Scheduling Changes

It’s probably fairly clear from all the time I spend blogging about scheduling issues that my therapist and I often struggle to keep our three weekly sessions. We’ve somehow always managed to figure it out thus far, but it’s tough. We both end up doing a lot of rearranging and making small sacrifices here and there to make it work. Overall, I think it’s worth it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it less challenging.

I’ve been seeing her on Mondays for a very long time. That has probably been the most consistent day in which we’ve had sessions together. Due to my latest clinic schedule, however, she’s had to do a lot of shifting her schedule in order to offer me three “primetime” (i.e. after standard work hours) slots.

Which means no more Mondays. For the next month I will see her on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Except for a couple of weeks where I either have class or she has a conflict and we have to switch Friday to Thursday. As I mentioned recently, we changed my session to Thursday last week. And then I didn’t have session today because my Mondays were switched to Tuesdays.

I really don’t like that. I’ve gotten into a nice little routine of starting my week with a session after school/clinic. It was bizarre and unsettling to realize that wouldn’t be happening today. One positive is that it opens up my schedule to attend my favorite yoga class again, but I still felt sad and upset about the missing my normal session time.

Plus I was thinking about how Thursday to Tuesday is five days in between sessions. That’s nearly a week. So if I can go that length of time between session, do I really need three per week? I think we’ve kept the three because it works well in terms of containment, but it’s harder for me when that container is cramped into one sorta burst of therapy.

It takes a lot for me to get into a therapeutic space with her. If too much time passes, I pull away and it becomes very difficult to remember how or why this was ever important to me. When I’m seeing her so closely together (such as when I see her Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday/Friday) I am really in it by that third session.

But then I leave and I feel totally bottomed out, as if the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. That final weekly session is often a bit devastating because I struggle to hold onto her and to our connection. Part of how I deal with that is by distracting myself and focusing on other things, which is probably a healthy way to handle this, but it’s exhausting and painful.

It’s this constant cycle of easing into the relationship, feeling really safe and invested, being yanked out of it, using distance and neutrality/ambivalence to protect myself from the feelings of abandonment and loneliness, only to have to find a way to ease back into it all over again the next week.

I know this is going to happen. She won’t have the ability to offer me the perfect Monday/ Wednesday/Friday schedule that spaces out my sessions in a really neat and regulating way. But it still sucks. It’s still very hard for me whenever anything changes.

And since she works so hard to make this work for us, despite my constantly changing availability, I feel like I owe it to her to just be grateful and not get upset or feel frustrated when the changes generate difficult feelings.

But it does. It hurts me. Even these small, seemingly unimportant details have such a powerful impact on me and on the work we do.

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13 thoughts on “Scheduling Changes

  1. Sirena says:

    It’s a really tough time for you in terms of your school work and therapy. Maybe try to focus on the fact that it won’t be like this forever. But your feelings are valid and I think it’s a good conversation to have with her, it’s good information you have about your attachment style and how different patterns arise depending on the days that therapy falls on. I think you can talk to her about it and the frustrations it brings without it being seen as you complaining or not being grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Luckily she’s very encouraging of me bringing in however I’m feeling, especially as it relates to our work. But that doesn’t make her immune from having a reaction to me and sometimes that’s where we butt heads. Still, it’s worth mentioning. Thanks x

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  2. Cat's Meow says:

    From the way that you write this, it sounds to me like you understand perfectly that she is doing everything in her power to accommodate your schedule. She isn’t being difficult or with holding in some way in order to punish you. However it sounds like there might be some parts who aren’t so sure of that because they have been taught that attachment figures play games and treat you cruelly. So you are in a space where you have to deal with a disruption to the regularity of your sessions and the benefit of their dependability. That is a very real stress and hurt that you are dealing with. You know that you are the one whose schedule requires all of these changes and I wonder if parts don’t expect for your therapist to be angry about it and punish you. So they might be misunderstanding the source of the hurt as being your therapist rather than just the situation.

    I hope that I haven’t over stepped here by bringing this up. I only do because I hear what sounds like an underlying pain and confusion about your therapist in what you are saying. And I have had to deal with situations where my parts blamed the pain of the situation on my therapist which used to confuse the heck out of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      True. Even if I can rationally understand that this is purely a logistical matter, and I can see how hard she works to accommodate me, it’s still activating. In part, I believe, because I keep replaying Zooey’s final statement of how she went “above and beyond” for me…as if I somehow owed her for that and was to blame for my own termination. I am super vigilant about this, so I think sometimes I see my therapist’s accommodations as the beginning of a setup for failure when she inevitably resents having to do all of this rearranging. I’m not really angry with her as much as afraid that I am somehow pushing her too much with my ever changing needs.

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  3. alicewithptsd says:

    You can be angry. It’s okay, to hold both realities– that your therapist has been very good about making 3 sessions work and you are grateful for that, but also that it is frustrating and hurts that your sessions are being moved around. I think it would be very hard to have the container all cramped together. Its hard when there are so many days between sessions. I have a hard time with that, too. I hope you can talk to your therapist and maybe figure out something that can help bridge the gap between Friday and Tuesday. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thanks, Alice. I’m trying very much to hold both realities because I know that’s what my therapist would recommend in this case. I think she understands how difficult it is for me when things shift like this, yet also knows it’s an inevitable part of trying to fit three sessions into a busy schedule. I see her trying to build up my resiliency around this, but it’s very hard. It’s much easier for me to go to the scary places where this somehow blows up in my face.

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  4. Rachel says:

    Scheduling changes are definitely blog-worthy material! If you think about it in terms of symbolism, what the “container” represents, to the very young parts with so much experience of instability, any shifts or changes or potential shifts or changes are highly stimulating and triggering because you were so hypervigilant to shifts and changes to ward off or protect from danger and abandonment. It makes a lot of sense to me you are upset and hurt and in a lot of distress over this. And, I love that you are also holding that you are safe now, you know this isn’t personal. It is hard to hold both, hard to validate those legitimate fears without minimizing or explaining them away.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. e.Nice says:

    I can see that you both are working so hard. The unpredictability sucks. Routine seems more manageable. I’m glad it won’t have to be this way forever and glad that she is working with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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