therapy three times a week?

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you for your answers!!
@grit I do all my therapy sessions on Zoom! in fact I have never even got to meet my therapist in person, I just moved across country right before the pandemic so had to start seeing my current therapist few weeks into the shut down. This makes things easier and harder: easier as no travel time and some of my work is from home giving me a little more flexibility, but also harder as the connection to a 2D screen is harder than with a real person.

My therapy was 1x a week for three years with my first therapist, then 1x for a year with another therapist and now about ~8 months with my current therapist 2x a week. I made a lot of huge changes with my first therapist even though I was seeing her once a week with also 1 contact outside of sessions in between every week. But this was mostly because the things I had to fix in the beginning were somewhat more straight forward ie like being a bit more stable and not constantly suicidal. However, I never even talked about my memories with that therapist, she just knew that I had them but that was about it. Some other things I would talk once every year or so as it would take me that long to come back to a topic. So fast forward now and I am seeing my therapist twice a week, I am more stable than I have been in a long time, yet there's some very long ingrained things that I would like to change before I waste another decade of my life, on top of that I need to deal with the shame of crippling flashbacks if I want to re-enter "normal social life". After 8 months I kind of said 2 sentences about my flashbacks last week, I dissociate or "switch" in session a lot lately, eyes closed and all... so don't know it seems like I need to do this work, not in the sense to get it over with as much as to have hope that I can actually truly get better...that there's hope for me to have a normal life. So in this sense 3x a week therapy kind of makes sense, gives me less time to hide and bury things, gives my parts more time to have their time in session...and gives me more time to forget about my therapist in between sessions and go back to my shell...
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I hope, with the help of your therapist, you reach a good compromise. It is important work and one that has to take its time. I also occasionally dissociate in therapy and find doing Zoom actually makes easier because I am not going back to public transit or biking after therapy. I can sit still and recover in the safety of my house after a tough session. I do not know if you consider the amount of safety that comes with Zoom (100% notwithstanding the importance of having a person with us in the sessions).
Good luck.
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
Yes Zoom has its own benefits. I often just collapse in bed after. And because I am working partially from home, noone can really track my hours and I make my own schedule so it's easier to modify around therapy schedule.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I am a very work driven person so I wonder how having this much therapy might affect my work.
I am much the same. But whenever I know I can carve out the time, I put more energy into therapy.
Do I make this investment then for myself? For my life? For my happiness? If not now and then when?
Yes, exactly this. I do think it's smart to be deliberate about how much you need to function in your work-life. I can say for myself, the periods of time when I've been able to afford (aka have met my deductible, sigh) intensive therapy, it has benefitted be to do 2-3 sessions a week. One for managing regular life skills/stressors, one for trauma processing, and then one for dealing with all the aftermath that's been dredged up from the trauma processing.

My only advice is to make sure you can go easy on yourself in all other ways, when trying this sort of intensive approach. It's why going inpatient can be extremely useful for trauma work (in the right circumstances) - it creates space where a person doesn't have a heavy load of additional responsibilities outside of dealing with the trauma and the aftereffects of that.
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you @joeylittle
Yes I am still amazed at how dysregulated I can get even after talking about things I get simple. Everything gets stirred up. My body starts feeling everything again.
But maybe now with the coronavirus shut down it feels like it won’t be as noticeable if I am not doing as much work as we are limited by the shutdown to how much in person work we are really allowed to do. So maybe I can put more effort into healing. But yes I am super wiped today and definitely not able to write what I was supposed to, but trying not to get mad at myself.
 

Friday

Moderator
I’ve done therapy on a few different paradigms.

If I’m paying for therapy, regardless of type, I choose 90-120 minutes, per session as a baseline. I’ve gone for as long as 5 hours once a week, but my most common length of time is 120. 90 will work, but it’s short, and usually reserved for; touching base, a single issue has come up & can you squeeze me in at all, or a joint session with someone else.

If I’m doing trauma therapy, that’s a minimum of 2x per week... although I’ve had therapists essentially want IOP/Intensive outpatient (3-5x a week, half days), it’s not something I’ve been able to afford when asked for. The one time I’ve been able to sort of afford that (with cuts in other areas), the therapist wasn’t willing to accept what I’d be cutting from my budget... as they viewed the other things I was spending my money on as more necessary than therapy.

If I’m NOT paying for therapy? I take what’s offered IF it works for me, at all. Meeting with someone for 10 minutes, once a month? Can be more useful/helpful for me than meeting with a different someone for an hour a week.
How did I deserve so much attention?
^^^This^^^ doesn’t parse for me, at all. I neither know, nor care, how often or how long my therapists see other clients. For all I know everyone else could be meeting with them daily for twice as long as I see them, or only monthly for 15 minutes. What other people do? Is on them. They’re responsible for setting up a therapy schedule that meets their needs, I’m responsible for setting up a therapy schedule that meets my needs. Most people? Probably do weekly therapy for 50 minutes, because that’s what their insurance will pay for / that’s the industry standard. That’s never worked for me, so it’s not what I do. I’ve also known enough people with different paradigms that I don’t view ‘what insurance will pay for’ as some kind of gold standard. Shrug. It’s not. It’s just what’s free. What’s free? Is hardly some kind of goal to strive for. Think of free-food. Soup kitchens and buy one get one free? Aren’t some kind of healthy diet to live by. It’s just what doesn’t cost anything. Ditto insurance. That they cover it, doesn’t mean it’s what’s best, much less what I want, or what I need.
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
Don’t want to hijack this @mylunareclipse and btw - the support you’ve been given comes to you for very good reason. Normal to question it, but I’d say....those who see you (your T) determined you will benefit, are willing, and deserving of all of it.

But the hijack part....what @Friday posted caused my antennas to perk up. I was frustrated by the 50-60 min sessions cuz it often takes 30-40 to chill, trust, move in a valid direction for me. I know it may be different jurisdictionally....but how have you broached the subject of session timeframe? If it’s a question of insurance covers 50, and their books need to reflect that....do you offset the next 60 from pocket?
Let me know if this should go in it’s own thread
 

Digz

MyPTSD Pro
Every time I see my therapist she feels like a stranger again.
I totally understand this. It doesn't happen so quick with me. I see my T once a week at the moment and I find if I go much longer between sessions then I find it very hard. It's not that he's a total stranger to me, but for me I don't feel convinced he's the same, the rules are the same and the safety is the same. My T went on holiday recently and I've had about 3-4 sessions since he's been back and it's been very hard. All the misgivings make it much harder to talk. I think it will be quite a while until I'm back to where I was.
Having said that, I do also think that time to process is important. Also, striking a balance between relying on your T to some degree but making sure you're not over-reliant is important. I think my biggest concern would be how much it takes out of you and if you're doing that three times a week, whether that's sustainable for you physically and mentally. Do you have contact with your T between sessions at all? An email in between sessions tends to help me with maintaining the relationship enough.
How did I deserve so much attention?
It is not a question of being deserving. You are ALWAYS deserving of other peoples' attention. Remember that and don't make any decisions on not feeling worthy. I struggle with feeling worthy of my T's time and effort too. But they are there for you and they wouldn't offer if they didn't think you were worthwhile.

I hope whatever you choose, it works out for you. It's tricky to find the right balance with therapy, personally and financially. I don't think there's ever any easy answer and I think it's different for different people.
 
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