My Therapist Won’t See Me Twice a Week

I’ve been in weekly therapy for years, at least the past 15. I like going often because I want to touch base and sharpen skills while also deal with the latest crap in life. Discovering my complex trauma diagnosis puts this in perspective – I had been making progress, but it was leading me toward the trauma processing, not some magical state of being healed or cured.

Things are tough lately. My therapist keeps dangling EMDR and other processing tools but we never get to it. I’m either not stable enough or we just run out of time. It is frustrating. I believe that if I could do two sessions each week, I would have enough time for ‘talk therapy’ and be able to do the trauma EMDR treatment.

Two seems like a lot.

But seeing your therapist a few times per week can correct this. When one is in therapy, one of the goals is that someone else’s voice – hopefully a kinder voice – becomes internalized. If we hear the same voice repeatedly, over time we start to hear that voice in our head. This internalized voice gets stronger and enters into our internal dialogue. That voice then makes us feel like we are actually “with” ourselves.

Therapy a few times per week can also help lessen the impact of our inner critic. The more we hear an alternative perspective, the more our inner world will accept it as its own.

About ten years ago, I was in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) through AGH. I was there four days a week from 9 AM to 2 PM. It was very useful as I was in serious distress. But it was also glorified baby sitting. We spent about 90 minutes as a group touching base. We saw our psychiatrist. And most of the time we literally read handouts out loud to each other while a nurse supervised.

The group work, the pdoc, and the sessions led by the actual psychologist were useful. The structured days, too. But it wouldn’t be helpful to me now because I can’t do trauma work with a group.

There aren’t many mh groups available if you aren’t part of a big MH system. My provider Persad has some groups, but it’s complicated by my blogging and activist role as well as my general distrust of people’s ties to certain groups in the community.

I requested twice weekly therapy, bit Persad doesn’t have a clear policy on this. The boondoggle of email with the clinical supervisors almost makes me wish I had not even tried.

Except … I honestly believe it will help, even just for a few months. I know my insurance will cover it. I know that I deserve to try. And I am my own best advocate.

They may have decided to deny my request for whatever reason, bit I can find some comfort in trying.

It is hard when your therapist says “You deserve resources as much as anyone else” but then says “Giving you 2 spots weekly even for a short period of time takes away resources for other patients who need this specialized treatment, too”

I remember when therapy was a full hour. That felt fair and robust. Now it’s 40 minutes. I feel so rushed that I often forget things like suggested exercises or tools. Then I have to email my therapist to review. I can’t take handwritten notes fast enough and an audio recording would freak me out because of the nature of my trauma.

The accommodation I need is time not pencils, digital recorders, or the ever ominous threat of an external referral. Twice weekly therapy is not uncommon for trauma patients. It is also typical for DBT interventions as well as psychoanalysis.

Twice weekly outpatient appointments for four months is far cheaper than IOP for my I insurance company.

Right now, I feel forced to make uninformed choices about what to prioritize. And a bit unsupported with my trauma symptoms.

I doubt this is personal, but it has a personal impact. I don’t expect things to change, but blogging reminds me that I can trust my instincts, that I do have some professional experiences that heighten my skepticism, and that I can continue to push for my needs.

Have you had therapy more than once a week?

  • Sue, I admire your fight for the treatment you know will help you. Blogging about it is useful to others, thank you.
    I have not had even weekly therapy for awhile but i know people who see tx 3 times a week.
    At WPIC. But it’s in program for substance use, as well as trauma. Hope you get what you need.
    Nancy

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