Back to Therapy part three

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.

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This entry was posted in Abandonment, Attachment, Therapist, Therapy, trauma. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Back to Therapy part three

  1. Just Be Real says:

    Yes, you most certainly are dealing with a lot of change, and I am sure it is not easy for you at all. I hate change as well. I look at it as part of my t. in growing. Painfully growing. No, I quite agree, you cannot put a timetable on healing. I really hated reading the restrictions to your t. sessions. But, when you deal with not a private practice, it is harder I suppose. I do pray that the coming weeks will be vital and will concentrate on the most important topics that you need in order to survive. The tools you will learn.

    You have come a long way and have made major strides I see. May be small to you, as I would always say as well to my t., but was always encouraged that the strides I made were BIG.

    Here in your corner always…..

    • lostinamaze says:

      The timetable restriction that I have now might be a problem. I’m not sure that some things can be dealt with in a ten week time period. But I guess that’s only my opinion. In some ways I guess that I have made some strides but at times it’s hard to see especially when I feel that I am so dysfunctional in some areas.

  2. One long journey says:

    Well – you already know my thoughts. Didn’t know about her switching the time though – hopefully you will be able to make changes to accommodate her schedule.

    Just the fact that you can ask the questions that you are asking shows that you have come far, I think.

    Take care,
    OLJ

    • lostinamaze says:

      I almost forget that she had switched the time as well until I was writing the post. Too much stuff to process I guess :). The change means I lose another hour or so from work. That’s the reason I liked the later time slot.

      I think it was also a matter of survival to ask those questions :). I hate not knowing where I stand. Your probably right, before I wouldn’t have asked any questions, just gone with the flow.

  3. Harriet says:

    Luckily my t is in private practice, and I can afford it (although I’d rather spend the $480 each month on something else!) It’s too bad there are these restrictions with public agencies. I didn’t even start opening up to my t until I had been seeing him for about 6 months, so 10 sessions would have left me nowhere. But at least you know what you are dealing with now and can make some informed decisions. I don’t understand why she couldn’t have explained all of this to you before the break, it seems irresponsible.

    And I admire you for having 2 hour sessions! Wow, I don’t think I could do that. 45 minutes makes me anxious enough.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m hoping that I don’t have a problem re-opening up. I don’t quite trust her anymore. I wonder if she didn’t explain all this to me before is because she was having issues herself although I know that shouldn’t be an excuse.

      As for the 2 hour sessions, apparently it takes me that long even to say anything significant. And sometimes even then it doesn’t happen. But I am trying to change that. That’s why I think the idea of writing things out may be good for me to try.

  4. Ellen says:

    Thank God you asked those questions right up front, even if you felt foolish. I also feel your T has been negligent in explaining the situation with the break to you. How could she leave you to guess and fret about the cause of the break? I was wondering if funding was the cause, because it is unusual behaviour for a T. The ones I’ve seen seem to want to keep me around for years, as long as I keep paying the tab of course. And they are entitled to be paid of course.

    Paying privately does cost a lot, but they do not kick you out. Some also offer sliding scales to a few clients.

    As to the attachment issue…I have the opposite problem it seems, of not feeling at all attached to T’s. But the way you describe it almost sounds like being in love and needing to see the other person on an almost visceral level. If you’re in love, what can you do? Not that I mean it is sexual, but that element of attachment that can happen in love situations.

    I am similar in that I used to fall in love with men that I barely knew…like teachers or others in authority. I would obsess about them, and need to see them, even though we had no actual relationship. It sounds entirely crazy, and it was, but that was my attachment issues going haywire. I finally stopped doing that.

    I hope the T can help you work through this somehow. I know how painful that feeling is, and how impossible it feels to try and reason it away.

    The ten sessions limit is not a growing trend in therapy – it simply reflects the amount of funding this T is able to get to see one person. Money does talk and direct an awful lot that happens it seems.

    One more thing – if I was you, I’d try and find other sources of support besides this therapist. When the therapy stops, as it seems it will fairly soon, then you at least won’t be left entirely on your own with your issues. A support group of some type might be useful for this.

    Take care, Ellen

    • lostinamaze says:

      Interesting that you should mention the ‘in love’ thing. I have been pondering that myself lately although I don’t think I’ve ever been in love before so I’m not sure what that feels like. But it is worth further thought for sure.

      My therapist has been pushing for me to find other forms of support. She wants me to develop some of my friendships further then just surface ones. There are no support groups where I live (rural area) and the smallish city where I have therapy doesn’t have the type I would need either. Sometimes it sucks living in the type of area that I do.

      I really do hope I can work through this.

  5. Milo says:

    i am always grateful of your kind words lost in a maze… i thought i needed to say this before going on to read your recent post!
    love, Milo

  6. Milo says:

    lostinamaze, I am so glad you confronted her about this. It is not fair that you did not know about the funding issues and also she did not tell you nether your pdoc about the true reason behind the break. It is much better to be emotionally pepared if this is about to happen again. I am so proud of you for being assretive and good luck with whatever that may come your way.
    all the best
    love, Milo

    • lostinamaze says:

      When we were talking about this she commented that she thought that she had told me when in fact she denied that the agency had anything to with with it. I have a feeling we were on two different pages of the same conversation. If there is one thing I learned about this situation is that I definitively want to be prepared.

  7. It seems ethically wrong to me not to make it clear to the client what you can offer. I’m sorry lost, it feels very frustrating to hear what you are going through. 😦

    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m glad that you say how you feel about this. It helps me to know that maybe there is some justification about how I am feeling. I often second guess myself because, well, she’s the professional. I think that’s mostly true but…

  8. I was shocked to read your post. She didn’t fully explain the break and then can’t really guarantee what the outlook will look like? No wonder she didn’t want you to be dependent – it’s impossible for her to be depended upon – in my opinion.

    I’m so proud of you for asking for the details. At least you can visualize how things are going to go. Do you think this shake up helps with the attachment issue? I would probably find myself being a angry and thus separating myself from T.

    I feel so bad for you. I would hate to be in this position. A limit of sessions would make me even more anxious because I would feel forced to share or minimize things.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Yeah, this short term type of counselling does weaken the attachment I have toward her. But probably not in a good way. I know the negative feelings I may have towards her and the situation will reflect towards another therapist. It will be an added problem to work on.

      As for your last statement, that is a problem for me. Leaning towards the minimizing since that is what I always do anyway.

      • thesamesky says:

        Gosh, how I hate that some therapists/therapy just adds to the ‘stuff’ that needs working through. 😦

        • lostinamaze says:

          I just realized this might be a problem the other day when I was trying to figure out short term therapy vs long term therapy and how to approach it all and it was making me cranky. A thought passes through my mind about how I dislike therapists. This is not a true statement but I can see how something like this will affect how I will react towards a new t. I hate it too.

  9. Lothlorien says:

    I think it could be very good for you to work out your attachment issues with her since you obviously have an attachment. I wish I could have had the opportunity to do that with my previous therapist, but I didn’t. You could see a lot of growth come from this.

    It sounds like your t is torn with the agency’s policies. That must be difficult for you both. I would have a real problem with that sort of system as a client and a therapist. It sounds like she is committed to working with you and doing what she can to navigate through that system. It would’ve helped, I think, if she had been this clear with you initially, so that you understood the reason for the break, and that it was clearly NOT a rejection and that she has fought for you. Still….you are doing well it seems. Better than a lot of folks, I assure you!

    • lostinamaze says:

      Some days I do better than other days. Lately it’s been a bit of a roller coaster with a lot of dissociation going on. There is a bit of a war going on inside.

      My doc also talked to me about working these issues out with my t (which I really want to do). She wanted to know if I could set my anger aside in order to get the most benefit out of the time I have left with her. It was a tough question that I am still not able to answer. Then she wanted to know if I could work out my anger with her. Well that just happens to be a whole other issue. I’m not sure how I can work all this out in a short period of time. I may have to settle on just being educated about it and then try to figure out the feelings on my own. I guess I will have to see where all this will lead to.

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