I take another leap. And I cringe as the words spill out of my mouth. “I need to know what therapy will look like” “I can’t handle being told without warning about taking a break” “I just can’t do it again, it would kill me”. I told her take at the very least I would like to set an end date now if that’s how therapy is going to work.
And so we talked about the agency that she works for once again and she finally admitted that there have been funding cutbacks. All new clients who start get 10 weeks of sessions at the beginning with more added if needed. She is the exception because she is funded by a different source to deal with sexual trauma (primarily recent trauma). Therefore she has greater freedom in deciding how long she can see a client. (but still not continuous long term) She told me she went to bat for me many times in order that I could continue therapy with her and I guess with that agency.
So now I will not have continuous sessions – like the two years worth I just had. She told me what she is doing with clients now is – ten weeks of sessions then review where they are at then if need be another 5 or maybe even another ten weeks of sessions then another review and then maybe another 5 weeks of sessions. If I understood what she was saying therapy is then terminated but if an issue comes up a few months or so down the road the client can phone her and come in for therapy for that issue using the same model I just wrote about.
I wonder if I would be better off having end dates and not the looseness of maybe 5 weeks or maybe 10 weeks sort of thing. I only know is that I need to figure this out. I will do the first set of sessions with her. I’m hoping that I will be able to work out this abandonment stuff out enough with her so that I can un-attach enough to be able to move on from her if need be. I’m not sure if severe childhood trauma, sexual or otherwise, can be worked on in the above fashion. I could always be phoning her about issues. Especially the PTSD stuff. But I also want to be open to the possibility that things can be worked on in the above fashion. I am also unclear about how many times I would be able to do this. Is this a growing trend on how to do therapy?
A couple of other things have changed as well. When first started therapy my sessions were an hour-long but she soon changed it to two hours. It took me at least an hour to settle into the room and become present. It also took me a long time to talk about something related to the trauma and often it would take a number of sessions to do so.
She says that has changed now. I don’t take as long to start talking about trauma related issues. That is true, I have improved in that area (although I have not yet talked about much of the sexual stuff to her. I still have a hard time going there.) And in light of that improvement she wanted to go back to the hour-long sessions. She let me negotiate with her and now my sessions will be an hour and a half. I will take that. I feel lucky to have that since most people’s are only an hour. The other change is my appointment time. She told me that she doesn’t work past 7 pm now. So now it’s an hour earlier.
For a person that has a hard time dealing with change, I think that’s a lot of changes.