The reality is that most couples are apprehensive about relationship or marriage counselling, especially if they have never attended a couples counselling or individual therapy session before with a psychologist or counsellor. It’s normal to wonder and even worry about what the psychologist will be like, whether they will take sides or what you may have to reveal as part of couples therapy. These feelings typically pass after the first couples session.
Typically, your counsellor will recommend that both people in the relationship attend the couples counselling session together, at least initially. This is to help establish rules, goals and boundaries that are clearly about the couple and their relationship. Sometimes we will recommend that clients meet with the psychologist individually, and many of our clients find it helpful to see the therapist first as a couple, then individually, in turns, and then to meet up again with the therapist as a couple. However, the structure is not prescribed by us. It is determined by the individual needs of clients, and many couples only have counselling sessions where they attend together.