Exciting opportunity – Children, Young people & Family Counsellor VACANCIES

We’re really excited to be advertising for TWO new counsellors to join our lovely team (16.5 hr & 31.5 hr post.) Are you a Level 5 qualified counsellor with a passion for helping Children, Young people and families? We want to hear from you! Closing date 12 noon 25th June – Don’t delay – get in touch! For an informal discussion please email: hayley.watson@relatebradford.com

Job Vacancy…

Head of Service Delivery and Development – maternity leave cover

The Head of Service Delivery and Development is a key role with the charity, as part of the senior leadership team, working closely with the Chief Executive.

This temporary role will commence mid July 2021, for approximately 10/11 months.

For an informal discussion, or to find out more, please contact the Chief Executive, Tina, via email, tina.butler@relatebradford.com.

Closing date is Friday 25th June 2021, at 12 noon.

Interview date TBC

Thank you for your time and interest – we look forward to hearing from you.

An Exciting Opportunity Beckons…

Helping people Relate since 1948! 

Chair of Trustees

Due to the impending retirement of the current Chair of Trustees we are looking for a passionate and committed individual to join the board and take on the role of Chair which, along with all our trustees, is a voluntary unpaid (except for out of pocket expenses) position. 

Relate Bradford & Leeds is a registered charity with over 70 years’ experience in providing specialist relationship support to people across the Bradford district and, since 2019, Leeds.  

We are part of the National Relate Federation, however, each Relate Centre is independent and responsible for its own income generation and fundraising.

Relate is the country’s largest supplier of relationship support.  

Our office is based near to Bradford city centre with a team of 18 members of staff, a number of volunteers and a board of 10 trustees. 

The trustees are an active and diverse team with complementary skills, which enables us to provide comprehensive leadership to the organisation. 

If you are interested, believe you have the appropriate personality and experience to meet the demands of the position and would like to know more, please email Tina Butler CEO, at tina.butler@relatebradford.com for an information pack or download the documents below.

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Helping people Relate since 1948! 

How to release relationship pressure when children come along

Becky, one of our Relate Bradford counsellors, shares her personal experience and tips for marriage after a baby.

When I look back to when I first discovered I was pregnant, my husband and I were overjoyed, but deep down, I could sense my husband fear that he was soon to become second best to the baby.

You see, my husband has two older children from a previous marriage so he had prior knowledge to how hard it can be to sustain a loving and strong relationship when children are involved.

I was determined it would be different this time around though, and I would not let the baby affect our relationship.

Of course, that was not the reality of the situation….

Once our baby boy was born, I went into super mum, organisation mode, and always had to be two steps ahead of my game (I.e. attending to the baby, cleaning the house, cooking the dinner, working part time…. etc.).

I wanted to prove to everyone that I had everything in order – and I wanted to do it all with a smile of my face!

My husband moved further and further down my list of priorities.

To make him happy, I told him to go out with his friends, attend as many football matches and drinking sessions down the pub as he wanted (something he hadn’t done for so many years).

I thought I was being a relaxed wife, but behind closed doors, the cracks in our marriage were beginning to show.

Fast forward a few years and we had lost that connection we once had, I’m not even sure we liked each other half the time.

Everything just ran on auto pilot and once our little boy started having sleep overs and had more of an interest in seeing his friends at the weekend instead of days out with us – the reality of what our relationship had become really hit me.

I was constantly being taken for granted.

But who was I to complain – I helped to create this mess we were in!

He on the other hand felt unloved, unwanted, and rejected – so just went about his daily life thinking about himself!

That’s when the penny finally dropped… I was trying so hard not to be a nagging wife, but had gone completely the other way and had implemented no boundaries whatsoever.

With no boundaries there is no respect, and with no respect, there’s no love

There had to be a healthy middle ground where we both felt happy and content – and I was determined to find it!

Fast forward another few years (our son is now 7), and I’d like to think we are in a pretty good place.

It certainly hasn’t come over night – and it’s taken us a good year or two to finally feel strong and united as a couple again.

But it was worth the journey – and we have both learned so much and appreciate each other so much more now.

So how did we get here……… Well…. It’s all about the small steps!

Don’t run before you can walk

If I had my time over again, or I could give any advice to the new mothers out there – these are the three main points I would tell them.

Never stop having date nights

(just once a month or every two weeks if you can)

This is so important because, this is where you finally get to be just you two again, and to fully communicate without the kids being around.

Looking back, we should have never stopped having date nights, but I told myself that our relationship was fine, refusing to acknowledge the cracks that were beginning to surface.

The reality is, if you constantly choose the kids over your relationship, your relationship will suffer, and once the kids are grown up, you may not even know where to begin to find some kind of connection again – so choose to part ways.

Try and catch it early – don’t push the problems aside, hoping they will just get better on their own….. NEWS FLASH – they never do!

Never lose yourself in parenthood.

Have the difficult conversations

I know I know it’s scary – you are worried that they will react badly, so you convince yourself it’s better to just keep the peace and not say anything at all.

But this is exactly how resentment starts!

And the thing to remember about resentment is that it festers and will sit and reside within your body.

Over time, the resentment will then affect the intimacy between you.

If you have something to say or you feel hurt in some way by something your partner has said or done – it is so important that you speak up and release it.

Women need to communicate and feel listened to, in order to feel loved.

Men need the physical touch in order to feel loved.

One will not work without the other. 

What I found is… when I sat down to have the difficult conversations (i.e. I felt that he wasn’t doing enough around the house for example) – it’s best to always start a conversation with “I feel”

If you keep it in first person it will never be offensive

Also, acknowledge your part in it all– don’t just shift the blame onto the other person.

Make sure the kids are not about when you have these conversations and try to sit down and discuss it properly (i.e. not just shouting at each other across the room for example).

I found that the more and more we did this – the less stressed and tactile we became with each other.

Keep confronting your fears and eventually they will disappear

We began to let our barriers down, and he finally understood how important it was for me to be able to communicate my anxieties to him without being shut down or being told I’m “over sensitive”.

Also explaining to your partner that you just need them to listen, they don’t need to rescue you or give you solutions or advice.

My husband would often feel like he had to come up with all the answers and that just put more pressure on him.

All I needed was for him to be the sounding board.

Don’t try and do it all

Make sure he is involved no matter how much you are both struggling at first.

I remember when we first had our son, every single time I would get in the bath or lay my head down for half an hour’s sleep- our son would always start crying.

This was brought on by my husband’s anxiety and fears that I wasn’t there to help him, so I would automatically jump up from my rest and rush to the baby.

Try not to do this…. He must learn to figure it out for himself.

True happiness in life comes from knowing we can stand on our own two feet and work things out for ourselves

If we try and take the responsibility away from another person they will never learn to cope on their own!

If you’d like to talk to our clinical team about your experiences and gain support with the relationship issues you are facing, please contact us on information@relatebradford.com to refer yourself for an initial assessment.

Coping with bereavement this Mother’s Day

News release

Sadly, a large number of people are about to experience their first Mother’s Day since losing their mum, many to Covid-19.  With this in mind, counsellors at Relate Bradford & Leeds have put together some advice for those grieving on Mother’s Day.

Tina Butler, CEO said: “Losing a parent is a terrible thing to go through at any time, but when numbers allowed at funerals are restricted and you’re unable to see family and friends for support or a hug, it adds a whole new and unwanted dimension to the grieving process.”

“If you’re experiencing your first Mother’s Day without your mum this year, it’s likely to bring back memories of happier times which could be painful to deal with. This is understandable and it’s important to put yourself first: perhaps you’d like to do something to remember your mum or maybe you aren’t ready. Do whatever’s right for you and don’t be afraid to reach out for support should you need it.”

Relate’s advice for coping with your first Mother’s Day after bereavement

Treat yourself with kindness. Think of how you would treat a really good friend in this situation.  You would probably want to look after them and be very caring – you should try to do this for yourself, too.

Do what feels right for you. You may feel like having a quiet day and curling up on the sofa, or you may want to do something specific to remember your mum. Maybe you want to do something active or creative to distract yourself. Go with whatever feels right.  

Know it’s common to experience a range of different feelings. You may have been doing ok and feel you were coming to terms with your loss but suddenly feel extremely sad when you realise what day it is. Perhaps you will have moments of joy and laughter as you remember your mum or other moments where you feel irritable. You may experience anger or guilt. All of this is normal.

Find creative ways to connect. If you feel you would like to be with others but can’t due to restrictions, think about what you can arrange online to remember your mum together.  For example, could you create an online memory book or organise a video call where you share memories? You might want to share something about your feelings on social media, but if seeing other people’s posts about their Mother’s Day experiences is likely to trigger you then step away from your phone and find another way.

Seek support if you need it. A counsellor can help to work through painful feelings and provide a safe space to work through your grief. There are a number of options that may work for you including webcam, phone or email counselling, or a 30 minute WebChat session. Find out more at relate.org.uk.

To find out more about how Relate Bradford & Leeds can support you, please visit our website: https://relatebradford.org/ or email us at: information@relatebradford.com


For all media enquiries contact hayley.watson@relatebradford.com

Notes to editors:

  • Relate Bradford is an independent charity, federated to Relate National
  • Relate champions the importance of strong and healthy relationships for all as the basis of a thriving society.
  • Relate provides impartial and non-judgmental support for people of all ages, gender identities and sexual orientations at all stages of couple, family and social relationships.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2021…

Next week is Children’s Mental Health Week 2021, and we believe now more than ever, how important it is to help our young people speak about how they’re feeling.

During the week, we’ll be sharing some professional and personal tips that we hope will help you if you are a young person, or if you are supporting a young person, be it as a parent, friend, guardian, teacher or one of the many other relationships they may have in their lives.

If you are concerned about the mental or emotional wellbeing of yourself or another young person or child please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team on 01274 726096, where we will be able to give you info about our Children and Young People’s Counselling Service. In many cases we are able to offer sessions for free.

We would love to hear any helpful tips you may have to share with others, so please feel free to post.

Faye, Counsellor at Relate Bradford

EMDR – our new service from Relate Bradford…

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It stops difficult memories causing so much distress by helping the brain to reprocess them properly.

When someone feels overwhelmed by an event/experience, their brain may be unable to fully process what is going on. The memory of the event seems to become “stuck” so that it remains very intense and vivid. 

EMDR aims to help the brain “unstick” and reprocess the memory properly so that it is no longer so intense. It also helps to desensitise the person to the emotional impact of the memory, so that they can think about the event without experiencing such strong feelings.

It does this by asking the person to recall the traumatic event while they also move their eyes from side-to-side, hear a sound in each ear alternately, by tapping their hands alternately. These side-to-side sensations seem to effectively stimulate the “stuck” processing system in the brain so that it can reprocess the information more like an ordinary memory, reducing its intensity.https://emdrassociation.org.uk/a-unique-and-powerful-therapy/emdr-the-basics/


How many sessions will I have?

Around 6 – 8.

I’ve got a few distressing experiences I’d like to process, is it okay to process several memories?

Yes it’s fine to do more memories.

Will it change any of my memories?

No it doesn’t change any memories.

Do I attend with my partner?

Yes you can attend with your partner.

Can I have EMDR over the phone?

Unfortunately you can’t have EMDR over the phone. You can have it via web counselling or face-to-face.

I have anxiety/depression, can I have EMDR?

The focus of this EMDR work is a relationship focus.

Does it work with young people?

Yes, we can offer this to young people, aged 10 years and above.