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.