How do I get started?

You will need an Intake Interview; both partners will need to take part in an intake interview which will assess the counselling you require and if we are the service you need. This interview will cost you £29 and can be arranged by telephone. Individuals who come for counselling will go through the same process.

Please note that there is a waiting list. It can take up to three months to begin counselling.

How is the service funded?

COUPLE COUNSELLING LOTHIAN is an independent charity and not part of the Social Work Department or the Health Service.  We receive a small grant from the City of Edinburgh Council and West Lothian Council but these cover less than 15% of our turnover.  We are a self-financing not for profit agency and we rely on client contributions to provide our service.

The cost of a counselling session is £60 per hour.  If you have difficulty in contributing this amount we suggest the following contribution levels:

Annual Household Income Weekly Income



Over £55,000 Over £1058


£50,000 to £55,000 £962 – £1057


£45,000 to £50,000 £866 – £961


£40,000 to £45,000 £770 – £865


£35,000 to £40,000 £674 – £769


£30,000 to £35,000 £577 – £673


£25,000 to £30,000 £481 – £576


Contributions may be made by cash, cheque, debit or credit card and are paid in advance.

We ask that you inform us as soon as possible if you need to cancel an appointment as you would be expected to contribute towards a missed appointment.

When an appointment becomes available, a receptionist will phone to offer it to you. We ask that, at that time, you make your non-refundable deposit towards your first counselling appointment in advance please.  It should be in line with the sliding scale above; this will be your normal contribution.  In your first counselling session you will make a therapeutic contract with your counsellor, part of which will be to review your regular contributions and attendance. The deposit will secure your counselling day and time for future appointments.

Where a client is not able to make the minimum contribution, personal circumstances will be taken in to account. You may approach the intake counsellor in confidence regarding your personal situation.

If you are a taxpayer you could help the service further by signing a Gift Aid Declaration form.  This means that we could receive an additional 25p for every £1 you donate to us.  You would only have to sign the form once.  It will not cost you anything extra to do this and allows us to operate a sliding scale for contributions which makes our service more accessible.

How can I reschedule or cancel an appointment?

If you wish to reschedule or cancel an appointment you need to contact us 48 hours in advance of the appointment or as soon as possible. If you give less than 48 hours notice of a cancelled appointment, please make your contribution as usual to cover the expense incurred and then make the next appointment.

How can Counselling help me?

Counselling helps you take time out from your situation and see it from a fresh perspective. Working with a counsellor gives you, or you and your partner/family, a chance to think about what you can do to change your situation for the better. It can also give you a chance to explore complex or difficult issues in a safe and confidential environment.

How can I make an appointment to talk to a Counsellor?

Please call or e-mail Upon contacting us, we will ask you to come to an intake interview so that we can recommend the right service for you. You will be given a fixed day and time so that you can come each week to meet your own counsellor. If you work shifts please let us know so that we can look for a more flexible arrangement.

Can I come on my own?

Yes. Whether you are single, or if you have a partner who doesn’t want to come or you simply want to discuss things alone you are welcome to bring any aspect of your current, past or future relationships to Couple Counselling Lothian by yourself.

Do you have to be married?

No, you do not have to be married; you do not even have to be in a permanent relationship.  You can come as an individual if you like. You are free to talk about any issues you might have about family, partners, ex-partners, sex, or indeed whatever is troubling you.

What about same sex couples?

The same relationship service is offered to both heterosexual (straight) and homosexual (gay, or lesbian) couples, as well as transgendered and intersexed couples. In fact since the law in Scotland recognising civil unions was passed, we have seen a rise in same sex couples coming for relationship counselling. Couple Counselling Lothian is committed to equal respect for all.

Is the service Confidential?

Our counselling service is completely confidential. We will not give your name or any information about you to anyone outside Couple Counselling Lothian, unless someone’s personal safety is at risk. Everyone who works at Couple Counselling Lothian is bound by a code of confidentiality and will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside Couple Counselling Lothian without your permission.

However, it must be said that confidentiality has clearly defined limits. No counsellor will break the law to maintain client confidentiality. The law insists that where a serious crime has taken place, a counsellor, once informed of the fact,  is obliged to disclose that fact to the authorities. At the same time Couple Counselling Lothian is obliged to follow child protection procedures and will involve statutory services where a child is deemed to be at risk. When domestic abuse occurs where a family has young children, GIRFEC procedures are followed.

What Happens if I have a Complaint?

Couple Counselling Lothian always welcomes feedback and is keen to improve its services. We have a complaints procedure which aims to make the process straightforward and fair. Should you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, please raise it with Tim McConville, the practice manager. Your complaint or concerns will be investigated and you will receive a reply within four weeks. If you wish to take your complaint further after receiving your reply, please contact the practice manager again. Please click here for further information.

Do Counsellors have special training?

All our counsellors are fully trained practitioners who have either completed a three year training with Relationship Scotland, or have completed an external training which would enable them to apply for BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) or COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) accreditation. In addition to these we also have some interns undergoing a Diploma course who have reached a point in their training when they are ready to work with clients. We also have a number of graduate interns who may be studying to post-graduate diploma, Masters or doctoral level. All our counsellors receive on-going supervision and have access to a range of continuing professional development courses.