been seeing my current psychotherapist for about three and a half months.
The issues I want to work on include depression, suicidality, and trying
to move beyond the wounds of having been physically and sexually abused as
a child. Psychotherapy sessions have been going well. Im only rarely
suicidal. The depression seems to have morphed into vague content. But I
still feel emotionally frozen. I still think that there is more work to be
done on the abuse issue. I dont feel any resolution about it. Today
the psychotherapist, seemingly out of the blue, asked if I wanted another
session. I responded by saying I dont know, and switching
to something humorous. A major theme of the day was my ambivalence. We had
also discussed the fact that I am distrustful of labeling things as progress,
that I have no well defined marker for when psychotherapy will have been
a success, and that I cannot tell the difference between being happy and
distracting myself from negative things. My question is how do I deal with
being asked if I want another session? I feel unable to decide. I dont
want to seem needy or bothersome. I cant bear to be put in the position
of asking for it, and being denied. If the psychotherapist thinks Ive
met all my goals, maybe I have. But on the other hand, I do want to get better.
I dont want to ruin the chances of that happening.
Do you want another session? How about another
year of treatment?
OK. Now that
quip sounds flippant. And I said it to help you get the feeling of precisely
how flippant the managed
care environment can be.
youve had 12 sessions? Well, you should be cured by now. You are
cured, arent you? Arent you?
Yet the truth
is that the emotional traumas around sexual abuse are not cured in 12 sessions.
It can take a very long time to grind away all the
defenses that have
been encrusted around the
of your life. Its no wonder you still feel emotionally frozen. The
treatment you have had so far is a bandage on a deep wound. The wound itself
still has to be treated.
Now, the problem
in all this for you derives from your being emotionally frozen. Right now,
youre not capable of asking for what you need because your defenses
themselves prevent you from even knowing what you need. So its your
psychotherapists job to notice your pain and take action to treat it
properly. And if your psychotherapist cannot notice your paineither
because of incompetence or because the managed care environment has blinded
him or her to realitythen you might need another
And most likely,
to get what you need, you will have to pay for it with your own money.
Thats the downside of good treatment. The upside is that once you pay
for your own treatment, no one can deny you. Only you can deny
advertisingno sponsorjust the simple truth . . .