Nottingham Relate Sexual Addiction Recovery Group

The most proven method for treatment of any kind of addiction is conducted within the context of a group environment. Although the prospect of joining a group terrifies most people initially, it often proves to be the single most significant step towards life-long recovery. The reason that the group environment is so important is that it breaks through the feelings of shame and isolation that so often continue the cycle of addiction. It also provides support and accountability and an opportunity to rebuild self esteem and close friendships that have so often been wrecked by addiction.

The Recovery Course is not group therapy where you will be expected to share personal feelings that are uncomfortable for you. It is a pragmatic, down to earth psycho-educational course that has been developed specifically for the treatment of sex addiction and sexually compulsive behaviours. The course is unique in providing practical skills for recovery as well as creating an environment where deeper psychological and emotional needs can begin to be explored.

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The next Recovery Course starts
20th September 2017 and is weekly for 14 weeks with a weekend in the middle of the course.
It is run at the Nottingham Relate centre (NG1 3HD) between 7 and 9 pm.

All of our courses are strictly limited to a maximum of 8 people and hence early booking is recommended. For more details please contact Nottingham Relate:
Tel: 0115 958 4278

The Way We are Now – You’re not alone – the quality of the UK’s social relationships

UK’s loneliest region: 1 in 8 people in the East of England has no close friends, study finds
Relate Nottinghamshire offers tips for deepening your friendships

In a UK-wide study looking at the state of relationships with friends and neighbours, 1 in 8 people (12%) living in the East of England reported having no close friends.*

A report on the study’s findings, You’re not alone – the quality of the UK’s social relationships, is released today by national charities Relate and Relationships Scotland. Over 5,000 people were questioned about their relationships with friends and neighbours as part of the study.

In the UK as a whole, 13% of people reported having no close friends, which also equates to 1 in 8.  People living in the East Midlands were the most likely to report having no close friends – 17% or 1 in 6.  People living in the South West were the least likely to report having no close friends -10% or 1 in 10.

The study found that people with no close friends were two-and-a-half times as likely to say they feel down, depressed or hopeless either often or all of the time (31%) as those with four or more close friends (13%). And people who reported their friendships to be ‘very good’ were more than twice as likely to feel good about themselves often or all of the time as people who said their relationships were ‘average’.

Alison Towner at Relate Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s often said that we should be able to count our true friends on one hand, but it’s very concerning that so many people in the East of England and the rest of the UK feel they don’t have a single friend they can rely on.  Making friends and keeping them isn’t always easy: it can take time and effort that we don’t always have to spare. Life can take over as we juggle careers with family life, and it might seem as if our social media friend count is high but what’s the quality of those friendships really like?

“There are many reasons why we may lose confidence in those around us and in ourselves as good friends and neighbours. Take a moment to sit and think how you could give the ‘gift of friendship’ and how you could put it into effect.”

Everybody really does need good neighbours, too.  The report shows that people who enjoyed better relationships with their neighbours were more likely to feel good about themselves and less likely to feel down, depressed or hopeless. In the East of England, 60% of people reported having good relationships with their neighbours.  This was the same as the national figure. People living in Wales were the most likely to report good relationships with their neighbours (67%) whilst people living in London were the least likely to report this (52%)

Relate Nottinghamshire’s tips from deepening your social relationships

To coincide with the report, Relate Nottinghamshire is offering tips for improving and deepening ties with friends and neighbours.

Show an interest in others
Too often, when we meet someone new, we listen just long enough until we think of something we want to say. Really listening means asking follow up questions which deepen the conversation. But, if you feel the chat is becoming one sided, don’t be afraid to say: “Now, what do you want to know about me?”

Practice tolerance and forgiveness
All relationships go through low periods. But when we also feel low, we can get stuck feeling that no one likes us and no one cares. Push through the negativity and try to find a way of reconnecting with friends and neighbours, even if there’s been some bad feeling. Don’t let it fester. Think: “If now isn’t the time to forgive and forget, when will be?”

Don’t be a phone zombie
We can lose the gift of friendship because we’re continually burying ourselves in screens and are not fully present. Turn off those phones and devices for a few hours and see what it’s like to be in the moment of now, smiling and making contact with people as you walk around your neighbourhood. Offer help if you see someone struggling with shopping or children. Notice how good you feel about getting involved.

Something new
Deepen friendships and contacts by suggesting new outings or new ideas. Whether it’s a gig, a new exercise class or a book club, be brave and try something you’ve not done before.

Perseverance brings satisfaction
When we first try something new, we often give up at an early stage because we don’t see immediate or amazing results. This can also be true of trying to deepen or improve the quality of relationships. Don’t give up too quickly or get downhearted. Just keep doing the best you can and you’ll see results.

Remember Relate can help
Relate is best known for couple counselling but 16% of Relate counsellors have also counselled friends in the past year. Individual counselling can also allow people to explore any issues that are impacting on their ability to form, maintain and deepen friendships. Contact Relate Nottinghamshire on 0115 9584278 or visit for more information.




Local business “Fox Talbots” support Relate Nottinghamshire

Local business, Fox Talbots on the Mansfield Road, graciously agreed to allow us to place a charity collection box in their coffee shop. All donations go towards our bursary fund.

A huge thank you to all its staff and customers, who have donated £19.20

Relate Nottinghamshire is a registered charity providing relationship support and advice for everyone within the community. Our bursary fund allows us to subsidise our charges to allow our services to be available to all and it is due to the kindness and generosity of local people , that we can continue to do so.



Sex Addiction Recovery Group 2018

Our next Sex Addiction Recovery Group, led by Clinical Supervisors Peter Saddington and Alison Towner, will start in 2018.

If you have problems in this area and require further information or want to book a place on the course, please contact the centre on 0115 9584278, or complete the contact form on the website.



Christmas Opening Times 2017

We are closing the office at 3 pm on December 22nd and we will be reopening on Tuesday 2nd January

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!christmas-heart

The Way We are Now – “Happy Families?”

Relate Nottinghamshire prepares for New Year peak in calls

Local relationships charity Relate Nottinghamshire is preparing for a peak in calls this New Year as relationship tensions between families and couples come to a head over the festive period.  This comes as leading national charities, Relate and Relationships Scotland publish their Happy Families? report which shows that step-family relationships and families with young children are under particular pressure.

Relate received a 39% increase in calls in January 2016.* The charity says this is a trend they see every year and staff are bracing themselves for another busy January.

Meanwhile, the Happy Families? report found that 41% of people with a child under 19 said money worries were a strain on their relationship, compared to 26% of those without a child under 19.** And 26% of parents with a child under 19 reported household chores as a strain on their relationship compared to just 16% of those with no child under 19. Among parents of very young children, however, this jumped up considerably: almost a third (32%) of parents of children aged 0-5 identified household chores as a relationship strain.

Happily, the report, which analyses a survey of more than 5,000 UK adults and is sponsored by family solicitors Simpson Millar, also found that more than eight in ten people (81%) reported a good relationship with their mums and three quarters (75%) reported a good relationship with their dads. However, relationships between step-parents and step-children aren’t as plain-sailing. For example, 61% of step-parents reported good relationships with their step-children in contrast to the 91% who reported good relationships with their own children.

Relate counsellor, Alison Towner, Clinical Supervisor at Relate Nottinghamshire says that these pressures can become intensified during the Christmas period, contributing to a surge of people seeking relationship support in the New Year. She said: “The new report shows that money worries and place a particular strain on the relationships of couples with children under 19 and that for parents of under-fives, household chores are a real pressure point. With the added financial burden of Christmas and the work that goes into preparing the home and tidying up afterwards, it’s no wonder that rows and tears during this period are common.

“These findings also indicate some of the challenges families can face following the breakdown of a relationship and blending families. Step-mums can feel pressure to be maternal and are more likely to face rejection from their step-children, and step-kids can find themselves caught between biological parents and new family members. Christmas can be a time when all these issues come to the surface. If you’re experiencing any difficulties, we’d urge you to contact Relate Nottinghamshire at the earliest possible stage.”

Relate isn’t the only organisation which sees a peak in calls in the New Year. Simpson Millar also get much busier and find this is when a lot of divorces are initiated: Peter Morris, National Head of Family Law at Simpson Millar, added: “The seasonal spike in enquiries is a reality for professionals dealing with relationship breakdown. There are in fact two spikes, peaking after winter and summer holidays. This is not to say holidays cause divorce; it just shows a correlation between divorce and the post-holiday seasons. Help is out there and all responsible family lawyers would encourage couples experiencing relationship breakdown to contact Relate whatever the season.”

Happy Families? is the second in a series of reports from a major piece of research by Relate and Relationships Scotland.  Over 5000 UK adults were surveyed as part of The Way We Are Now study, providing a unique window into the current state of the nation’s relationships. To read the report in full, please visit (from 7th December).

Here are Relate Nottinghamshire tips for keeping the peace this Christmas:

  • Take it slowly. If it is the first Christmas in a new family set up then remember that you have to allow time for adjustments to settle in. Don’t expect everything to be ideal – manage your own expectations and disappointments.
  • Don’t overspend. For a lot of people this Christmas money will be tight, so try not to succumb to the pressure and spend more than you can afford. Splashing the credit card on presents might be fun but getting yourself in a mountain of debt is not a good way to start the New Year. Money worries put huge strain on relationships – it’s not worth it in the long run.
  • Plan ahead. Getting some of the jobs done ahead of time means everyone will be less stressed, and planning the festivities as a family is likely to make sure everyone feels like their hopes and expectations are being listened to. In particular, talk to your partner in advance about where you plan to spend Christmas so it’s not a shock to anyone come Christmas Eve.
  • Talk to your children. If you are a single parent, talk to your child about who they want to spend time with over the holidays. Christmas is important to children but they can easily feel divided and guilty about who they spend time with and worried in case anyone is left on their own. Do talk to your ex-partner first though to determine what they are doing. Asking the children first can lead to disappointment, and remember, depending on the age of the children, they may not be able to make such decision’s.
  • Plan something special. If arguments are likely over the festive period, have a few special events that everyone knows about so you have things to look forward to. It might be decorating the tree, or hanging the stockings up. The important thing is that you agree that these things will go ahead, and everyone makes the effort to get along.
  • Don’t spoil the step-kids: If you have step-children staying at Christmas, do treat them like part of the family but not like special guests.  Relationships take time to build and making the step-children into VIPs may appear insincere or upset your own children.
  • Go easy on the booze. We all like to toast Christmas with a nice glass or two, but if there is any tension in your family then steer clear of too much alcohol, it will only aggravate the situation.

Relate Nottinghamshire offers a range of relationship support services, including couple counselling and family counselling. Call us on 01159 584278 or visit for more information.

The Way We Are Now – Impact of work on relationships

36% of people in the East Midlands feel pressure to put work before family life

Relate Nottinghamshire calls for employers to offer flexible working and relationship support

Research out today highlights the immense pressure felt by employees in the East Midlands and the rest of the UK to prioritise work ahead of relationships. More than one in three workers in the East Midlands (36%) say their boss thinks work should come before family life.  This is according to a new report from Relate and Relationships Scotland, which concludes that overworked employees’ relationships suffer as the build-up of stress at work takes its toll.

The research also found that:

  • 34% of employees in the East Midlands say they feel pressured to work by their manager even when they are ill.
  • 29% of employees in the East Midlands say that stress at home adversely affects them at work.
  • Over half (52%) of employees in the East Midlands say they would like their employer to offer relationship support.

Employees struggling to balance work and family are more likely to become ill, perform less well and resign; but those satisfied with work and work-life balance are more likely to perform better and be more productive. The Labour of Love or Love vs Labour report calls for employers to aspire to offer flexible working arrangements as default and to provide free relationship support as part of Employee Assistance Programmes. Relate Nottinghamshire] is supporting the report and urging employers in Nottinghamshire to take action.

Manchester University’s Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, President of Relate said: “As this study highlights, work-life balance in this country is shockingly poor and this is hugely damaging for our relationships and overall wellbeing – as well as for productivity. That’s why Relate Nottinghamshire is calling on local employers to take more responsibility for the pressure that stress and lack of work-life balance can put on relationships at home.”


As well as the impact of work pressures on relationships at home, the report also looks at workplace relationships with colleagues and bosses.  The good news is that 68% of employees in the East Midlands say they have a good relationship with their boss and 76% reported good relationships with colleagues.

Manchester University’s Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, President of Relate continued: “It’s positive that so many people in the East Midlands have a good relationship with their boss and colleagues but there’s clearly still some room for improvement. As such, we suggest employers think carefully about how they can better foster good workplace relationships.”

Labour of Love or Love vs Labour is the first in a series of reports from a major piece of research by Relate and Relationships Scotland.  Over 5000 UK adults were surveyed as part of The Way We Are Now study, providing a unique window into the current state of the nation’s relationships.

To read the report in full, please visit (from 25 October).

Relate Nottinghamshire offers a range of relationship support services. Call us on 0115 9584278 or visit for more information.

Relate Nottinghamshire offers advice to separating families in the wake of Brangelina split

News of Hollywood A-listers, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce has “saddened” Brad Pitt and many who looked to the couple as relationship role models. One thing that parents, Brad and Angelina are both clear on is that they intend to do what is best for their children during this challenging time.


But if you are going through divorce or separation, how do you ensure you put your children’s need first?  Relate Nottinghamshire is highlighting ways that couples who have chosen to divorce or separate can cause the least pain possible for them and their children.


Relate counsellor, Alison Towner, Clinical Supervisor at Relate Nottinghamshire has worked with many families in Nottinghamshire going through separation and divorce she said:


“We spend so much time planning our weddings but we often don’t put much thought into managing our separations. A staggering 42% of marriages in the UK break down, and a significant proportion of cohabiting couples with children also separate.  When there’s so much at stake, emotions will be running high but there’s a lot to be gained by keeping things amicable. After all, evidence shows that it’s conflict rather than the divorce or separation itself which is the most damaging thing for children.


“Of course, talking to somebody objective, such as a counsellor, can help. There’s a common misconception that Relate only helps couples to stay together but we also help our clients to separate in the least painful way possible, if that’s what’s right for them.  The truth is that most children would prefer their parents to separate than to be unhappy and argue all of the time.”


Putting the children first – Relate Nottinghamshire’s tips for separating parents


Talk to your partner: This might be the last thing you want to do but talking calmly about how you want your separation to be can help to get things off to a positive start. You can also take this opportunity to agree together what you are going to tell friends, family and children about why you are breaking up as being on the same page can help.

Get planning: It might not be as fun as planning for your wedding, but planning for a divorce or separation is just as important. CAFCASS offers a free parenting plan which works out the practical issues of parenting after a couple separates.

Open up: Speak to trusted people in your support network.  You may prefer to open up on an internet forum or to somebody objective such as a counsellor to get things off your chest.

Break the news: Letting the children know you are going your separate ways is going to be hard whatever, but you can make it less painful by telling them together if possible, explaining that they are in no way to blame and letting them know that they can talk to you at any time.  They don’t need to know all the gory details about why you are breaking up, but be clear that this is what is happening.

Avoid badmouthing: During such a challenging time, it can be tempting to criticise your ex-partner in front of the children but this is not in their best interests or yours.

Minimise disruption: The news that mum and dad are breaking up is likely to turn your kid’s worlds upside down for a while. Keeping their routines as similar as possible can help to keep a sense of normality.

Consider counselling and mediation: Counselling can provide you with space to think, feel and move on. Mediation can help you to reach agreement over finances and living arrangements if initial attempts fail.

Don’t underestimate the loss you’ll feel too.  You didn’t invest time, energy and love in your ex for nothing. Celebrate the good bits, learn from any of the bad ones and then move on with the rest of your life.


Relate Nottinghamshire offers a range of relationship support services, including individual counselling, and family counselling, which can help people to break up in the least painful way possible.

Alison Towner and husband Carl tandem from Land’s End to John O’Groats for Charity!

Relate Nottinghamshire Clinical Supervisor, Alison Towner, and her husband, Carl, are taking on the challenge of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats – on a tandem! They are raising money for International Nepal Fellowship and Relate Nottinghamshire. They begin their adventure on September 9th 2016.
Alison says: “I know the benefits of relationship counselling and feel strongly that it should be accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. I hope people will give generously to raise money for our bursary fund, so Relate Nottinghamshire can offer reduced counselling fees to those on low incomes. It will be interesting to see what effect this tandem experience will have on our relationship!” We would love to raise a pound for each mile we cycle, which would mean £1055 according to our current plans – but could be more if we get lost!


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