The simplest answer would be – as much as you want.
However, personal choice might not be the only question. You might wonder, if your issues are family-related, whether your family needs to be around for your therapy sessions. You might also wonder if you should be talking about it with your friends/partner/family at all. Taking up counselling involves getting into some complex questions around personal and interpersonal space.
Your therapy sessions are all yours. The first thing to remember is that the counselling space is yours, to focus on your needs. Your issues might be interpersonal, but therapy is intended to help you, and in consequence your relationships.
There might be occasions when you feel the need to bring in a family member or partner. This is something you can discuss with your therapist. Keep your individual sessions going at their defined rhythm, and choose the moment in consultation with the counsellor when it might be time to bring someone else in for a single session.
For relationship issues, take up couples counselling as a separate entity. Most counsellors will recommend individual counselling as well. If you’re already seeing a therapist, and you’ve decided you need couples counselling in parallel, that doesn’t mean you need to give up your individual sessions. In fact, it provides a much better support base for couples counselling to be effective.
Talk about it when you’re ready. You don’t need to discuss taking therapy right away, with either close friends or family. You might not need to talk about it at all. Choose your moment if you need to – therapy is a private and personal decision, so talking about it is simply a matter of choice, not an obligation.
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