What is Safe Speak?

Safe Speak is a confidential counselling service run by Relate for children and young people. We provide a space for them to talk to an experienced counsellor about anything that’s worrying them.

Why talk to a Counsellor?

When young people are anxious, this can have an impact on their school work and friendships. Problems which seem unimportant to an adult can seem overwhelming to a young person Being able to talk to someone outside of their situation can help young people to feel less burdened and more able to enjoy their time in school. Counsellors are trained to listen without judging and to help people sort out troubling thoughts and feelings

Who might want to use this service?

Young people who are:

• coping with change

• worried or upset about something

• experiencing difficulties in their relationships with friends or with family members

The young person will be offered an initial meeting with the counsellor to see whether Safe Speak is the right service for them. If not, we will do our best to help them access the support they need.

How often will my child see the counsellor?

Normally children have a weekly appointment lasting 35-45 minutes. The counsellor and child will review the counselling on a regular basis and decide together when the work will end.


Because of the importance of developing trust between child and counsellor, it is important that the content of sessions remains private. You can be assured that whatever your child discusses the counsellor will not be judging you or them, but looking to help them find their way through what is troubling them.

Safe Speak has its own child protection policies. If a child appeared to be at risk of harm, we may need to seek help from parents, the school or other agencies to help keep them safe.

What happens in a counselling session?

Usually the young person will talk about things that are important to them, they may chose to use other creative materials like paint or a sand tray to communicate. The counsellor will not make them talk about things, but works to provide an environment that feels safe to bring what may be troubling them.

Like more information?

Please contact us if you would like to know more about the Safe Speak service. Currently we offer counselling service for 11-18 year olds at the following sites:

Click on the Where To Find Us button on the left of the screen to find out about our current venues.

Do you or your family need additional help?

Safe Speak is run by Relate Derby and Southern Derbyshire. As well as children and young people’s services we also offer support for families and adults. Go to the Relate Derby website for more information on our range of local services.

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Counselling service for 11-18 year olds - information for parents