeping what you tell us private

The services we offer are private and confidential.

The counsellor will try to keep the fact that you are coming to counselling as private as possible. When someone else is helping you with your problems, we may need to let them know when you start and finish counselling. This would only be done if you give us permission to do so.

Whatever we discuss in your sessions is confidential within Relate Portsmouth.

There are a few reasons why we might talk to someone else about what you told us. The main reasons are:

  • If we think you or someone else is being harmed or at risk of being harmed
  • If you ask us to tell someone else and we agree to do it
  • Where we are legally required to do so

We will try to discuss it with you before we talk to anyone else.

You can choose to tell people as much or as little as you like about your counselling sessions. Sometimes you may find it helpful to tell someone you trust that you are accessing counselling so they can support you but this is your choice.


Can someone make me go to see a counsellor?

No. Someone can suggest you have counselling, but going to counselling is your choice.

During your initial session you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have about counselling and to talk a bit about what is bothering you. If you and the counsellor you see for this initial session agrees that counselling is appropriate and you wish to access ongoing counselling.

After your initial session, we can then set up a series of 6 appointments, you can choose to see the same counsellor or a different one dependant on your availability, but these ongoing sessions will always be with the same counsellor. You will always have the choice to end counselling when you wish to. Sessions will last up to 50mins and again you may choose to leave before the end of this time.


Can anyone else come to a counselling session with me?

You may choose to invite someone who you trust or a parent/carer to the initial session with you as we understand it can be a little daunting to meet someone new for the first time. With the counsellor you can together decide how much time the person is in that session with you.

If your problems relate to issues you are having with your family/parent/carer then it may be possible to offer you family counselling.

Likewise, if you would like a parent/carer to come into a session or part session in order for you to be able to communicate something to them that has been discussed in counselling then that may also be possible with the counsellor’s agreement.


When counselling ends

Many young people find that after a few sessions of counselling they feel in a better place to manage whatever situation or issue brought them to counselling and they are able to get on and enjoy their lives.

We may decide together that a referral to Motiv8 is appropriate and something you want, therefore a referral would be made. We may also signpost you to self-help information and support.


How do I access the service?

Self/Parent referrals

Via telephone on 02392 827026

Opening times:

Monday: 8:00-22:00
Tuesday: 8:00-22:00
Wednesday: 8:00-22:00
Thursday: 8:00-22:00
Friday: 8:00-18:00
Saturday: 9:00-17:00

Our web form:

Our Email address: [email protected]

Relate Centre Walk-In Opening Times:  58d High St Cosham

Monday to Thursday: 09:30-21:00
Friday: 09:30-14:30
Saturday: 9:00-13:30