therapy three times a week?

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
For years I only had therapy once a week, the break in between feeling super long, holding the feelings together super hard.
With my new therapist after a month we started doing two sessions a week. And then today she suggested maybe we could meet three time a week.
I was jumping out with joy inside of me. But was also scared as heck. What does this mean? How did I deserve so much attention?
Will it impact my life too much to talk about all this stuff three times a week? Or will it make it easier as I will have someone to help me more frequently.
I never thought I would be able to get this kind of support.
Anyone else gone to therapy three times a week?
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Yeah, I did therapy 5 days a week with a team of 3 for several years. I was pretty unwell at the time and it was as much to keep me alive as to help me make progress.

I wouldn't recommend it unless it's for safety reasons. There's insufficient time between appointments to do your own private digesting of the work you've done, and there's insufficient time to focus on non-therapy based activity. Which is, IMO, at least as important as therapy itself, if not more so.

Did she give you a reason for recommending such an intense therapy structure?
Do you have others in your mental health team or support network that you can run the idea by?
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
There's insufficient time between appointments to do your own private digesting of the work you've done, and there's insufficient time to focus on non-therapy based activity.
Those are good points. Can I retract my earlier vote or just sit on the fence??

I actually did do group therapy three times a week for a while. I quit when I started needing time for a life. It did make the time in between appointments really short without much chance to feel like I was moving forward with my non-therapy life.
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
My biggest worry about three times a week is that I am a very work driven person so I wonder how having this much therapy might affect my work.
She is the only person I see for mental health issues. I am not “unwell” to needing three times a week. Five years ago when I started therapy I would try to kill myself constantly and yet I only had therapy once a week. I think the reason for this is that while I am quite “stable” now I cannot carry any continuity between sessions. Every time I see my therapist she feels like a stranger again. I think I have kept continuity between sessions once or twice at most. Every session starts with a new topic and a new thing and some time of feeling do I know this person?
when I did once a week therapy I did do a lot of digestion on my own, reading, writing, podcasts. I feel like I learned about therapy but didn’t do therapy ie as in being present with my feelings. I have only cried once in over five years of therapy. I think she thinks that if we meet more, the continuity will get easier, there won’t be time for things to go under the rug again in few days and I will be able to talk about things and feel things more freely.
My main issue is destabilization. I often get destabilized after sessions ie when I dissociate heavily. So what does this mean for the rest of my life? Ie work? But maybe more help would mean less destabilization.
I am surviving, but she thinks that in order to deal with the dissociative disorder that cripples me, I need to let these feelings more to the surface and less buried and forgotten in between sessions.
Do I make this investment then for myself? For my life? For my happiness? If not now and then when?
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you for your support. Yes giving it a try seems wise.
If it helps than great, if it feels meh then I can always go back down.
Here’s hoping to healing.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @mylunareclipse, in the 5 years that you've been having therapy, do you feel that alot of the topics have been sorted and come to a conclusion of how you now feel about them? I'm just worried that you may be retraumatizing yourself by constantly going over the same things?
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
she thinks that in order to deal with the dissociative disorder that cripples me, I need to let these feelings more to the surface and less buried and forgotten in between sessions.
That is a noble cause and spending more time on it might get you through it more quickly but if you have to work, it could be problematic.

If your work situation is stable and/or your employer understands that you have PTSD, then it might be a great time to do it.

But if you are having problems at work and cannot afford to have any more problems, then adding to your symptoms by increasing therapy could cause a lot of added stress/issues.

Nevertheless, if you really feel that it would be good for you in the long run and it certainly sounds like it could be, then I agree with @somerandomguy that it seems like it would be worth a shot.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
This is really quite a dilemma for you and one only you know the answer since I can only look from the outside.

However, one sentence that jumped at me is "Every time I see my therapist she feels like a stranger again." and this is a really important and extremely well researched developmental phase and I highly recommend you come to acquainted with at least rationally and logically if you have not already. I feel perhaps this is the main reason your therapist is increasing the sessions to get through that phase safely and with her watch. it is one of the most challenging phase for any of us growing up and when it is interfered with trauma - just forget about it. One can only reprocess with another - often with therapist.

All that being said, I was one of those people that spent once a week for couple years. Every other week for over a year. and now I am back to twice a week. In all of these, I was in the same group therapy (people change but same group leader etc for the 4yrs) and not my therapist and at the top I had other short term group therapies early on my treatment. I needed that much support to just get by after I opened the gate of trauma.

My opinion is this:
Dealing with childhood trauma or cptsd - once a week (IMHO) at the beginning of therapy is not good. It is easy to get destabilize and flooded (especially the first time therapy). One needs a lot of support imho. but there are many people who have great support intrinsically who can also do this so perhaps that was you. you could do that. and that is great strength to have.
Every other week - again imho, good for after many years of therapy and sort of maintenance but not again dealing with cptsd and when one is symptomatic. I find by the time I got back to therapy so much happened both inside and outside and it was just dragging...I felt wasting my time and also more frustrated so why pay for this. it was not working for me but again it may work for those that have different experience or strength.

Twice/thrice and more times in the week - again just my opinion and experience - it does work better, things are dealt with much shorter and defenses or symptoms do not become too crystallized but the goal at least for me is this: this cannot go on forever ...no one has this kind of time to stay state of uncovering and opening wounds and still just act normal after each session UNLESS one really needs because one is really unwell or unstable and truly needs this. So I set a mental goal to try this for 2 years or less (having Zoom during pandemic made it that much easier) - no travel time so perfect for now!.

Because you and the therapist and you came to this conclusion and you have valid reasons to consider the time, travel, the money, and pain that is involved, I wonder if you could do some of them on the phone or Zoom or something like to lessened the hours involved and take them as touch base days. Something to think about. I think you can do it as you have shown for five years with this therapist from what you posted but also only you know how much time and energy you need.
 
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