Each therapist may have a different approach to therapy. You can connect with our therapists for a consultation call to learn more about what a first session might look like when working with a specific therapist.
Generally though, we take the first several minutes to discuss administrative pieces and sign off on paper work, if not completed prior to the session.
We take time to get explore who each partner is as an individual, and the important parts of their context (i.e. personal identities, how time is spent, significant relationships, residing situation etc.). We will explore the relationship and how it came to be that partners met, and any notable milestones experienced.
We will explore what brought you into therapy at this particular point in time, and begin to establish a mutual understanding of what it is you ideally hope to see/do/feel differently. From here, based on what is shared, we start exploring important pieces to align you with your relationship goals.
Often, at the end of sessions we will reflect on what had been most helpful and what might be something we want to talk about next time. We collaboratively agree on what might be helpful for you each to try in between sessions and schedule a follow up appointment.
Aligned with best practice, when working with couples, we typically connect with partners jointly in a first and possibly second session. However, within the first three meetings, we require individual sessions with each partner.
The intention of these individual meetings is to have an opportunity to explore with each partner, their experience of the relationship, their concerns and felt hopes for change. We may also explore their attachment styles and models of relationships and the ways this informs how they show up in their own relationship.
Usually we reconnect jointly thereafter with the possibility of occasional future individual sessions with either/both partners if/when there could be benefit to the relationship in doing so.
If you require any further information around this process, feel free to connect for a consultation call.
Whether you begin with couples therapy and hold hope to switch to individual or family therapy, or begin with the individual work and want to switch to couple work, all transitions are possible.
However, it should be noted that if the therapist supports clients in couple work and then hears a hope from an individual to pursue separate individual work, the therapist would require the consent of partners involved in the relationship work for this to happen. Alternatively, the therapist could make a referral to another therapist in effort to facilitate this connection if/when helpful.
If the therapist was to support an individual for more than two sessions, the therapist will typically refer out to another therapist for possible couple work thereafter.
If you have specific questions around these possibilities, please do not hesitate to connect for a consultation call.