New Job with No Time for Therapy

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Ok, so I got a job offer last Monday for a contractor position doing what I want to do - proofreading. It pays well, is hybrid - starting with 3 days from home and 2 days in the office, then moving to 2 days at home - and it honestly seems like something I can do without all the stress I had in my last job.

But...it's 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and the hours are day shift. Which means that I likely will not be able to continue therapy. I'm really struggling in some ways right now, and it's going to be worse if I don't have that support.

Now, the job hasn't started yet, so I haven't met with anyone to see if they are at all flexible (which is a possibility). I honestly don't want to start out needing any concessions. I'm not sure about lunch yet - how long it is or if that might also be a flexible thing.

I just wanted to see how folks here who are working fit therapy into their schedule. I was off on Mondays at my last job, so that was never a problem.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
@whiteraven here are a couple of things I have done while working an 8-5 job. It hasn’t always been easy but I had one therapist that was willing to meet with me at 7am for my appointments, my current therapist has late appointments one day a week and I have been his 6pm appointment for as much as we can for stability. With telehealth, I could do a mid-day appointment as my lunchtime has always been flexible in that it could start anytime between 11:30am or 1:00pm so I could do the 1-2pm session via telehealth. Forgive me for not being sure where you live but in the U.S. under ADA accommodation laws, you can ask for time off (made up of course) to attend therapy, this could include things like one day a week or however frequently you attend you start work late take a longer lunch or leave early. As a contractor they are not necessarily required to grant your request but it could be as simple as for one of the days that you work remotely you will start the work an hour early, take a 90 minute lunch hour and work late or start the day late and work past five.

The biggest challenge will be if your therapy is not close enough to either your home or work that a minor shift in your schedule will not be an issue. If you can arrange for therapy to take place on your remote work days then you will not have co-workers see the minor shift in hours and it keeps them from asking questions. Just my experiences I hope they help.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I know there are therapists out there that work in the evening. Could your therapist recommend someone that does that? I imagine something can be worked out.
Oh yeah, but after 9 years, I have absolutely no interest in switching. I would just not do therapy rather than switch.

@whiteraven here are a couple of things I have done while working an 8-5 job. It hasn’t always been easy but I had one therapist that was willing to meet with me at 7am for my appointments, my current therapist has late appointments one day a week and I have been his 6pm appointment for as much as we can for stability. With telehealth, I could do a mid-day appointment as my lunchtime has always been flexible in that it could start anytime between 11:30am or 1:00pm so I could do the 1-2pm session via telehealth. Forgive me for not being sure where you live but in the U.S. under ADA accommodation laws, you can ask for time off (made up of course) to attend therapy, this could include things like one day a week or however frequently you attend you start work late take a longer lunch or leave early. As a contractor they are not necessarily required to grant your request but it could be as simple as for one of the days that you work remotely you will start the work an hour early, take a 90 minute lunch hour and work late or start the day late and work past five.

The biggest challenge will be if your therapy is not close enough to either your home or work that a minor shift in your schedule will not be an issue. If you can arrange for therapy to take place on your remote work days then you will not have co-workers see the minor shift in hours and it keeps them from asking questions. Just my experiences I hope they help.
Thank you, @FauxLiz. I know I probably need to see how things are going to be scheduled before I worry. LOL I may be able to swing a lunchtime appointment - we are remote, and I doubt that will change anytime soon - or maybe he would be willing to see me after. I don't really want anyone knowing - least of all a new employer - that I'm in therapy, but maybe I can manage a shift in hours for another reason.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Firstly: congratulations on the new job! (Sorry, I somehow missed your previous announcing you get the job!) This is great news – really well done 👏

Do you know for sure that your T doesn't have any flexibility in terms of before/after work or at weekends? As a first step, I would probably ask him what may be possible from his side.

I don't know what things are like where you are, but so many businesses here in the UK have had to allow much more flexibility due to Covid, remote working, hybrid working etc. So, you may find that there is more flexibility as the norm now for how people are working there and you may be able to flex your working time to accommodate a daytime appointment without it really being anything you need to announce/get authorisation for.

How would you feel about having a daytime session (perhaps in lunch break) and then working afterwards?
 
R

RN recovery

That is such a hard spot to be in. Being the "new kid" and having special requests is hard. You don't know what the culture is going to be and (if in the US) FMLA isn't going to protect you. A good excuse when asking if you can flex you time is "physical therapy." Hey is it possible for me to flex my time and take an hour lunch so I can do PT? Technically you don't have to tell them anything but realistically it feels weird to have an hour long appointment and wonder what everyone is thinking about it.

I didn't start therapy until I was an established employee so it was a bit easier for me. I was able to leave in the middle of the day but that got to be really hard. It meant I had to be careful about what we talked about rather than addressing what I actually needed to address. I stopped for awhile until she had an evening time come up. I am so grateful for video visits. I HATED them at first. It felt so awkward and cold. But I was miserable and desperate for anything and stuck it out. I am glad I did because I don't know how I would be able to work around my job and getting tush to her office. I could use a therapy session just to cope with the stress of getting there and finding somewhere to park my truck.

As you feel out the culture you might find out that flexing your time is just fine. In the meantime I hope your therapist helps work you in to a better time.

Sorry that having something good happen means you have to worry about therapy. It's so silly that we can't have both.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Do you know for sure that your T doesn't have any flexibility in terms of before/after work or at weekends? As a first step, I would probably ask him what may be possible from his side.
I've sent him a message to ask what we can do. He knows I'm working and that it's all day, but it was just kind of business as usual during my last appointment. I don't want to be left hanging, without any support.
How would you feel about having a daytime session (perhaps in lunch break) and then working afterwards?
I've never been able to do that. *shrug* Guess we'll see.
A good excuse when asking if you can flex you time is "physical therapy."
Oh, I like this! I did find out today that I have a lot of PTO going in. So maybe they will let me leave early some days, or go in late.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
I don't blame you in not wanting to be left hanging with no support @whiteraven Hopefully it won't come to that. I really hope your T is able to offer a solution. Or that you can get some flexibility with work. When are you starting the new job?

Is PT the same as physiotherapy as I was about to suggest that too! Very common for people to need regular physio treatment for a while, so that could certainly be an option if you want to ask for some time but don't want to reveal all. Would be very surprised if they didn't allow it.
 
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